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3 Tips to Know Before Hiring a Baby Sitter

Updated on February 20, 2015

Nowadays, because of the difficult times, it is common to find both husband and wife working, part-time or full time, to help meet their family needs. As a result, the need for child care providers, nannies and babysitters has increased.

I am a stay at home mom to 5 children, so most often than not, I do not need a babysitter. But I know many married couples who are both working, so I know the predicaments of getting a babysitter. Moreover, I also know how it is to be babysat because both my dad and mom used to work full time when we were small. So, let me share a little something here about the topic of hiring a sitter for your kids.

Need a Babysitter?
Need a Babysitter? | Source

There are 3 main points which I want to tackle. The first is determining your child care needs, the next is where to find a babysitter and the last is about some tips to remember before hiring a sitter.

Determining your Child Care Needs

Before you go and look for a sitter, you need to determine the scope of child care you need. Two important questions to ask are:

1. Do you need a sitter for an infant, a toddler or an older child?

An infant and toddler need more individualized babysitting because these cannot be left alone unattended for a long time. So, you may have to hire a babysitter who can come to your home or you may need to bring your child to a babysitter who doesn’t have many children under her care. An older child is a little bit more mature and can do many things for himself, so it is okay to bring him to a sitter with many children or a day care center. The socialization with other children is also beneficial for the child.

2. How many hours of babysitting do you need?

If you just need to leave your child for a couple of hours, it is better to hire a part time sitter. But if you have a full-time job, you may consider hiring a stay in babysitter. This is common in the Philippines since labor cost is not that expensive. The hired help can also help in other house chores depending on your arrangements.

Where to Find a Sitter?

Now, we come to the question where can one find a sitter for your kids? The first option is to ask family and friends if they can recommend an in-home babysitter, a family child care in the neighborhood or a reputable day care center where their children go to. Another option is to put ads in your community newspaper or a classified ads site. Still another option is to look for an agency that provides babysitters and get one from there, though this maybe a more expensive option.

Tips before Hiring a Sitter

Before you hire a babysitter, you have to know first if she is qualified to provide reliable and safe child care for your child. I remember from the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire” how difficult it is to find the right person to do the job. You have to

1. Know about the person’s skills and experiences. Unless she is someone you personally know or has been highly recommended by family and friends, you need to give it a little more thought before hiring. Ask if the person has undergone a babysitting training class or a first aid course. Ask about her experience with babysitting children. Then, you need to inform her about what you want and don't want (make a list of this before the interview) in case she will be hired as babysitter. Get some feedback whether she is able to meet your expectations or not. This way, both of you will save a whole deal of time and effort in the process.

2. Do a background check of the person. Many of these sitters may not have a license so it is imperative to check the background of the person. Ask for a police clearance report or something similar. She will be staying with your child, so it’s better to be sure that your child is safe though there are still no 100% guarantees. And, yes, check if the sitter-to-be is healthy and fit enough for the job. Ask for references - names and phone numbers of previous employers. Take the extra time to give them a call. If the babysitter is unable to provide this information, move on to the next interview.

3. Give the babysitter a try. If you want to see the quality of service the sitter can provide, you may want to try out her services first for a couple of hours. Then, if you see that she’s good, trustworthy and knows how to care for your child, then that’s the time you can decide to hire her again for a longer period of time.

There are no guarantees that there would be no problems with the sitter you choose. Just read the hub about Babysitter Nightmares. Most babysitters start out okay but end up disastrous. I’ve heard from friends that some were gossipers and then there are those who also resorted to stealing. So, you are very blessed if you happen to find a perfect babysitter. When you do, be sure to be a good employer as well. As much as is possible, give the babysitting rate that she deserves.

5 Questions You Need to Ask a Babysitter Before Hiring


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    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Denise for the read. Glad to have written and shared this hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great tips once again Chin Chin. Thanks for sharing this info for all the other parents! :)

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks sestasik. Parents are actually more meticulous when choosing a babysitter if their child is still an infant.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Good advice! I'm all for trial periods- in fact, I wish more parents had a trial period with me back when I was a babysitter!

    • profile image

      sestasik 6 years ago

      Great information. I like how you point out the major difference in infant care and care of a young child.