Finding a great babysitter with whom you agree with as far as parenting goes and that can be trusted can be difficult. This is someone that will have a much deeper influence on your children than you may imagine, and dealing with the wrong one could have far reaching consequences. In this article, we’re going to give you a few pointers on how to find the perfect babysitter for you and your children.
Start with Referrals
The first thing you should do is check for referrals from your friends and family to see if they have somebody they can recommend. Ask them about things like personality, philosophy towards parenting, punctuality, and trustworthiness among other things. However, note that great babysitters are a hot commodity, so a recommended sitter might be too busy to fit you into your schedule, so you might have to look at other options.
Look at Online Directories and Nonprofit Agencies
Depending on where you live, there are nonprofit organizations that will allow you to connect with qualified babysitters. There are also plenty of online services that will allow you to find a great sitter as well. Some will even give you a trial period to check their service. All you’ll have to do is post your ad and wait for prospects to get in contact with you. College employment services and college newspaper ads are also a great option.
In Person and Phone Interview
Now that you should have a short list of prospective sitters to choose from, call them for a short phone interview and an in-person interview if you feel like they could be the right one for the job. In addition to asking them for their experience, make sure you have a few hypothetical questions first. For example, ‘What would you do if one of my children starts choking on food or passes out?’, ‘Do you have your CPR certification?’, ‘What would you do if my one year old is crying in her crib and my 2-year-old is in the living room crying after spilling their milk, who do you go to first?’ These are all questions that should give you a general idea of how they would react in stressful situations.
You should also make sure that you run a people and public records search on that person to make sure that they’re actually the person that they’re saying they are and if they have any priors. You can easily find people in MA and run a personal search as well a public records search through a service like Intelius for instance.
Once this is done, it’s time to have them audition with your kids. See how the initial meeting goes and if your kids are actually taking to them. Let the sitter and the kids play for about 30 to 60 minutes under your supervision, and if you feel they could be a fit, you can let them interact alone while you’re checking in from time to time. If you feel that they’re a proper match, then you may have just found your babysitter.
Understanding how to spot a great babysitter will help you on your journey. Make sure that you follow the few tips in this article if you want you, your babysitter, and your kids to mesh and work together.