Choosing a babysitter is an important, but difficult task for parents. We would prefer to be with our children all the time; but, of course, that is not possible. Sometimes, we need a substitute. Who do we trust to take care of our children for us? Our first choice is probably grandparents or an aunt or uncle, but what if you live far away from your family.
You may be thinking you need complete FBI checks before allowing anyone to watch your precious child, I do agree investigating is important, but FBI checks may be too much.
Steps to Finding a Babysitter
Check with Family and Friends
If your family is not an option, check with friends who have teenagers or college age children that might be available to care for your children. College students home for summer might be a great option for summer care.
If your child attends a daycare during the day, staff from the facility may be interested in extra income. These teachers may be a good option because they have worked with your child and you have been able to observe them in a child care setting.
Evaluate your Candidates
If you are considering a teenager, age and maturity are important. Ask any candidate about themselves, get a sense of how they handle themselves. Could this person handle an emergency? Does this person have any special experience? For example, someone who had younger siblings might have more experience than an only child.
Once you have selected someone to care for your children, request references and check them. Not every person will have child care references, but they should have individuals, teachers, ministers, community leaders that can attest to the individual’s level of responsibility and ability to safely care for children.
Help your Children Adjust
If the child care provider you select has not met your children, try to set a time (before you will be leaving) to let you children meet and get to know this person. Younger children ages 1-5 years old have more difficulty when mom and dad leave (even for short periods of time). Giving your children time to meet and adjust will help when it’s time for you to leave.
On the Big Day
When your new child care provider arrives at your home, be sure to give them a tour and point out all important features and information they will need. Providing a summary of all important information (cell phone numbers, alternate numbers, where you will be, children’s allergies, suggested things for the children to eat, bedtime, etc…) will give peace of mind when you are away.
Safety is most important for your children. If you have any concerns about someone caring for your children, select another person.
How do you choose a babysitter? What do you require for safety?