Parenting is an everyday job that can be both fulfilling and draining. The upside is you get to spend time with your children and watch their growth, but the downside is you'll have to deal with their unruly behaviors and tantrums.
It becomes even more difficult if both you and your partner are working or if you're a single parent trying to raise your little ones on your own. Fortunately, there is a way you can lessen the weight of this responsibility: hire a babysitter.
Getting someone who can watch over your children allows you to take the break you need while still giving the care that your kids deserve. There are different ways to hire a babysitter, but before you do that, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Consider Your Needs
Before sorting through applications or asking for recommendations, you must first determine why you need to hire a babysitter and how often you’ll be needing their services. You should also check how much you can allot for this service.
Understanding your needs will guide you in creating the criteria that you can follow when you start looking for a sitter. Do you need them to look after your kids every day? Or do you just need someone who can do the job every other weekend? What is your budget for this?
Asking yourself these types of questions will make it easier for you to narrow down your choices and eventually find the right person who can meet your babysitting needs.
2. Ask for Referrals
Knowing where to look for potential babysitters is another challenge that will come your way. You can make this process much easier by asking for referrals from friends, families, or colleagues.
You may have a friend or workmate who used to hire a sitter to look after their children. If your kids are at preschool, you can also ask their teachers or staff members if they could recommend someone to help you out.
You can also post a job listing on Kidsit if you need someone more permanent or who can work longer hours. We also have a roster of babysitters that you can choose from.
3. Evaluate Their Background, Skills, and Personality
As you look at the profiles of prospective babysitters, you can make an initial evaluation of their experiences and skills. You can also do a quick background check on them if they put references on their applications.
You can further evaluate your candidates when you interview them. During this phase, you can ask them to explain their babysitting background and skills. You can try any of the following questions, or variations of them, during the interview:
- Do you have previous babysitting experience?
- Is it something you do regularly?
- Did you undergo any sort of training (child care, first-aid, CPR, etc)?
- How would you console a crying or angry child?
- Do you know how to prepare a child-friendly meal?
Asking these kinds of questions will help you determine if the sitter is knowledgeable about proper childcare. Interviewing them also allows you to evaluate their personality and get a good sense of their demeanor.
4. Know The Sitter’s Rate and Availability
It’s important to know how much your chosen babysitter will charge right from the start. Having this knowledge will help you determine if you can stick to your budget when you avail of their babysitting services or if you would need to look for another sitter within your set price range.
Ask them directly about their rate and how it’s calculated (is it by the hour, day, or night?). Note that it will cost you more to hire an experienced babysitter, especially if you require someone to do more than the bare minimum.
Another thing you should clear up with your potential sitter is the frequency of their work. Let them know how often you’ll be needing them to look after your kids and at what time of the day they are expected to start.
5. Do a Trial Run and Ask Your Kids About Their Opinion
How your kids feel about their new babysitter is a crucial factor when hiring one. After all, they are the ones who will be spending most of the time with the sitter. You can do so by inviting your chosen candidate to your home and having them meet with your children.
Take this opportunity to observe how the babysitter behaves and interacts with your little ones. Doing so allows you to determine if their techniques and skills are enough to handle your children.
Watching this interaction also helps you discern if their babysitting style is compatible with your parenting techniques and your kids’ behaviors.
By the end of the trial run, ask your children what they think about the babysitter. Do they like them? Do they feel safe and comfortable around the sitter? What are their thoughts about the interaction?
Checking in with your little ones and getting their opinion will help you in making your final decision.
Nothing can compare to the love and care that you can give to your children. But other responsibilities may hinder you from fully giving the parenting your kids need. The next best thing you can do is to find a trustworthy person who can keep them safe and attend to them while you’re away. Keep the above reminders in mind when looking for a babysitter to ensure that you’ll find the right candidate for your little ones.
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The Perfect Gift For Your Babysitter
My book, Babysitting Business Secrets, is out now as an inexpensive ebook or full-color paperback. If your babysitter is serious about becoming the best sitter they can be, then this book is perfect for them. I reveal all my tricks and tips for first-time babysitters or experienced sitters who just want to up their game. Get your copy today!
- Matthew Taylor, Kidsit Founder