A great babysitter is a treasure- but how do you find the right person to help watch your child? Here are some ways to help you find a fantastic sitter.
Parents are often available for their child or children 24 hours a day, but we all need a short break once in a while. You might want to spend time together as a couple, pursue hobbies, or go out with friends to hear your favorite band from college. Those who are not lucky enough to be close to grandma and grandpa often depend on outside help. But how do you find a good babysitter?
Searching for the right babysitter
What’s one of the best ways to find reliable and loving childcare? First ask your friends if they can recommend a good babysitter. They know you and your family, and often have had firsthand experience with a potential babysitter.
You might even have a niece, nephew, or cousin who could watch your children.
Chatting with them on the FamilyApp might be a good way to set up a babysitting time.
Second, look locally. The perfect sitter might be closer than you think! She could be walking her dog around the neighborhood. Maybe the child of one of your colleagues or acquaintances? Most parents like the idea of having a person they know look after their kids, since it feels safer than bringing a stranger into the house. So keep your eyes open when you’re taking your child out for a stroll, or even going to school.
Is your child in a daycare center, preschool, or summer camp? That could be another great place to find teachers and interns looking to earn extra money. They already know the child, and probably have even established a good, trusting relationship.
Finding a babysitter online
If you’re not having great luck finding a babysitter nearby, you might want to consider various internet sites. Care.com or sittercity.com are two good options where caregivers and families try to find a good match. Nextdoor.com might also be a good place to look online for someone in your neighborhood.
Compare a sitter’s costs and hourly rates, since they can vary greatly. If you find a caregiver through an agency, for example, you’ll be paying the agency and the babysitter. Despite the high cost, if you go with an agency, you’ll have a caregiver who’s been vetted and insured by them.
Even if they’re not with a service, many babysitters advertising online have completed courses and learned the most important things about the childcare and first aid. You can often take a close look at the babysitters’ profiles to see what experience and qualifications the potential babysitter has. In addition, you can often filter search results according to specific criteria that are particularly important to you.
Many parents find it difficult to entrust their children to strangers. That’s why
it’s very important to get to know each other and to like each other. If you don’t have a good feeling when you first meet them, it’s better to keep looking.
Even if you do have a great feeling about someone, if you need a babysitter for longterm care, such as a live-in nanny, you may want to have a written contract. It offers regulated structures and the possibility that childcare costs can be claimed for tax purposes.
Accidents happen- be prepared
Childhood injuries are almost unavoidable, as children can easily fall or burn themselves when discovering the world. Babysitters also need to be prepared for childhood diseases, and even small illnesses like a low-grade fever or cold.
Make sure you have a caregiver who can stay calm and have emergency numbers ready. You should make sure that these are also available to anyone who cares for your child, such as a babysitter. For example, you can place a list in a central location, like the refrigerator door. It’s also advisable to hire a babysitter who has completed a special first aid course for children.
Other factors to consider
Beyond just “getting a good feeling” about hiring a sitter, there are other things you should keep in mind. Your sitter should be at least 14 years old (unless you opt for a mother’s helper while you are still at home), have experience in dealing with children, be reliable, and able to react appropriately in an emergency.
Check the babysitter’s social media profile if you can. You don’t need to follow them on Instagram, but if you see questionable photos on a public profile, be careful! They might post questionable pics of your kids, too- or expose your children to things you don’t want them seeing.
Make sure your babysitter has clear expectations while you are gone, and if your children are old enough, ask them how things went while you were out.
Hopefully everything went great, and you can go out for another fun night soon!