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How to find a good babysitter?

If you are a parent with young children, the task of finding a babysitter can be daunting.  Where do you find a good babysitter?  How do you know they are qualified?  How do you know you can trust them?

 

To find a good babysitter, asking friends, family, and your community is always a good step.  This is usually very natural and an easy way to find a good babysitter.  There are many online resources now available that connect childcare providers and families.  Some of the most common ones are:

  • care.com – This is a website connecting caregivers to parents, pet owners, and seniors.  There is a monetary fee to access the babysitters’ contact information however it seems to have a good reputation and will do a background check for you.    I have personally used this website and had wonderful success.
  • sittercity.com – This is a website that helps you find experienced babysitters and nannies and au pairs.  They also do background checks and there is a monetary fee to access the babysitter’s contact information.
  • sitterfinder.com – This is a website that does the same things as the others above however it is a new website and currently their services are free.
  • select-sitters.com – This is a local company here in Boise.  They have qualified, trained babysitters that work for them. You hire the babysitter through the company and pay the company an hourly rate for the babysitter’s services.
  • seekingsittersboise.com- This is a local company here in Boise and works very much like select-sitters.com.

 

So now you have resources to find babysitters, what are some qualifications that you should be looking for?   Here are some things to consider.   Do you want a teenage babysitter, a college student, or an adult?  Do you want them to drive or do you want to pick them up?  How much do they charge and does that work with what you want to pay?  Is she Child CPR and First Aid certified?  Does she have good references and experience?   Does she seem like she would work well with your children?

 

Once you have found the babysitter that meets your expectations and qualifications, contact her and set up an interview.  Babysitters are used to being asked to interview in today’s world so don’t worry, she won’t be offended when you ask for an interview.  Here is a link to care.com.  It has some great questions to ask a babysitter in an interview.  http://www.care.com/child-care-babysitter-interview-p1145-q22778.html

 

Then do a trial run.  Invite your babysitter over to spend some time with you and your children so everyone can begin to feel comfortable.  Or go run a short errand and leave the children with your babysitter to see how things go.  Babycenter.com suggests that these are some signs to look for in a good babysitter:

  • Your child warms up to her.
  • She’s genuinely happy to see your child.
  • She comes up with creative solutions to problems and works with you to provide the best possible care for your chil
  • She respects your time.
  • She makes an effort to stay connected.
  • Your child is clean, and messes aren’t left for you.
  • Accidents are infrequent.

Decide if you want your babysitter to drive your child.  If so, you’ll want to drive with her yourself at least once or twice to see what she’s like on the road. You’ll also want to make sure that her car is reliable, a car seat for your child is properly installed, and that she always buckles your child up safely.

Finally, keep tabs on how your babysitter does each time she cares for your children.   Kids grow and change so quickly, it’s important that their babysitters adjusts with them.  Continued evaluation and open communication will benefit your sitter and family relationship and ensure everyone is happy!

About the author

Shannon Glenn

Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings.  She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.  

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