When you’re not around: how to choose a babysitter you can trust

If you have a job and children, it is impossible to handle everything without professional aid. As there is nobody who can do your work for you, you may need to find somebody to look after your children while you are studying, working, or just having some me-time once a week.

Choosing a babysitter is an extremely important process because you, ideally, should feel you can trust this person with your child. Therefore, you have to become a pro headhunter, psychologist, detective, and guide for a while.

1. Where good nannies are

The first thing you will encounter when looking for a babysitter is the search for the references and leads. It is risky to hire a completely random person from the internet to take responsibility for your children, so you may need to use your creativity to find someone you can trust. Here are several options ways you can find a trustworthy nanny:

  • Ask your friends and neighbors for references.

You will find it useful to listen to the experience of those who passed all the stages of finding a reliable babysitter and ask for their recommendation. They may suggest their own sitter or ask him or her about colleagues looking for a job. As parents, your friends will realize the importance of the choice you make, hence, you can rely on their opinions. 

  • Check for such people in the kindergarten or the preschool of your children. 

These are people who work with children professionally and whom your child or children may already know. It is a reliable place to look for a nanny because they represent the educational institution, they will feel responsible,  and you will know they are trained to work with children. 

  • Check local youth organizations.

You can find an amicable and responsible babysitter in a local university or a girl scout organization. Again, you may inquire about interested people from their superiors, which is also a reliable reference. 

NOTE: If you decided to look for a nanny online, try to use only the services that give guarantees and choose only sufficient candidates. It is still better if it is recommended by people you know. 

2. Investigating candidates

If you made it through the stage of choosing potential candidates to look after your children while you are away, there is still a lot between you and a Friday night out. You have to talk to the possible babysitters and learn about their personal and professional qualities as much as possible. Here are things you have to learn about the potential nanny for your children and to base your decision on them:

  • His or her references.

Regardless if it is a teenager or a professional nursemaid with many years of experience, it is your duty as a parent to check his or her babysitting record, and the feedback previous clients gave about him or her. If it is a sitter whose contact you took from your friends, listen to your friends. If you found this person online, check the feedback about the nanny online. 

  • His or her training with working with children.

Such training includes not only the basic rules of interacting with children, but also specific educational experience and families he or she has worked with. In addition, you should ask if the potential babysitter has sufficient training in emergencies. Ask if he or she can perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR, swim, and drive. If one of these is missing but the candidate is aware of the importance of it, it is a good sign. 

  • His or her overall attitude to work.

If your potential nanny has shown up on time and seems engaged and prepared for the interview, it is a sign he or she is a responsible person. Additionally, people who are interested in the job will naturally ask questions about the peculiarities of working with your kids. 

Working mom

Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

3. Making things clear

If everything seems right about your candidate, you should make a briefing for the nursemaid you chose. The more detailed the instructions are, the lower the chances of receiving phone calls for clarifications. Therefore, do not forget to explain the following details to your babysitter:

  • House rules

The schedule of your children with the babysitter must match their schedule with you, so make sure your ideas about bedtime, mealtime, sweets policy, dos, and don’ts are the same.

  • Emergency numbers

The best way to cover this is to make a list and leave it in your house. Include your own number, the number of a neighbor the nanny can call in case of an emergency, the addresses of the nearest fire department, police officer, and your children’s doctor. 

  • Things and foods your children are allergic to, if there are any

The best measure is prevention, so you have to make sure your nanny knows the ins and out of your children’s nutrition and habits. 

To make everything clear for your new nursemaid, let him or her watch how you treat your children and have them ask questions they may have. Afterward, you may want to check on how the sitter works. Ask him or her to spend time with your children while you are home so you can make any suggestions or make your final decision about hiring this person. 

If you feel everything is fine with your nanny, your schedule is a little less tight. However, you should remember that you have to stay contactable even if you are positive your kids are in good hands. 

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Choosing a nanny may be a long and complicated process because it must be a person you can trust with your kids. Whatever your inquiries are, as long as they concern the sitter’s work and your children, it is absolutely normal for you to ask all the questions you may have about them. To choose a good nanny, you should go through a basic checklist of the person’s adequacy and responsibility. However, you should also listen to your instinct when making the final decision. 

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