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Choosing a sitter can be quite a daunting and nerve-wracking task – in reality, you are hiring a stranger to take care of your baby. So when it comes to hiring a sitter for your child, you should be picky. That’s why you need to take a little more extra time and care when finding the right person. To ensure you find the best fit for you and your family, check out these seven tactics.
The best place to start is by asking friends, family, and coworkers which sitters they’ve used and would recommend. This should at least give you a couple of names to work with. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to hire someone just because your best friend recommended them, that doesn’t mean they will be right for your family.
You should also consider doing a little online work to scope out a few other potentials using a sitter website like sittercity.com., care.com or local facebook babysitting groups. You can easily browse through the online profiles and find a sitter that meets the specific requirements you have. Many agencies also do background checks and provide information on their relative experience, which can help you save time on the scouting process.
When it comes to your child’s safety due diligence is crucial. We recommend asking for a list of references and giving each a call. And don’t feel bad about asking lots of questions - the more you know about the potential candidate, the better. Any parent you are calling will understand that.
You wouldn’t hire an inexperienced daycare provider to take care of your child so why would you hire an under-qualified babysitter? Certifications like First Aid training and experience working with children in the past can demonstrate that they take their job seriously and are prepared for anything that might arise. While every babysitter, of course, needs to land their first gig at some point, it’s up to you whether or not you choose to hire someone inexperienced.
The interview is the only time you get to analyze the sitter in person. So try not to spend the entire session asking questions. Allow the sitter to interact directly with your child during this time. This will give you the time you need to see if you like the way they talk, play, and respond to your little one before you hire them.
A test run can really weed out the bad sitters from the good ones. Give each potential candidate a short babysitting session. Call them over to take care of your child for a few hours and then come back earlier. If you come home early and see a scene that you shouldn’t see (like the sitter playing on their phone absentmindedly), they probably aren't serious about the job.
This is a great way to see what is really going on, particularly if you have a baby who cannot tell you what is happening while you are away. Definitely stop by the playground or home when you know your child is there to see how your sitter is interacting with your baby.
We all have instincts that we sometimes ignore in favour of more rational arguments. When it comes to the most precious people in your life, go with your gut. Even if a sitter has a perfect resume and references, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
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