Finding a reliable babysitter can really be overwhelming but it is not impossible. The following could serve as practical guide to help in this quest.
The starting point
The best and probably the most important place to begin is via personal recommendation. You could ask your relatives, close friends and colleagues at work to tell you about their babysitters. Of course this does not mean that you must jump at whoever is recommended. Just because a babysitter meets one person’s needs does not mean he/she would meet yours or be the right one for you. It is therefore important that you ask series of questions regarding the potential babysitter. This would go a long way to give you a pretty good idea about the person and help you decide if it is worth giving the person a call for a meet.
Another possible option is that some individuals often go for their babies’ handlers; those who are employed by worship centers to look after children while their parents are in service. The possible reason for such considering such option is because such places of worship do not just hire any Tom, Dick or Harry for such sensitive jobs. They do a thorough background check of such care givers to ensure they are not individuals with questionable background. The background checks also ensure that such individuals have received the necessary training to handle and provide care for children. Because the child may already have formed certain bonds and level of familiarity with such people, the transition process is usually smooth.
A third option is to visit a babysitters’ website. Such sites are usually operated by babysitters’ agencies. On a simple babysitter search, you can find websites that provide parents with profile information of a pool of potential sitters they parents can choose from. In the profile provided, references are made to training and experience. Some of these online agencies also investigate and check the background of their babysitters.
Knowing if a prospective sitter would be a good fit
To determine if a sitter would be a good fit, it is important that he/she be interviewed. Likely questions that could be asked include: name, phone number, address, age, citizenship status, ability to drive, openness to carrying out chores, cooking and laundry, openness to working overtime, other commitment, fee charge and so on.
Aside from interviews, it is also important to pay attention to the following as they would help you know whether the potential sitter is good for the job:
They must present very good references
Because babysitting involves the safety of your child, it is important that you demand for references from the potential sitter. When you do get the references, put a call through to the (and meet the if possible) and see what they can tell you about the work ethics of the potential sitter in his/her previous job.
Do they have the necessary training?
A sitter with child handling experience and training should have an advantage over one with no such experience as parents would want their child in safe and competent hands, especially in cases of emergency.
Is the prospective sitter on time?
Appearing late is an indication that all is not well. This usually gives the impression of irresponsibility and lack of seriousness on the part of the sitter.
Does he/she have a good rapport with the children?
Some parents hire babysitter after a brief interview and then introduce them to the children. This is not usually enough. It is important that parents observes how she handle issues relating to the children like when they ask her questions and how she generally interact with them.
It is also important that parents try to get the opinion of their children concerning the sitter. This may not necessarily be through direct question but through questions that might give them an idea of how their children spend their time with the sitter.