1. Thoroughness of History - Before hiring any person to babysit your child, you should review references of the person applying for the job. While a thorough background check can provide you with a great deal of information, the first thing you should do is find out if this person could be a viable candidate. In the event of hiring a high school student, contacting his or her parents to get information is always a good idea.
2. Interaction - The behavior of your child while they are around the candidate can be an indicator as to how well they will behave if you are away. Will your child feel comfortable around this person? Will your child disregard instructions from the babysitter? How will the babysitter react if your child doesn't behave? All of these are important aspects to consider when hiring your care provider. Some will introduce the babysitter to the child at an open function such as a barbecue or inviting them over for dinner. While the child's behavior will be determined by your own presence, judging how well he or she reacts around this person can help you make a decision.
3. Be Informative - When hiring the caregiver, he or she needs to have a list of important information about emergency care and whether or not your child has allergies to specific products. While your babysitter may think it's a fun idea to make peanut butter cookies one night, your child could be deathly allergic to peanuts. If the child is too young, he or she won't know any better. You babysitter needs to know pertinent information regarding your child before the shift even starts. Allergies, visits from friends, allowable foods and the like need to be properly established immediately.
4. Rules of the House - Your babysitter should also have a list of the house rules magnetized to the fridge or other obvious location. Your child may try to finesse his or her way into staying up later, playing video games longer, or eating too much junk food. Reading this list of rules to your babysitter while the child is present will solidify that information for both in order to eliminate miscommunications. This also creates the mentality that you are still in control even though you're away. Since you are the one reading the rules to both your child and the babysitter, the child will understand that these are set in stone, so-to-speak.
5. Contact Information - A list of numbers pinned to the wall or other location should be present in case of emergency. While some of these numbers could be fairly obvious, your child may need to access them as well if something happens to your caregiver. Numbers on this list should include: 911 Your cell phone number Local police dispatch - especially in rural areas Poison control The location you are at Your parent's phone number - in case you can't be reached
6. Pay - Always discuss pay with the babysitter beforehand. There should be no miscommunications as to what he or she is getting paid and what tasks are entailed. While some parents may simply want someone to make sure the child doesn't tear the house apart, other parents may pay more should the babysitter clean up a few minor messes that may occur during the job.
7. Sitter Rules - As your child has rules, so should the babysitter. Having friends over or spending too much time on social media sites can be detrimental to keeping your child safe. Your babysitter needs to understand that this is like any other job and distractions should be limited. You wouldn't invite friends over to your workplace, and your home shouldn't be viewed as a local hangout. These are only but a few ways that can help you create a safe situation for your child by hiring your babysitter. Although some candidates may not need a background check, such as school students, it may not be a bad idea to know exactly who it is that will be caring for your child while you're away. Previous experience doesn't matter if they are running from the law in several other states.
www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.
Thanks Rachel Thomas for your thorough guest post. This is a very important topic. It can be really hard to leave our children with a sitter. In fact we rarely left our children with anyone except each other or a few relatives and on occasion a sitter.
A few more tips from Carol and Stacy: Trust your gut! Everything may look all right but if it still doesn't feel right find another sitter. Ask you children questions about the activities they did while you were away. Ask them how they feel about their new sitter. Do they feel safe? Comfortable?