As the need to work for both spouses increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to take care of the children at home. As such, the need for a babysitter arises. A babysitter is the one who takes care of children while their parents are away.
Selecting the right babysitter for your little one is bit tricky. However, following certain criteria, you can hire one suited to your baby's needs. These criteria may seem to be simple, but are very important in ensuring the safety and comfort for your children.
Things to know about the babysitter:
Age and experience: Babysitters are usually aged 13 years or older. An individual who is energetic, compassionate, and alert with sharp focus of things around would be suitable. Further, the prospective candidate should have sufficient experience in order to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the children.
If the babysitter is of school-going age, it may be difficult for her to take care of your children during school hours. In such cases you should consider hiring a senior citizen. Seniors often have the skills and experience necessary to care for children as many have raised children of their own.
Special training (CPR & first aid): The going-to-be babysitter for your child should have professional training in CPR and first aid. Having this certification, means the sitter has special skills that may be useful while babysitting. Also, the babysitter will be able to give your child first aid should an immediate need arise.
Acquired skills: Apart from professional training, the applicant should have skills such as driving, cooking, and tutoring. These are essential as sometimes the babysitter may be needed to perform such activities, when the parents of the child are away. These skills should be confirmed and discussed with former employers.
Availability: The sitter should be ready to take your place when you are not at home. Many a times, parents have to work multiple jobs to make a living. Under these circumstances, it is essential that your babysitter is available when you need them.
Habits: The babysitter you are going to hire should have healthy habits. She should not smoke or drink around the children, and should not be addicted to illegal substances. This is because any of these will hamper her while doing her duty, which may prove dangerous to your baby.
Cost of hiring: The cost of hiring depends on the process you choose to hire the sitter. If you go to a registered placement agency for babysitters, the cost of hiring may be little higher as they conduct the necessary interview and other formalities such as checking references and preforming criminal background checks. It is always advised to go to a registered placement agency.
While hiring the sitter make sure that you select the right person for this important job. It is important for you to check the validity of the references provided by the sitter. This is important as it gives you an opportunity to learn more about the sitter before hiring her. If you compare the references with your observations in the interview, you can judge the suitability of the applicant. Further, you might face a situation where the candidate might do well in the interview, but after checking references discover the sitter is not suited for the job. Hence, checking references will give you peace of mind and the confidence that you have selected someone suitable to care for your children. Registered and reputable nanny referral agencies are very good in this aspect, so it is always better to take their help.
Checking the background of the sitter is very crucial. This includes checking for any criminal cases pending against the sitter, if she is involved in any accidents and subsequent legal prosecution, etc. Do not feel awkward or hesitated when questioning the sitter about such matters. The focus should be on your child's safety and needs.
Consider hiring through reputable referral agencies:
Opting for referral agencies to hire the sitter is a wise option. These agencies will have a suitable pool of sitters that they work with. But, while choosing one, see to it that the agency you contact is a reputable one. As per your requirements, these agencies check the personal suitability of the applicant and conduct interviews and other necessary procedures essential for hiring a sitter. They check for reference validity, and conduct the necessary criminal background checks.
Once they select the candidates, you will give your final approval. Thus, you can get one for caring your little ones with ease.
Screening a babysitter before hiring is thus, a daunting task, given the tight work schedule and hassles involved in hiring such personnel. In the absence of past experience with a babysitter working at your home, going to a reputable referential agency would help you.