Struggling? Here Are The Tips You Need To Find The Right Babysitter
One of the most stressful and intimidating things one can do as a parent, is attempt to find someone to entrust with the huge responsibility of taking care of your children while you are away. The very thought of leaving your children with a stranger can be hard, and it makes the process of finding said nanny even harder.
So where do you begin? Well, in case you haven’t already guessed it – there is an app for that. In fact, there are a handful of apps for that. If the app route is one you’re interested in, these are a great place to start:
- UrbanSitter – Urbansitter searches your local area to find the top-rated babysitters and even shows reviews and recommendations from your neighbors. Not only is the site free to use, if you live in a heavily populated area, there is are generally a large pool of sitters available in all price ranges. The site boasts that most requests receive a response in 15 minutes. Using the site is free and if you live in a major metropolitan area, you’ll find many babysitters across a range of cost options.
- Care.com – Care is a matchmaking site, except instead of helping you find the partner of your dreams to swoop you off your feet, it’s designed for – yup – you guessed it – connecting parents and sitters. Although it originally started out as a website, Care now has an app that makes searching profiles and messaging potential sitters as quick and easy as finding a Friday night date. They’ve been around for over 10 years and are very reputable with things like background checks and monitoring.
- SitterCity – Sittercity is also another website that helps match parents to local care providers, and one of the oldest sources in the game (been around since 2001!) The site also allows parents to leave Yelp-style reviews for sitters, and also options to request background and motor vehicle checks.
- Sitting Around – The cost of a nanny and sitter definitely can add up. If you’re tight on funds, this may seem like a luxury service you can only dream of. But thankfully there are options like Sitting Around. Sitting Around connects you to local babysitting co-ops, where you and other parents nearby can trade sitting hours. Membership to the site costs only $15 per year and the babysitting is free!
- eNannysource – If you’re looking for more long-term service – like a full-time nanny, eNannysource is for you. This mostly web-based service helps connects parents with qualified local nannies. You’re not going to find your Friday night sitter here, but it’s great for those who need the extra full time help.
Maybe the app route isn’t for you and you’ve decided to find a sitter the old-fashioned way, and it comes time to hold an in person interview. What kinds of questions should you be asking to make sure you make the right decision? A good place to start is to cross off all the questions you SHOULDN’T be asking.
Questions to avoid
- Anything about sexual orientation – It’s none of your business.
- Political beliefs – You may think it’s important, but again, shouldn’t be affecting the care of your child.
- Race – Always a no-no.
- Religion – Not a good idea.
- Relationship/marital status – Not really any of your business.
Okay so we got those out of the way. Now onto the important stuff. Below is a list of questions you SHOULD be asking your potential caregiver. These 30 questions range from lifestyle, background and experience to desired salary and availability. Start with these questions and you’ll have the answers you need to make a great childcare selection.
Questions to ask
- Previous jobs? How long were you there? Why did you leave?
- What is the extent of your experience working with children?
- What ages of children have you worked with? (Important to make sure they’ve had experience working with children around the same age.
- What do you love about working with children?
- What do you find difficult about working with children?
- Are you trained in infant CPR and first aid?
- Do you have any children of your own?
- What are your hobbies? What makes you happy outside of work?
- Do you have experience cooking and preparing meals for children?
- Do you have a clean driving record and feel comfortable driving? If not, do you have experience with children on public transit?
- Do you have any pet allergies?
- How do you spend your days off?
- What is your current schedule like?
- Why did you choose to become a childcare provider?
- What are some things you do with the children you take care of?
- How would you handle a crying infant?
- Do you have experience bathing children and changing diapers?
- Do you have experience handling children’s medications?
- Can you swim? Do you have experience taking children to the pool?
- Are you comfortable taking children to extra curricular activities?
- How would you make sure my child completes their homework?
- What does being a caregiver mean to you?
- What are your long-term and short-term life plans?
- What is your experience doing housework?
- What are you looking for in a care job?
- Can you commit to this job for at least one year?
- What is your availability on weekends and evenings?
- What are your expectations from us as parents?
- How soon can you start?
- What is your desired salary?
So after you’ve gotten your interviews finished and you’ve selected your choice – it’s always recommended and encouraged to do a trial run. This is important to see not only how well the sitter does, but also how your children feel about them afterwards. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s the kids who should have the final say!
Have any tips on finding the right childcare solution? Share in the comments below!