Finding excellent childcare and babysitters is a prospect that makes most of us shudder. The questions we have around perspective sitters are immense and it is hard to know where to begin and who to ask for guidance. In today’s headline screaming, scaremongering, scandalous world, we can feel very much up against it when it comes to childcare for our precious little angels.
Ask Friends for Recommendations
By far, word of mouth is the best recommendation for any babysitter. If you’re looking for a regular evening babysitter, then ask your friends who they use. Babysitters are few and far between and good ones are like hen’s teeth. If your friends rave about their sitter, then grab the details quick.
Assess your Childcare Needs
It may seem daft, but your babysitting needs can change, they may increase or decrease and it is important to ensure you have covered all aspects. If you have infants, then there will be extensive information that has to be passed over, so type a document detailing your child/children’s needs. Older children will usually be able to voice their own opinions on what they want, but obviously, a written list of do’s and don’ts is necessary to provide tip-top care from your babysitter. Equally, some babysitters will want to have a regular job, so the more information you can impart, the easier the whole process will be.
Interview More than One Babysitter
Were you an employer advertising for a new employee, you would interview more than one person. Babysitters are looking for jobs and of course, you want the best for your little ones. Interview more than one babysitter and introduce them to your children. Look for vital signs such as engaging well with children, making the children feel at ease and if your children are old enough, then ask their opinion. After all, your children will be spending some time with the person you choose.
Do a Trial Run
Always. If you have narrowed down your search to a couple of potential babysitters, then a couple of hours of a trial run will be beneficial to help you choose. If the time of year is appropiate, then a couple of hours in the garden is a good idea so you can view interaction with the sitter and your children. If no garden is available, or the weather is appalling, then some time in the house with the children on a project is another good idea.
Ask for References
You would were you a hiring a childcare professional! So when considering employment for potential candidates, the same should apply to your children. It is vital you ask for references and most babysitters these days will have them. You are offering employment, in your own home with your children, references will provide vital information regarding the candidates and gives you the opportunity to check with previous parents on the suitability of each person.
Follow your Gut Feeling
Not your heart, it is always our stomachs that warn us of any uncomfortable feelings. Equally, our guts tell us when something is right. This is a very personal and almost intimate relationship and you will be able to sense your feel good endorphins when the right person comes along, who bonds with you and your children. Children can be fickle, so your gut instinct will help you to find the jewel in the crown.
Ros Davies writing for Lebreton Recruitment the leading employment agency specialising in childcare.