Hiring a babysitter or nanny is a pretty big deal for parents. The first venture to find and hire a babysitter can be a moment filled with both nervous anticipation and excitement. Pre-baby, a night out or a shopping trip may have been a simple case of grabbing your purse or wallet and your keys, but now you have to make sure that you remember everything.
Whether you’re hiring a babysitter for a one-time job or want somebody who you can work together with over the long term to make sure that your child has only the best love and care, the biggest question you’re probably asking yourself is: ‘how can I be sure I’ll get it right?’
We’ve put together some top tips for hiring a babysitter for the first time, to help you ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Be Prepared with a Background Check
If you spend some time putting the thought into who you hire as a babysitter for your little one, leaving them on their own for the first time is going to be much easier on you. Take steps to ensure that you are choosing an experienced, reliable babysitter who’s been thoroughly reference checked and vetted. You can find local services that pair parents up with reliable, experienced and sitters or take some time to conduct your own checks.
Before hiring a babysitter, you can use a public records domain to find out more about them. Check for any arrest records by entering their details into the form provided; if your potential babysitter is hiding any arrests from their past, you can find them at publicrecordsreviews.com. Then you can decide whether to look for another potential sitter or simply speak to this one about the arrest, depending on how serious you deem it to be.
Be Clear and Upfront About Payment
Knowing when and how much to pay a babysitter can be bewildering. A good, experienced babysitter who is in this line of work full-time is likely going to have hourly or daily set rates, so be sure to speak to them about this upfront in order to make sure that the rates they charge are in your budget.
Babysitters will have different preferences about how and when they are to be paid. Be sure to discuss this beforehand so that you can be ready with cash to put down as a deposit when you drop your children off or let the babysitter into your home. Make sure that you know whether you’ll be paying with cash, or via bank transfer or another option like PayPal. Some babysitters have a website that allows you to make payments using your debit or credit card online.
Ask About Their Previous Experience
Spending some time speaking to potential babysitters about their previous experience will help you choose the right one for you and put your mind at rest, too. If you have a child with special educational needs, for example, it can be very reassuring to speak to a potential babysitter who perhaps has a special needs child of their own, or is experienced with caring for children with learning difficulties.
Be sure to ask as many relevant questions as you can; the more you ask, the more you will learn about whether or not a babysitter is the right fit for you and your children. One of the main reasons for problems arising with babysitting is a lack of communication, so make sure that along with asking them questions, you are clear about your routines and expectations. Speak to them about anything that’s important to your kids, like favorite cups, toys and cuddly teddies to take to bed. Ensure that they know how to use the TV remote, where to find the phone, and how your little one likes their night light.
Check Any Relevant Qualifications
Finally, many babysitters will bring a wealth of experience to the table in the form of childcare programs and other relevant qualifications that they have undertaken. If you’d prefer to hire a babysitter who’s qualified in childcare or has medical training, be sure to check this before you decide who to go with.
Checking qualifications is usually simple enough. If your babysitter advertises their services and lists the qualification as a key selling point – for example, they are also a registered nurse – they should make it easy for you to check this by offering a copy of their certificate or references from a previous employer who would have required them to have this qualification.
If your babysitter hasn’t made their qualification details available, then all you need to do is ask to see it. An experienced, reliable babysitter will be more than willing to show it to you. In fact, refusal or reluctance to show you a qualification they say they have could be a red flag to consider.
As a parent, you need to know that you can trust anybody you leave your kids with. Work through the above checks to ensure peace of mind.