Babysitters: how to find a babysitter for your family
Finding babysitting jobs can be daunting. If you’ve experienced hiring or working as a babysitter, it can be hard to know what you look for in a potential candidate. All you know is that you want someone who is competent in looking after children, and someone that you can trust to do so.
You may have friends and family who has suggested their own babysitters for the job, but every family is different. Each family has their own values and how they run their households. What one babysitter may offer to one family; they won’t fit in with another.
A good first step is to decide what kind of babysitting needs you need covered. Do you just need a casual baby sitter, or do you need to hire a nanny instead?
what level of care – if you just need someone to mind your school aged children for a few hours in the evening, or if you need someone to help care for a newborn baby
what the babysitting tasks will involve – such as helping children with homework, getting them ready and putting them to bed.
any other factors, like your parenting values, what your schedule will look like and if you need a sitter for the long term.
The most important thing is to be clear about your expectations.
Knowing these before you go on the hunt will make the process even easier for you. Babysitting is not always an easy task, looking for a sitter is exactly the same.
When you start interviewing, it could be a good idea to have the whole family around. This way you can see how the babysitter interacts with your children and how your children respond to them in return. Your sitter could look good on paper, but in person, they might not be the same. But remember, babysitting is supposed to be fun and casual. Don’t make the interviewing process too ridged and scary.
Do you need some guidance for your babysitter interview? Here are some questions you can ask to help you find the best babysitter job for your family.
What previous care giving experience do you have? This is a good basis question. This way you can get an idea of your sitters past experiences. Have they had to look after a few children at once? What was the age range of the children they have cared for? These factors can be very important depending on your family.
What is your availability? it’s always important to manage your availability expectations in a realistic manner. It’s also important to find a babysitter who has a compatible schedule to you. If you need your children to be looked after overnight, is that something they are happy and willing to do?
Are you happy to do any basic household tasks while my child is sleeping? You may not need any help with household duties but it could be good to ask and incorporate. Of course, a babysitter will help to tidy up after the kids, but do you need them to help tidy the rest of the house? Especially if they have some down time if the kids are sleeping or watching a movie. These expectations will need to be discusses so they can be managed realistically. If you want your babysitter to perform household duties then you may need to pay them a little extra to do so. This will be up to both parties to discuss.
What do you enjoy about babysitting? This is a good way to see how enthusiastic they are about babysitting. Otherwise, it may just be a means for pay for them. It’s up to you to decide what things you want from your babysitter.
What makes you good with children? What do kids like best about you? This question will make the babysitter think about how they work with children. It’s also a good way to see what kind of situations you can expect to find them in.
What are your go to activities when looking after kids? This can help get an idea of what kind of babysitter you will be hiring. It can also open a discussion about the type of caregiving, learning you like to provide for your kids, and see if they are happy to work with you and incorporate.
What would you do if you are faced with these challenges? And provide some examples – what if my child misbehaves, or they ask questions that you’re not comfortable with answering. This will open a discussion about your parenting style, expectations and different viewpoints on discipline and behaviour management that you can use to manage your expectations.
Do you have any formal qualifications in childcare or education? Another great question, but not necessarily a deal breaker – depending on your situation. This is a great way to gauge how committed they are to caring for children, and if they can help your kids with their learning, that’s just a bonus!
Are you trained in First aid and CPR? These are good follow up questions, also good to know in an emergency.
What can I do as a parent to help make your babysitting experience easier? Again, another way to manage expectations. Babysitting is a two-party system (three, if you include the children). You want to be comfortable with the babysitter, but they also want to be comfortable with you and your family, especially if they will be inside your house and taking care of your children.
What is your hourly rate? / This is what my rate is. Get this out of the way as soon as possible, so you can all move forward on the same page. This will also avoid any awkward questions down the track.
Lastly, always go with your instincts. If you like someone and you get along with them, then they might be the perfect person for you!
If you go in prepared with your expectations and respect for all parties involved, then you won’t encounter any problems. Always be honest and open, and make sure to have strong communication between yourself and your potential babysitter.
Perhaps you’ve gotten to this stage and you’ve decided you may need to hire a nanny instead of a babysitter? Try reading this article to get more information.
This is a learning experience, so be kind to yourself and most of all, enjoy the ride!