Basic advice for choosing a babysitter

Basic advice for choosing a babysitter

Your work may be demanding and keep you away from home for long periods. Your relatives may not be able to look after your children. You may just need a few hours for yourself. Whatever the reason, choosing a babysitter to look after your child seems to be the only solution. Looking for the person who will be responsible for your children while you are away is a very important step, so have a look at some basic tips to ensure you make a good choice!

1st Stage: Interview
When you first get to know the babysitter, you should ask her some questions so you can find out more about her and what she knows about children. You will also see how she behaves towards you. Questions can relate to the following topics:

  • Her plans and expectations: ask her about herself so you can find out more about her personality, but also to see if she wants to work for you.
  • Her teaching/nursery skills: these will be very useful when she is looking after your children.
  • First Aid: Check that she has First Aid skills for emergencies.
  • Creative play: ask her to tell you how she will engage your children in creative play.
  • Knowledge of Cooking: ask her what meals / foods she thinks are nutritious for children.

Tip: Pay attention to details, such as if she is clean and respectable looking and if she is confident and self-assured. It would also be useful if she lives near you so she can get to you quickly if something unexpected happens.

2nd Stage: Meeting the whole family
After the first contact, it would be good to have a second meeting where the other members of the family will also be present so they can get to know the babysitter. In this way, everyone will be involved in the decision. You can mention more details about your child's daily routine and everything you would like her to watch out when she is looking after your child. You could also talk about your “house rules”, about any medications to be given to your child or about your schedule.

At this point, it would be helpful if you all went for a walk together somewhere (e.g. to the nearest park) to see the babysitter “in action”, but also to make sure that she is responsible and respects all the road safety rules.

If at this stage you feel that you have found the right person, do not hesitate to ask for references and to get in touch with previous employers.

 3rd Stage: Getting used to each other at home
On the first day, ask the babysitter to come a little early to get familiar with the house, to find out how appliances work and where emergency numbers etc. are. It would be a good idea to phone fairly frequently during the first few days to check that everything is going well. Make an effort to find out all the details about how the day went, both from the babysitter and from your child,

Tip: Do not rule out some “on the spot checks” You could go back home early and unannounced a few times to make sure everything is working properly.

If the babysitter meets a lot of the specifications we have mentioned above you are very lucky because you have found the ideal babysitter!

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