5 Easy Steps to Find and Keep a Great Babysitter
For parents, finding and keeping a good babysitter is a lot like Indian Jones finding the Holy Grail – quite an adventure. The task is especially daunting for new parents, who worry about leaving their child with a “stranger.” Here are some easy steps to help new parents and old pros find the perfect babysitter for their family:
Ask a Friend. Finding a great babysitter is often as easy as asking a friend. Ask close friends, family and coworkers (with children) about their babysitter. While some may not want to share their beloved babysitter, others may make recommendations. Before making a full commitment and asking them for their babysitter’s number, ask them a few simple questions: How long have you worked with your babysitter? How old is your babysitter? What do you pay your babysitter? Is your babysitter CPR certified? These simple questions will save you precious time in your babysitter search.
Babysitter Services. If you had no luck with your friends, family or coworkers, ask your computer. The Internet is a great tool, and there are several organized babysitting services online. While referrals are great, these online services can be equally as helpful. Many of these services let you virtually shop for the ideal babysitter. You can browse babysitters’ pictures and profiles, and learn more about potential candidates before you even talk to them.
Schedule an Interview. Getting to know your babysitter right before you go out is not the time to get acquainted. Before hiring a babysitter, schedule an interview either by phone or in person. If you have more than one potential babysitter, go ahead and interview all of them. You never know when your first-choice babysitter may be unavailable, so it’s a good idea to have a backup. Make sure that you are fully prepared before the interview, with a list of questions, your expectations, and any pertinent information that you would like to discuss. In general, you’ll want to make sure that you cover the following subjects: previous experience, rules, emergencies and compensation.
Review. When your new babysitter comes over for the first time, it is important to do a quick and simple review. Depending on whether you had a phone interview, you may want to introduce them to your child(ren) and show them the layout of your home. More importantly, you’ll want to review emergency contact information. Post emergency contact information and pertinent information about your whereabouts on the fridge. It is a good idea to quickly review this information with your babysitter, and ask them if they have any questions. When you return, be sure to review again. Ask him or her how things went.
Respect the Relationship. When you’ve found the right babysitter, remember to respect your special relationship. If you’re happy with your choice, you’ll want to keep your babysitter happy. After all, they can terminate the relationship too. If you’re happy with their performance, tell them. Everyone appreciates a compliment, and it is important that your babysitter knows that you value him/her. Make sure that you honor the agreed upon compensation. Never try to renegotiate. If you can, and your babysitter deserves it, tip your babysitter. Never be late, if you can help it. If you feel like you might be late, call to let your babysitter know. A good babysitter is hard to find. If you’re not careful, you could lose your great babysitter to someone else. If you treat your babysitter with respect, you’re more likely to have a long-lasting relationship.