Finding the Perfect Babysitter

This is a guest post by Rachael Cherry. Rachael is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers.

When it comes to finding a babysitter, you don’t want to worry about second-guessing your choice. You need to have a great deal of trust in this individual for he or she is responsible for the most important aspect of your life while you’re away. You don’t want to spend time at work or a night out worrying if your children are safe with the person you hired as a babysitter. What can you do to help ensure you find the perfect candidate to care for your little ones?

1. Use a Reputable Agency – Nearly every babysitting and nanny agency provides screening for candidates. Many of these organizations will go to great lengths to help you find the best person for your particular needs. Personal bio, profiles and more can be obtained prior to meeting the individual allowing you to choose which you would like to interview for the position.

2. Detailed Applications – Should you rather not use an agency, make sure you have a great deal of detail in your application. Contacts, references, job experience and education are among some of the more important aspects you may want to know. Medical experience such as CPR and first aid could also be a welcome addition to the application.

3. Contacting References – While no one puts a reference on an application that can be harmful to employment, speaking with these individuals could provide you with a bit more information about the candidate. Devise uncommon questions to ask these references in order to reduce “coaching.” You want answers to be truthful and not feel like it’s being read off of a notebook.

4. Ground Rules – Before hiring your babysitter, make sure the candidate understands your own ground rules of the house. By explaining what is acceptable prior to employment, you reduce confusion and misunderstanding. Go over aspects such as:

  • Forms of discipline
  • Acceptable snacks
  • Kinds of meals
  • Bedtimes
  • Personal guests
  • Babysitter-planned activities

5. Scheduling Conflicts – Make sure your babysitter understands the importance of maintaining schedules. A babysitter that is frequently late can have a profound impact on your work as well as increasing your stress level. This individual needs to treat the job with professionalism and understand that your job can be affected if he or she is late.

6. Interaction with Children – At some point during the hiring process, it may not be a bad idea to introduce the children and watch how they react to the candidate. If a child shows discontent for the babysitter, it could make for a volatile situation between them. However, keep in mind that your children may be displeased with having a babysitter in the first place and could merely be acting out their frustrations.

7. Background Checks – There is nothing wrong with performing a detailed background check in order to qualify an individual to babysit your children. These can be quite useful in complimenting the candidate’s interview or demonstrating if he or she has ulterior motives. The more thorough this background check is, the more at ease you could feel with hiring the individual.

Not everyone is cut out to care for children. However, this doesn’t mean that he or she is a bad person. Get to know the potential candidate before making your decision. Don’t take your children’s safety for granted as it could be a mistake that could turn out to be harmful for your little ones or worse.

Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.