In Good Hands: Dos and Don’ts in Finding the Right Nanny or Babysitter

It’s one of the most important decisions we make as parents, so don’t take it lightly.

When it’s time to find someone to help with caring for your child, it’s hard to know where to begin. This person will have to create a relationship with his or her charge, occasionally disciplining tantrums or big bouts of crying at your leaving– and let’s face it, that is a heavy load.

You will want this person to be fun and safe, take your child’s interests seriously, and hopefully, foster a good dynamic. It’s nerve-wracking trying to find this person, even if the duty is only needed occasionally. So here are some easy pointers and solutions to get you in the mindset of finding the right caregiver for your child.

Do use online services. In this world of cheap, tech-managed labor, there are online services that will vet candidates for you, and help you connect to locals who are available when you need them and at the right price. Client ratings will help you in the decision-making process.

Do talk on the phone before you meet in person. We often skip this step, but you can save yourself a ton of time if you give yourself the chance to hear a voice and get a sense of personhood.

Don’t skimp on the money. It’s common for us to think back to when we babysat ourselves and assume that 10 bucks an hour is still the going rate. Not so, as even with babysitting, inflation is at work. Look for Early Education Credits, CPR, and other related areas of study because that will ensure your sitter or nanny is actually looking for professional development, rather than a quick buck.

Do ask your friends and neighbors for referrals. This is a fast way to circumnavigate the problem. You also have the opportunity to ask questions of people you trust.

Do look potential caregivers in the eye and ask direct questions. Most people will answer honestly with this approach and their answers should tell you something beyond just the words. They should answer with confidence and specifics. Don’t forget to ask about a driving record, even if your child won’t need transportation.

Don’t ignore your intuition. You don’t even need to label the feeling if it comes up, but if there are any red flags at all, move on.

Do a Google search. Super important, and most parents don’t do it! Look for the candidate’s online details to match up with his or her work history and personal details.

Do have your future nanny or sitter over to play with your child first. Especially if your children are young and unaccustomed to being without you, you want to settle them in with their new friend slowly. You might ever consider just going out for an hour or two the first time so you are illustrating that you will come back.

With a little homework at the beginning of your search, you can eliminate a lot of the chaff and find someone who is a great fit for your family that you and your child genuinely enjoy being around. The idea is to establish an ongoing relationship so that when you need a night out or a few extra hours at work, your babysitter is the next best thing to your child being with you.






About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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