Finding a babysitter can be one of the most difficult tasks when you are a working mother. Knowing that someone else is going to be spending extensive time with your child can make it hard to find someone you trust. Most moms can commiserate about how difficult it is to leave their children in the care of someone else but luckily there are some great ways to find a child care provider that can put your fears at ease.
Check out these five tips on how to locate a babysitter that is perfect for your family and lifestyle.
- Use who you know. There are probably tons of people around you on a daily basis who may know the perfect place to start looking for a babysitter. Start by asking friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, doctors and parents in your pediatrician’s office for referrals.
- Conduct a telephone interview before an in-person interview.You can tell a lot from a person by how they sound and act on the phone. Make sure to screen the person via phone before an in-person interview to spare yourself the trauma of meeting someone who doesn’t meet your expectations.
- Check their references. Once you find some potential candidates, have them provide at least three references for you to personally contact and make sure they actually have experience. Call each and every reference they provide to see if what they’ve told you thus far is true and if the person feels that they would make a great candidate for a babysitter. If their references check out and the telephone interview went well, ask them to come to your home to meet you and your children.
- Make sure they enjoy interacting with children rather than receiving a paycheck. Before you hire someone full time make sure to have them watch your children at least once while you’re at home. Don’t stand over them, but be nearby so you can observe and hear how they interact and play with your children and how they naturally get along.
- Run a background check. This may seem invasive, but it is necessary to ensure that your child is safe with the babysitter and that you too feel comfortable leaving your children alone with them. (Many online babysitting services offer background checks.)