Finding a babysitter can sometimes be a daunting task for parents. However, there are many ways on how you can find a qualified person for the job. You can put the word out in your social network or call a professional babysitting agency or use the internet to connect with babysitters and parents. In any case, it is still best to leave the care of your child to someone whom you trust such as a family, friend or a trusted neighbour.
How should you choose a babysitter?
Choosing your babysitter depends on your needs. If you are leaving your child to someone, the sitter should be old and mature enough to make right decisions in case of unforeseen circumstances. The American workplace approved recommends that you choose someone at least 11 years old. However, some experts believe that 14 is the right age for a child to assume major responsibilities, such as babysitting. Regardless of age, it is essential for children to have completed babysitting course and/or have adequate child-care experience before they can be given the task of caring for your child.
As parent, you are in the best position to judge an individual’s capabilities to care for your child. It is highly recommended that you interview your prospective babysitter. Talk to her about her past childcare experience or training, observe how she relates with your child, and then decide whether you can safely leave your child to her or not.
Adult or teen-age babysitter?
Many parents are quite unsure about hiring a teenager as a babysitter. Some parents fear that teenagers may not be able to provide proper care for their child. However, if a teenager has completed the Babysitting Training Course by the workplace approved, it is assumed that she has gained knowledge and skills necessary for proper childcare. The babysitting course offered by the workplace approved is very comprehensive and equips participants with basic childcare skills as well as how to handle possible emergency situations.
Meanwhile, if you are considering an adult as a sitter, your main concern is her previous babysitting experience as well as your comfort level when it comes to her skills and personality. It is not uncommon for parents to have a difficult time dealing with adult babysitters because of mismatch between their individual childcare styles and methods.
In any case, you have to require your potential babysitters to provide you with resume, training and work experience, and references. It is also recommended that you request for a complete police record.
Invest some time validating the sitter’s references. Call their previous employers and ask detailed questions about their working relationship with the prospective sitter. During the interview period, make sure you ask about the ages of the children she took care of and her responsibilities. If you will hire a teenager for babysitting job, be sure to call her parents to know more about her and how she handles responsibility.
Finally, make sure that your babysitter has completed – or is willing to take – infant first aid and CPR training courses. Also make sure that the sitter knows about Shaken Baby Syndrome.