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Babysitter Needed: How To Screen Your Babysitter

Sep 6, 2008
A lot of people would respond to a babysitter needed ad. Unfortunately though, not every candidate is a good choice. The only way for you to find a person who can really take care of your kids the way you want them to is to screen applicants. How do you go about screening possible babysitters?

Ask About Experience

A Resume - A person applying to be a sitter would normally have a resume. Good applicants would have organized resumes that would give you an idea about their experience. It is however, still a good idea to personally ask a sitter to expound on these written experiences. You should be interested to know how long she has been babysitting and how many families she has sat for. It is also crucial to ask a potential sitter the ages of kids she has watched over and what kid ages she is most comfortable with. There is a very big difference between taking care of an infant and a toddler.

Ask About Training

You would want to know about their First Aid training and experience. A lot of accidents or emergencies can happen while you are away. You should therefore be interested to know if your potential sitter has had some first aid training. This may also include short courses on emergency preparedness. It is however, unrealistic for you to expect all sitters to have comprehensive courses on these topics. If an applicant doesn't have extra courses, ask her how she would respond to certain emergencies. Be specific in providing imaginary situations that require prompt action.

Inquire on Real Experiences

Dealing with Crucial Points - Those who respond to your babysitter needed ad have their ways of dealing with situations. You should try to find our how they deal with crucial points. This includes their manner of child discipline, how they put kids to bed and how they deal with difficult kids.

Kids - What is important is that they can deal with kids firmly and creatively without resorting to hitting or shouting at kids. Moreover, a sitter's techniques should be agreeable to you and should abide by your own personal parenting rules.

Setting Work Preferences

Ask your prospective sitters about their work preferences. Their preferred work hours should match your needs. You may need a sitter for example to stay for the whole night or to stay for the weekend. Aside from work hours, determine too if a sitter would be willing to perform other duties aside from watching over kids. They may need to do some cooking for the kids' meals for example or they you may need them to take the kids to school. The amount and terms of payment should also be set.

Get References

References are important. Every sitter should have references. Ask for a couple of families your sitter has worked for. Give some of these people a call and ask about their experience with your sitter. It would also be good if your sitter can show some official identity or background check clearances.
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