We all want what's best for our kids, whether we are with them or away from home. Here's a few quick tips to help you choose the best babysitter for your kids.
1. Get By With A little Help From Your Friends. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a great place to start. Ask family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers about the babysitters they use. Facebook Community groups can be another great resource.
2. A Little Education Goes a Long Way. Make sure they have completed a Babysitting training program, such as the American Red Cross Babysitting Class. Ideally, they should also have CPR certification through the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.
3. Ask and You Will Receive. Ask for a resume. Even if they don't have a lot of babysitting experience yet, all their other experience can make them better babysitters. Playing sports can mean teamwork, the ability to lose gracefully, and the athleticism and energy to keep up with your kids. Playing an instrument could signal dedication, patience, and perseverance. A babysitter that speaks a second language could pass an interest and knowledge of another culture to your own children. A babysitter with cooking experience could prepare meals while you are away.
4. Trust Your Gut. Set up an interview first so they can tour your house, meet and interact with you and your kids, and so you can get a feel for them. They can be the greatest babysitter on paper, but if they don't mesh well with you and your family, that paper won't matter. Make sure they engage with your kids and ask about their interests. Remember that if they are new to babysitting, they might be shy at first but will likely warm up after a little familiarity.
5. Set Clear expectations. Tell the babysitter what you expect up front regarding rules (such as no texting or screens), expectations (such as babysitter will prepare dinner or help with homework), and any extra duties on top of childcare (such as housekeeping). If they know exactly what is expected of them now, there can be less room for excuses later.