Babysitter Tips & Safety Info
Is This Safe?
The idea of using the Internet to find a babysitter is new, but when caution is exercised, finding a babysitter online is no different than finding a sitter through local supermarket ads or newspaper classifieds.
Our service is available to help parents find babysitters more quickly than traditional means. However, using this website is not a substitution for the interview process nor an excuse for carelessness. No matter how you find a babysitter, through the internet or through traditional means, we recommend you exercise caution.
- Bring your children to the interview to see how the interviewee interacts with them.
- Consider having the babysitter come over to babysit the first couple of times while you are still at home to get the sitter acclimated to the household, and to review the babysitter's behavior on the job.
- Be sure to check up on the babysitter over time to review household rules and address any questions he/she may have.
- Always set clear rules for the babysitter: What is he/she allowed to do? What would you disapprove of?
- Create a list of important information and put it next to your phone. This should include things like: Your house phone number, home address, your full name, cell phone/pager numbers, a nearby friend/relative who can help in case of emergency, emergency numbers, pediatrician's name and phone number, health insurance carrier and policy number, and list of any allergies or medical conditions the children may have.
- Talk to your children about how they feel about the babysitter regularly.
If you don't already have it, you'll need to first obtain some basic information from the babysitter, such as his or her full name, age, address and phone number. It is also important to obtain at least two references you can speak to. Interviews with babysitters are likely to be casual, but the following are questions you may want to ask, either in your initial phone contact or in an actual interview:
- Have you had experience taking care of other children? If so, how old were they and over what period of time (and/or how often) did you babysit for them?
- Have you completed any babysitter training, first aid, or CPR courses?
- What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies or other jobs?
- What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with children?
- What do you like most about babysitting and being with children? What do you like least?
- How much do you charge and what hours are you available?
- Do you have any questions for me?
Most importantly, be sure to select a babysitter that is fitting for you and your family's style. There are many babysitters to be found in the area--don't be afraid to reject a candidate because of a "gut" feeling or instinct. It's important you feel comfortable with your babysitter's personality, and the way they interact with your children.
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