Finding the Best Babysitter for your child can be nerve-wrecking. Make it easy for them (and you) with this checklist.
Thanks to Sitting Made Simple Dallas for making sitting simple for parents.
All my friends had kids the same time as me, so when it came time for me to find a sitter, no one I knew had a kid the right “babysitting age.” So I had to do some homework – not just for a few names, but also making sure that I had the right sitter for our family, and then getting her used to our house, our routines, and our expectations.
That was work.
Of course, that was my first child. Any parent with more than one child will tell you your attitude will change when you have another child. You learn what’s important and what’s not plus the things you really need to worry about.
So get to the point with these tips for finding your babysitter like a pro.
Finding the Best Babysitter
- Finding the Best Babysitting Candidates
- Learning About the Sitter
- Hiring the Babysitter – The Checklist
1. Finding the Best Babysitting Candidates
For me this was the hardest part…finding a few people that you didn’t know that would be ok to watch your kids while you weren’t there.
Ugh…no one seemed to fill that spot.
Ask your friends. However, after asking a few friends for their recommendations, I was able to find people that I didn’t know personally, but had great referrals of people that were experienced and trusted.
Search online services. There are several online services that can help you find candidates in your area. I’ve used a few that allowed me to find people in my local area. Many of them will also run criminal checks on the members, so then you can concentrate on the profile and learning more about your perfect match. Sitting Made Simple, a new service in Dallas, provides service to most of the North Texas area. Their criminal check includes a throughout process including:
- A childcare background, with all references checked.
- Possess and maintain a clean driving record.
- Complete, pass and maintain a clean background check.
- Certified in Infant & Child CPR
Local locations. For frequent babysitting services, a daycare might be able to accommodate your needs. For instance, you can find some churches, schools, and drop-in daycares include options for things like Mommy’s Day Out, short-term sitting, and even drop in daycare.
2. Learning about Your Sitter
Once you found a few candidates that seem to fit your needs, you can interview them.
However, a formal interview may not be exactly ideal when you’re looking at a sitter for next weekend or a referral from a friend. Additionally, many services have done the work for you – asking what the sitter his/her availability, what’s his/her experience with kids, and of course, his/her personality. Sitting Made Simple Dallas takes it a step further by doing that part for you, as well as a thorough personal interview with their staff, to make it that much more convenient for you!
Another reason that Sitting Made Simple makes it easy for you is the scheduling feature. You just post when you need a sitter and then you can select the sitter you want. And if there’s not a sitter immediately available for you to select, the service will find someone that will be able to babysit at your desired time. (Even better!)
3. Hiring the Babysitter – The Checklist
Once you think you’ve finally found a good sitter and booked, there’s the unique experience of the “first time.” This might be the first time they sit for you, the first time at the house, or even the first time you’ve ever met them! During this time, there’s one important thing to remember: you don’t need to show them everything about your house, break out the medical records, or give them a copy of your living will.
However, what you should do is to show them the house, at least the areas you expect them to stay in, and make sure to include the areas you don’t want them in while you’re gone. And you’ll want to have listed somewhere, some few basics, to make it easy to care for your child and in case of an emergency, have a few basics handy.
Information to have listed for your babysitter include:
- Your address (in case they need to tell the pizza person or the ambulance where to come in case of an emergency)
- Your contact information
- Your kids information
- Insurance information
- Emergency plans (fire route / tornado spot)
- Emergency contact in case they can’t reach you
- Specific rules (TV channels they can watch, devices they can use, etc.)
- Other rules
Here’s a copy of these on this free Babysitting Family Fact Sheet printable available for download to make it easy for both of you!
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure to get a few different pieces of information from your sitter including an emergency contact for them, driver’s license number and license plate if the sitter will be driving the kids, and of course, their contact information, address, etc. (Just another reason to use SMS Dallas – the services has already collected this information for you!)
Another way to make it easy for you is with a free membership to Sitting Made Simple Dallas (expires 12/31/2016.) A $50 value, enter here to start your babysitting experience made simple.