Need someone to come in and watch over your kids for an hour or two once in a while? The teen next door may be the perfect choice if you children are a bit older and only need someone to keep them out of trouble. If they are a lot younger, you probably want someone with a little more experience and may want to look around before hiring. Babysitters are plentiful no matter where you live, but it may take a little time to locate someone you feel comfortable with.
If you are not in a hurry, you can advertise and interview each candidate on your own. Have them come to your home, and be ready to be as thorough as is necessary during the interview. Remember-these are your children you are entrusting to this person, so no question you ask should be considered intrusive. If you sense the person is reluctant to share any background information, then send them on their way. There are plenty of other sitters available, and one of them will definitely fit the bill.
Have the children present when the candidate arrives. Children are really great judges of character, and you can tell by watching how they react, and listening to any input they have later whether this person is a good fit. Does the potential sitter seem to have good rapport with the kids? Does he/she communicate easily, or talk “down” to the youngsters? You do have to take all this and more into consideration before making a decision. Don’t hire the first person that comes along just because they are available when you need them.
Make sure you discuss what it is you expect from the babysitter when she is in your home watching your kids. Make it perfectly clear that he/she is there to take care of the children, and not lounge around letting the kids do whatever they want. Whatever rules that are in effect when you are home, also apply when you are not. Some sitters just find it easier to let the kids do anything they please because it is less work for them. That’s definitely not the kind of person you want to hire.
If you really need to find a competent, reliable person quickly you can check out a service that has sitters for hire. The candidates listed have gone through a background check that you can view, as well as having a personal profile and picture listed at the service site, as well as comments from previous employers. The background check saves you the trouble of doing it yourself, but even so, you must still trust your instincts as a parent, and always schedule an interview or two so you can talk to the person face-to-face.