So, you’re looking for a babysitter? Could be for an hour, an evening or even all night! Makes no difference which it is, you will be just as cautious, worried and uneasy about someone else looking after your children/child. Where do you even start? Well, I have written this blog to help you find the right babysitter for your precious babies/ baby!
After reading some other blogs online. It would seem that everyone has very different opinions of what to look for in a babysitter (qualifications, experience etc), plus the information you should give them, your expectations of them, their experience and any qualifications etc.
Super Nanny covers all bases when it comes to a babysitter. She goes as far as to say that you should even give your babysitter details of the local fire station and poison control team. I guess there is nothing wrong with being over cautious. However, you should also try not to over bare the babysitter with too much information that they forget the really important things. It’s definitely worth knowing as much as possible about where the parents/carers are going and who to contact in an emergency.
I feel this website is definitely worth a read as they have explained in which circumstances you need to contact the parents and when you should just call the emergency numbers provided. They have also given information on Do’s and Don’ts that a babysitter must abide by at all times. Super Nanny advises that you should ask the babysitter to make notes of the time they are with your children so you are aware of what your children have done, eaten, how they have behaved and any naps they may have had.
So where do you find a babysitter?
There are a number of ways in which you could find a babysitter and I personally feel the three best options are finding a friend or family to babysit as they will know you all best, through word of mouth or through a company who have a very good, strong vetting process to ensure your child/ children are in the best hands. Ensure whichever way you find your baby sitter they have reliable references. Also you should ensure they have had experience dealing with children of a similar age to yours and similar needs. For example if your child has special needs or learning difficulties such as Autism. You should try and find someone who has experience with this.
There are a number of online sites who advertise babysitters. One of the biggest, most popular being sitters.co.uk. This company does thorough checks on their babysitters and pride themselves on their professionalism. I have taken the following section from their website to show you exactly what it is their service entails:
‘Before you even register with us, we provide you with information about how many pre-qualified babysitters we have available in your area. We’ll even tell you whereabouts in your area there are other families, just like yours, using Sitters. This gives you reassurance that we will have the right babysitter for your family. With Sitters you get:
- Babysitters that are referenced-checked and pre-vetted.
- Babysitters that have professional childcare experience.
- Babysitters available at competitive rates.
- Babysitters available via online booking.
- Babysitters available in your local area with the support of a nationwide agency.
We don’t stop there: We know how important it is for you to have choice over who you would like caring for your children. That’s why our registration tool allows you to tell us your top 3 babysitters who you believe are the right choice for your family’s babysitting needs – and we’ll always contact them first.’
Doing it this way is I believe to be quite a bit more expensive as you have to become a member of the company which is a monthly fee and then pay the sitter on top when they babysit. My local area is on average £8.50ph and you are expected to pay the sitter a minimum of 3 hours (even if you are only out for an hour).
If a friend or family member is not a possible option then how about speaking to friends, colleagues or family in your local area with children and ask them who It is that they trust to look after their children. That way you have an honest recommendation from a trusted source. You can also agree a price and go from there. Even if you pay them more than the average to make it worth their while it will still be cheaper than going through a company overall.
You should certainly start by going out a small amount at a time, then slowly extend it until you and your child/children start to feel more comfortable away from each other. You could even ask the sitter over for a couple of hours to watch your children with you in the house to see how they get on with your little ones. You’ll know for sure by then if they are right for your family or not.
What happens once you’ve chosen your babysitter?
Well, you should be sure to have everything ready for when your babysitter arrives. From a pushchair and outdoor clothing (Coats etc), to Pyjamas if you would like them to do the bedtime routine.
You should very clearly write up the important information your babysitter may need whilst you are not there. Everything from emergency contact numbers to what you would like your child/children to eat and any allergies etc.
You should check out my next blog which contains a FREE BABYSITTERS INFORMATION SHEET available for you to download. This contains all the crucial information you should provide to your babysitter. You just print the sheet, laminate it and write all the information your babysitter may need whilst babysitting on that occasion.
Thank you very much for reading my blog and I really hope this has given you the tips you need to hire a fantastic, reliable and friendly babysitter. I really look forward to any feedback you may have and any questions you would like to ask.