6 Steps to Finding an Ideal Childcare Professional

I’m sure many parents share my feeling that trusting a person to take care of our children is extremely unpleasant. Suspense films with twisted plots where babysitters turn out to be deranged killers do not help my piece of mind when it comes to hiring a childcare professional. Joking aside, we, parents, really have a difficult task ahead of us: finding a good babysitter for our precious little ones.

This endeavor unavoidably carries with it: panic, worry, nervousness, doubt, again worry (endless). What I’m about to do is place the highest trust in a (most probably) stranger, so I think that the recruitment procedure for a childcare professional has to be the most rigorous one. Also, I think that babysitter jobs should be very well paid; knowing that my child’s babysitter is happy with her work conditions makes me relax a little.

Having gone through the babysitter recruitment process twice in my life, I’d like to share a pretty good strategy I used, consisting of 6 steps:

Ask your friends for recommendations

When you start out looking for a babysitter, the best way to go about it is to consult people you already trust. I was lucky enough to find my child’s first babysitter this way. A friend of mine who had a child 7 years older than mine warmly recommended this ex-babysitter of theirs. Since the woman came with such great references, it was a great load off my chest.

Read everything you can online about babysitter jobs

I started off preparing myself for what to expect by reading blogs and forums about other people’s experiences with babysitters. It’s good to know what to expect in terms of salary, their expectations, their habits and ways of “handling” children, and how parents should position themselves at the beginning of the parent-babysitter relationship.

Talk to other parents about their experiences

This step comes naturally to every parent, but it doesn’t hurt to emphasize its importance. Talking to other parents helps you learn from their mistakes or good choices. I don’t listen to all advice, but it is good to hear it, anyway. Some parents that I talked to had problems with how their children behaved towards the babysitters. It is extremely helpful to listen to what they share.

Spend a decent amount of time talking to candidates

Approach this task seriously. For example, I had a whole list of questions about their previous experiences, their thoughts and feelings on children and I also thought up several imaginary situations where I wanted to see how the babysitter would solve the problem. A lot can be learned from a careful interrogation, no matter how suspiciously “KGB” this sounds.

Ask for references – check them!

Once you narrow your search down to a few candidates, do not miss to ask for their references. More importantly, you need to check them! Blind trust has no place here. Being firm about the references is the only right way to go about it.

Follow your parents sixth sense

I don’t know about you, but I am the sort of person who will remain a little doubtful even with all “paperwork” in order: good recommendation, the highest reference and a positive impression of the babysitter from the conversation. In the end, I have to resort to my parents’ sixth sense and choose accordingly.

Another thing you might do is to let your child participate in the evaluation process (if the child is old enough). You might introduce your child to all candidates, even let him/her sit through the interview and see how the babysitter interacts with her future protégée.

Good luck finding the right babysitter for your child!

Ross Davies writing for Lebreton Recruitment Agency the specialists in childcare recruiyment and health and safety training.

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