Nothing is more nerve wracking then having to choose a babysitter or caregiver that you can trust to adore and care for your precious children as much as you do. With the way the world is now, we have to be super careful who we choose. Do you really know who is in your circle of parenting friends? Can you feel secure knowing just because you get along with someone, they are who you want your child around? In collaboration with Sittercity, I am here to tell you how to find the right caregiver for your family!
“Sittercity is the leading online child care solution, connecting families nationwide with babysitters and nannies who meet their unique needs. We are the largest and most trusted source for families to find local in-home caregivers quickly and easily. Every three seconds, we connect a family and a caregiver.”
It really is as easy as 1-2-3! You as the parent can screen potential candidates and post your jobs you need someone for, Caregivers apply for the jobs they think they may be a good fit for, and within moments you are able to find the right match for your family!
While reviewing potential candidates you have the ability to not only read their profiles to see experience and hourly rate, you can read reviews from other parents or families who have employed them, and even better and more satisfying, you can do background checks on the website. It is important to know that background checks are not automatically run on caregivers. So once you have a short list of candidates, we recommend you run a Basic Background Check on each one. This preliminary check will search county court records to see if their names appear. If a candidate does not pass this part of the screening process, we’ll remove them from the site for the safety of all Sittercity families.
You will always want to conduct interviews with potential candidates. I highly advise this not be done in your home, even if you have done a background check. Meet in a public place to get a feel for them, doing a phone interview prior is even better, you can get a feel for how they speak to you or what questions they may ask that could tell if they are a person you may want around your child(ren). If you have made a choice between two to three candidates it is best to get the approval of your children. Meet up in a park to see if their personalities match up. If your child does not react well, the ability of you to leave them with a sitter is not going to go over so well no matter how much you like that candidate.
Always verify information. Check references, dig deep for what you may find. Any other employer would do the same before hiring you, this is the safety of your chlid(ren) and family. The time is worth it to insure the safety of your children and build a trusting foundation with the sitter applying to work for you. If you have narrowed down your list, doing a more extensive background check is invaluable. I would always clearly state you will do a background check on your profile or listing for a caregiver, it will potentially weed out the bad seeds right from the start.
Once you’ve hired a caregiver, observe them on the job to ensure they’re meeting your expectations. When you get home, ask for a brief progress report on how the day went. It’s also a good idea to ask your kids how they’re enjoying their time with her; their reactions or feelings could reveal a lot about what’s happening when you’re not around.
Watch for caregiver warning signs, Your children and your intuition should always be trusted. This is rare that you will come across anything of this nature but it is better to be aware of the possibilities before you are blind sighted.
Warning signs include lack of energy and enthusiasm, a patronizing attitude, or reluctance to change. Additional signs include the caregiver blaming your child for problems or issues they didn’t cause or demanding a level of perfect behavior no child could meet.
Watch for child warning signs
The following signs could indicate something more serious than a poor match:
Child’s behavior changes drastically (becomes excessively clingy or aggressive)
Child cries, screams, and begs you not to leave when the caregiver arrives
Child develops unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns
Child loses appetite or starts having recurrent nightmares
Child acts disinterested when caregiver arrives
These are just a handful of examples. If you observe any warning signs, take action immediately.
Check in frequently to monitor progress
Good communication with your caregiver will lead to a good relationship. Be sure to get at least a five-minute report when you return home. Once a month, sit down with your caregiver and get her perspective on how things are going.
Ask your kids questions
Ask your children open-ended questions about their day, but try not to judge or lead during the discussion. Respect your children’s feelings and always take them seriously, especially negative comments.
Pay attention to changes in your children’s behavior
Keep an eye out for sudden behavioral changes, drastic mood swings, or any of the warning signs we mentioned above. As for your caregiver, pay attention to suspicious decisions or actions.
Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out
Enlist a trusted neighbor to keep a casual eye on things when you’re gone. Ask them to let you know if anything seems questionable.
Come home unannounced
An unexpected drop-in lets you see how your caregiver interacts with your child. It’s a great way to get a feel for how things are going when you’re not there.
Install a nanny cam
Installing a nanny cam often helps parents ease any fears about leaving their child with a caregiver.
Leaving your child with a new caregiver can be tough; with these tips, you’ll feel more secure and confident that you’ve found the right fit for your family. In return, your caregiver will feel trusted and valued — a great start to a strong relationship with one of the most important people in your child’s life.
There is nothing more important than the safety of our child(ren) and being able to find a caregiver and get information from them in one safe setting such as Sittercity, may prove invaluable and be the only way you ever search for a caregiver again. Right now you can save 30% off a 3 month subscription to Sittercity by clicking HERE. Use promotional code JULY30 through July 31, 2014. 30% off and peace of mind while locating the next person your child is around? That is priceless!
Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.