If you’ve just relocated, or it’s simply the first time you’ve had a need to hire a babysitter, it can be frightening for a mom to trust someone else.
Diffuse the fear by making a checklist for what you expect from a babysitter, so you know you’ve hired someone adequate, and by making an information checklist to leave with the sitter for both normal routines and any abnormal situations that may arise.
Desired Qualifications – Start by making a list of what kind of babysitter you want: ideal age range, for example. Some parents are comfortable with a teenager, and some would rather have an adult in charge. If you need a sitter with driving ability, whether to transport your child or simply to get to your home, note that as well. Other things to consider might include a potential sitter’s childcare experience and emergency training.
Job Responsibilities – State the duties you expect a babysitter to perform during a normal period of childcare, so you can be sure you both know what to expect. You don’t have to be very detailed, just make a quick list of what you want your sitter to do: play with your child, change diapers, make meals, give baths, etc.
Salary – Determine how much you want to pay. Different areas have different standards for babysitters, and a teenager might charge a different rate than a childcare professional. Talk with other moms in your area if you are not sure of a fair hourly rate.
References – Add a reference check to your list of pre-hiring questions. A normal reference would be a family who has used the services of this sitter before. It will only take a few minutes to make a call and get feedback from another mom, and it can give you a of insight into whether this sitter will work for you and your child or not.
Contact Information – Create a page with your basic contact information, such as cell phone numbers and work numbers, as well as family members or friends to call in case you can’t be reached, and any other emergency contact numbers you have. Include the address of your home as well as simple directions from the closest major road or intersection.
When to Call – Make it easy for your sitter to know when to call and when to handle things by adding a “When to Call Me” page to your checklist. Every mom will have different preferences, so don’t leave your sitter guessing.
Your Child’s Important Information – Include a page with pertinent information about your child, including full name, age, date of birth, allergies and any important medical history.
Schedule – Make a basic schedule of your child’s day so that your sitter can easily see what should be happening when. Make it complete, from early morning all the way to bedtime, so that it can be used no matter when the babysitter is there.
House Rules – Make a simple list of house rules, especially when the sitter will be keeping an older child, so the boundaries are clear.
Diet – Include a list of good snack and meal options for your sitter, as well as any food allergies that your child has. You might also indicate an approximate portion size for your child, so the sitter doesn’t have to guess how much is enough.