Tips on Choosing a Babysitter
by Amy Scholten, MPH
If you’re the parent of an infant, young child, or older child, chances are you will need a babysitter at some point. Perhaps you work outside the home, or maybe you just need to get away for an evening. Whatever your situation, you want to be sure your children are in good hands. A babysitter can be a big help, as long as you hire someone who is mature, experienced, capable, and who cares about your children. Here are some tips on choosing a good babysitter:
Finding A Sitter
Your first challenge is recruiting a potential babysitter. Here are some ideas:
Hiring A Sitter
Once you have a list of possible babysitters, you can begin the screening process:
To keep a closer watch on the sitter, technology offers a solution. Surveillance cameras or nanny cams have become popular in recent years. They can be easily installed, for example in a child’s room, and the recording reviewed later.
Have the sitter arrive 15 minutes before you leave. Make sure the sitter knows:
Talking to Your Children
You should talk to your children before and after babysitting. Before the sitter arrives, remind your children about safety, their rights, and how they should behave. After the sitter leaves, ask your children about what they did, what games they played, and if anything happened that made them feel uncomfortable or afraid. Lastly, ask them if they liked the babysitter.
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