Finding an available reliable babysitter in today’s society can often be a daunting challenge. While new technologies attempt to ease the process there will always remain certain basic guidelines we should follow.
Here are 7 things to consider when hiring a babysitter:
1. Reliable recommendations from friends and family – I cannot stress references enough – you are entrusting the life of your vulnerable children into the hands of someone else. Is this person safe and responsible?
2. Training – safety training of some kind is a must. Either a baby-sitting class for a school aged sitter or CPR/first aid certification for an adult. Will this person know what to do if faced with an emergency?
3. Experience – has this person worked with kids like ours before? Can they manage multiple kids of varying abilities and needs? How many babysitting jobs has this person undertaken?
4. Receptive disposition – each family has a unique character and yours is no different. Look for someone who will support your family rules and keep to your routines – having kids run amuck for 3 hours is never a beneficial option! Will this person support or undermine your parental authority?
5. Environment – it is generally preferred that the sitter comes to the family home as kids are most comfortable in their own surroundings. Can this person ensure a safe environment for my children?
6. Financial cost – While any parent would agree that no price is too high to pay for your child’s safety it also must be acknowledged that not all prices fit into a family budget – each family must find their own comfort level but I would suggest that curbing your time rather than over-imposing on a reliable babysitter. Never shortchange your most valuable date night asset!
7. FUN Factor – last but not least, look for someone who bonds with your kids and enjoys being with them. Will this person “entertain” my children or “ignore” them?
Global News recently reported on an app that can make finding a babysitter easier for parents. While this may make finding someone easier it does not replace the parent’s responsibility to thoroughly check into the references provided by that someone. The above principles still remain. Safety for everyone concerned is the bottom line.
And as a last cautionary note, don’t overlook reviewing social media posts by potential candidates!
But perhaps, you are a parent whose child wants to become a babysitter? In that case encourage them to attend a recognized babysitting class. As a well-trained babysitter, your child can be a great blessing to a young growing family. In class, they will learn everything to do with babysitting, from the business aspects of contracting a job, to basic first aid and safety prevention. The Red Cross Babysitting Classes we offer at SOS in Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga also include skills & advice on handling difficult situations and fun activities to do with children of various ages. Incidentally, in our classes, we recommend students to only look for jobs among family, friends and known neighbours.
The Red Cross Babysitters course content was reviewed by leading health and youth organizations, including Health Canada, SMARTRISK, Safe Kids Canada, Fire Prevention Canada, Scouts Canada, RespectED, and Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and is endorsed by the Girl Guides of Canada.
If you are wondering what to do with your kids this coming March break sign them up for a babysitting course or a first aid class. They just could become the best babysitter ever!!