How Do I Choose A
How you choose a babysitter would depend very much on your needs. If you are leaving your child alone with the
sitter, you will need someone who is old and matured enough to do the job. I would not advocate choosing someone
who is in their teens to babysit unless it is just for an extra pair of hands while you are busy at home and if
your child is not an infant.
Age should not be the only factor that you consider when choosing a babysitter. The sitter you are considering
should be someone with previous child minding experience and you should be comfortable with her personality. The
sitter must come across to you as someone who is capable of following instructions but not blindly, with
initiatives to act sensibly should a situation arises. Although not always available, you should always ask all
potential sitters to provide you with references. When you call these references, you should ask detailed questions
about how long the sitter has been with them, the ages of the children that the sitter cared for and the
responsibilities involved while the sitter was at the job.
Choosing a caregiver for a toddler would be quite different from choosing a caregiver for an infant. If your child
is an infant, be sure your babysitter is experienced caring for very young children. It would be an added advantage
if the sitter is trained in infant CPR and first aid. You should make sure the sitter knows she should never, never
shake the baby.
At the interview you would also want to set down some ground rules to make sure the sitter respects your house and
possessions. Issues such as whether watching TV is okay? Do you expect her to do the dishes after dinner? must be
clearly agreed upon. Some other issues which you should insist would be that she should not have her friends (male
or female) over without your permission. She should not smoke or drink while child minding. The potential sitter
you choose should be one who is agreeable to all the ground rules you set.
Before you walk out of the door and leave your child to the babysitter, you want to feel sure that the sitter is
someone you can trust. The sitter should be matured enough to handle any emergency. Please read our other articles
below which shows the signs to look out for in a good babysitter and the important information you should leave
with your babysitter to ensure she is able to keep your child safe while you are out.