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Top Ten Tips For Finding and Keeping a Great Babysitter


By Beth Howland

One of the very hardest tasks many parents face is finding a babysitter who is responsible, dependable and one who your children adore. Here are the top ten tips for finding this great babysitter and keeping the sitter coming back happy.

1. Get Recommendations from Friends

Whether you are looking for a full-time in-home provider or a sitter for an occasional night on the town, start by asking your friends, coworkers, and neighbors for recommendations.

2. Community Resources

Find out where local babysitting classes are offered near you. These places often keep lists of available babysitters that they would be happy to provide you.

3. Local Colleges and Universities

If there is a local college or nearby university, inquire there. Many early education departments may have places to post your job.

4. Online Babysitting Services

Try an online babysitting site. Some have lists of thousands of sitters available all over the country. You can even search by zip code to see available sitters near you.

5. Interview the Candidates

Make sure to interview potential babysitters. Watch how he or she interacts with your children. Have a list of questions to ask each candidate regarding their experience.

6. Run a Background Check.

Not every sitter is as nice as they may seem. Background checks are well worth the effort. (Some online babysitting services even offer these as part of your membership.)

7. Review your Rules

Go over your rules and expectations with any new babysitter. Be clear on everything from using the phone, to TV watching to having guests.

8. Make Their Job a Pleasant One

Remind your children that the babysitter is in charge and that the house rules still apply. Have special snacks or movies for the babysitter for once the kids are in bed...anything to let them know that he or she is appreciated.

9. Be Home on Time

Value your sitter's time by arriving back when you said that you would. Be respectful of his or her schedule.

10. Show your Appreciation

A babysitter is caring for your precious children. Remember to show how much it means to you to know that they are in good hands while you are away.

Beth Howland is a reviewer of parenting products like Sittercity.

Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, MomShare, Newsletter,

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