Child care

02.10.2019

4 steps to recognize the perfect babysitter

Are you facing the difficult decision to choose the one and only dream babysitter who will help you with providing everyday care for your child? Do you wonder what qualities and qualifications a nanny should have to look after your little one? We have prepared a list of 4 steps that will help you recognize the perfect babysitter from the first meeting.

Step 1. How do I find a babysitter? References are the foundation 

Very often you may have no idea where to get reliable information about a potential babysitter. One of the ways to do it are references that can be obtained from previous employers or, for example, by asking for opinions and recommendations from family or friends. In this situation every opinion will be very valuable. However, if you do not have access to such information, the best solution will be an interview.

Step 2. Interview and experience of a perfect nanny 

An experienced babysitter does not seem to get upset or irritated during an interview and answers the questions asked with confidence and precision. What questions to ask the babysitter? 

  • her professional career to date,
  • previous experiences - maybe she has taken care of a child of a similar age as your little one? 
  • what kind of ideas she has for playtime, 
  • it is a good idea for the nanny to talk about some difficult situations she has encountered in her work. How did she deal with them? Was she able, for example, to admit her mistake and how did she react to criticism from the parents or differences of opinion? 
  • how long she can be a babysitter for your child, 
  • does she know first aid, 
  • accomplishments in previous jobs, 
  • additional qualifications (e.g. course)

But this is not all - a trusted nanny should also ask questions herself and explain any doubts as soon as possible. This is particularly true for your views on the upbringing of your child and the rules in place in your home, as these may vary. During the conversation, the babysitter should inspire your trust. If for some reason (e.g. an unclear or evasive answer) you do not feel it, the starting a cooperation with her may be risky. In other words, it's just not worth it and it's better to keep looking. 

Another issue is the age of the babysitter. Although in theory older women have more experience, it does not always have to translate into the skills you require from a perfect nanny. It is similar in case of younger people with vocational training. If you do not feel that this is the right babysitter for your child, it is better to look for another person. Is it worth betting on a person without experience? If for some reason (e.g. lack of time) you have to at least try such a babysitter, it is best to do it as part of a so-called adaptation period, which we describe below.

Step 3. Adaptation period 

If you have talked to the babysitter without the participation of the child, it is a good idea to introduce an adaptation period of appropriate length (e.g. a week or two) that will allow everyone to get to know each other better. The first moments together between the babysitter and the child will give you a good indication on what to expect. How is she going to approach the child? Will she be smiling and warm or distant?

Women who love to take care of children often have a spark in their eyes when it comes to meeting a new child. This is a good sign, but of course it should not be everything. During the first few moments, ask the babysitter to start playing with the child. Give her some freedom, you can also leave the room for a while so that the babysitter doesn't feel like she’s being watched.

Experienced nannies know that these first moments can be very stressful for the parents, so they may suggest different solutions during the adaptation period, e.g. gradually extending the time of the parents’ absence. If you feel that the babysitter is an open, loving person who can also set boundaries, then you may have found the ideal babysitter.  

Step 4. Finance 

The financial expectations of a babysitter are also important from the point of view of the parents. When asked about the hourly rate, an experienced babysitter will know how to adapt it to the needs of the parents and other circumstances. You should watch out for babysitters who want little money for their work - there may be a lack of self-confidence behind this, which will manifest itself when they are working with the child and, for example, when setting boundaries for it. A lot also depends on the city you live in. Babysitters in big cities are much more expensive than sitters who offer childcare services in small towns. The difference can be up to double the rate. 


Child care
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