Finding Your Perfect Sitter
Every summer, families have what we jokingly call the “sitter shuffle” dance where the normal school year sitter or day care provider is unavailable and we need to find someone else to fill in. So how do you go about finding your perfect sitter? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for a new caregiver for your family.
1. Determine your needs and priorities
Review and decide what is important to you when it comes to a caregiver. Do they need to be available for a set schedule during the week? Do they have to have their own transportation? Be prepared to explain and lay out your parenting style when you are interviewing sitters for your family.
2. Discuss the basics with the candidate
Treat this interview like any other job interview. Discuss with them topics such as pay, vacation or sick time, transportation, as well as things like acceptable activities with your family members and any extra household responsibilities if you require any (such as laundry or meals).
3. Conduct a background and reference check
Ask for references from the person you’re interviewing and make time to contact those they have provided. It may also be a good idea to see if you know anyone they’ve worked for so you can speak frankly to someone you already have a relationship with. Also get their permission to fingerprint them and to run a background check to make sure there’s no criminal history.
4. Set up a “trial run”
Set up a few hours where the sitter can interact and get to know the family members they will be responsible for. Whether you are simply in another part of the house so you’re nearby (if there are younger children involved) or running a few errands locally (for older children who can communicate better). Don’t be afraid to return or pop in unannounced to see how things are going, and trust your instincts! If something just doesn’t feel right, there’s probably something off about the person or how they interact with your children.
5. Communication is key
Once you’ve selected the sitter/caregiver for your family, make sure you talk with them often. Don’t let things build up and then lose your cool. If you expect your children to brush their teeth after every meal, you need to make sure the sitter is aware and on board. Or if the kids are limited to one hour of computer time, make sure the sitter is on the same page so there’s no misunderstanding or hurt feelings.
Just remember, your family, your kids especially, are the most important thing in your life. Trust them by listening and watching for any sudden or severe changes in their behavior or attitudes. And it’s okay if things don’t work out. Usually though, you wind up finding one more person becoming a member of your family!
Are you looking for a new sitter or caregiver? I’d recommend checking out Sittercity.
Sittercity is the leading online child care solution, connecting families nationwide with babysitters and nannies who meet their unique needs. We are the largest and most trusted source for families to find local in-home caregivers quickly and easily. Every three seconds, we connect a family and a caregiver.
And right now, they are offering a great deal with giving you 30% off a 3 month subscription! This is a wonderful sale and the perfect opportunity to find a new sitter for the family, whether just for the summer or a long term caregiver going forward. Use code: JULY30 to take advantage of the discount. This offer is valid through July 31, 2014.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a sponsored post. The company who sponsored it compensated me in some form of payment. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Ashley @irishred02 says
Sittercity seems like a great resource for parents. I think it would be especially helpful for anyone who has moved to a new area and isn’t sure who would be best to watch their kids.
Melissa @ Stockpiling Moms says
Sitter City sounds like a great service – both for those who are looking for a sitter and those who want to become one. Thanks!
Katrina W says
I enjoyed learning about Sittercity, both as a mom that needs a sitter sometimes but also a WAHM that might want to sit for other families, especially during the summer.
I think it’s important to really “check out” the people you are considering having into your home to watch your children. It’s hard enough sometimes to leave them at home but now you’re leaving them with someone you haven’t known for very long.
Finding your perfect sitter is not easy, but this information should be a great starting point!