You are ready for a night out! Now the big question is, how do you find the right babysitter? You will enjoy your time away from the kids much more if you feel secure about their child care. Here are some tips to finding the best babysitter for your children.
1. Look Among Friends
Think of people you know, whether from work, church, the neighborhood or community groups you belong to. Usually, you will feel more secure finding a daycare provider whom you already have some type of connection with. Brainstorm and make a list, both of adult possibilities and of responsible teenagers. Would any of your friends be interested in babysitting, or do they have a teenage son or daughter who would be?
2. Word of Mouth
Ask friends for child care references. Do they have sitters they love? Chances are, if your mom friends are happy with a particular babysitter, you will be too. Even if your friends are not willing to divulge their favorite sitter's name (skilled babysitters are highly prized!), they may know other places to look.
3. Local Schools and Churches
Even if you don't know of potential babysitters from among your pool of acquaintances, they are out there. Call nearby churches and ask if the staff there might know of a responsible person interested in babysitting. Likewise, local high school or college counselors may know of good student possibilities. If a local college has an education department, you might even snag a future teacher as a babysitter. Great practice for her and a super babysitter for your children!
4. Consider Your Children's Needs
The perfect babysitter for one child may not be the best for another. Are you children very young? You may want to search for a responsible adult who has had experience dealing with babies and toddlers. If your children are all in school, an energetic teen who is willing to spend time running and playing with them may be the best choice for you.
Once you've found a potential babysitter, be sure to speak with them briefly before they actually come to your home to watch the kids. Especially if the babysitter is someone you're not familiar with, it's wise to have a brief interview with her so that you can feel comfortable with your childcare provider. You can meet either in person or by phone, and discuss topics such as pay rate, the sitter's prior experience with children and any concerns you or the sitter may have. Just from talking to the sitter, you will get a feel for her personality. If you feel uncomfortable with the sitter for any reason, it's better to realize that now rather than after she arrives at your house to watch the children.
Babysitters can be any age or personality. The most important tip to find the right babysitter is to choose the person who is right for you and your children. The quest may not be quick or easy, but it will be worth it when you find a sitter you and your children love.
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.