As a work-at-home parent, you have unique childcare challenges. Although you want to be there for your children, you typically find it is almost impossible to get anything done when you don’t have any outside childcare assistance. In this article, we’ll discuss tips on choosing a great babysitter to help you so you can get your work done.
First of all, you must figure out what type of childcare assistance you need. For instance, are you looking for someone to come to your home while you work or are you looking for someone that will care for your child in their home? Do you need full, part time, or occasional care? Do you have a set budget? If so, how much?
Second, you must network to find the perfect person. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a quality childcare provider and ask if they can make any recommendations for you. Some great options are friends, family, church members, other parents, etc. Don’t be shy in your inquiries. Some of the best providers come from referrals from other satisfied clients.
Third, if you can’t find anyone suitable, contact a childcare placement agency or place an ad in your local newspaper. Although you may have to pay for the services of the agency or pay for the newspaper ad, you can find some great candidates by using this method.
Fourth, conduct phone interviews with potential prospects. During the initial interview inquire about their child care backgrounds, availability, rates, and whether they’ll be open to an in person interview. Once you’re done, jot down your initial impressions about each prospect. Narrow the list to 1-2 suitable candidates.
Fifth, conduct in-person interviews at your home or at the prospects homes. During the interview, you should ask more in-depth questions than you did previously. Here are some suggestions:
– What is your childcare background?
– Have you ever had any child care training courses? If so, which ones? If not, would you be willing to attend any?
– Have you ever been convicted of any crimes?
– Do you consume alcoholic beverages or do recreational drugs?
– Do you have a clean driving record?
– What would you do in case of an accidental choking?
– Are you CPR trained? If not, would you be willing to get trained?
– What are your babysitting rates? Is this negotiable?
– What are your payment terms?
– What is your vacation and sick policy?
– Can you provide me with references that I can contact?
– Will you be willing to participate in a criminal background check?
Providers who will watch your child at their homes
-Are you licensed to care for children in your home? If so, when did you acquire this license?
-How many children do you watch on a daily basis?
-Do you have any help? If so, how long have you employed them? Do you conduct background checks on employees?
– Who will be home when you watch my child?
-Do you require up-to-date vaccinations?
-Are you licensed to care for children in your home?
-Have you ever had any childcare violations? If so, how was the situation rectified?
Providers who will work at your home
-Are you comfortable working at my home while I’m home?
-Do you have any special techniques for keeping the kids occupied while I’m working in another part of the home?
Next, write down your impressions. Does the candidate seem flexible, open and honest? Do you think they’ll make a great babysitter? Do you feel comfortable around them? Were you pleased with the interview?
Sixth, contact the best candidate and tell them that you would like to move forward with their application. Ask for their social security number and conduct a criminal background check. You can even hire an agency to perform this for a fee. During the investigation, you’ll make sure that the candidate doesn’t have a substance abuse problem or isn’t a known sex offender.
Seventh, you’ll need to check references to make sure that past clients have positive things to say about the prospect. Contact each referral and inquire about their relationship with the prospect. Ask whether they would recommend the candidate to care for your children
Eighth, set up a paid play date where the sitter and see how they interact with your child. Does your child like them? Do they like your child? Do you feel comfortable with the choice? If so, you can hire them on a more permanent basis.
In conclusion, finding a great sitter is absolutely paramount to the work-at-home parent. Although it takes a bit of time to find the perfect person, it is well worth the effort. After all, you are entrusting someone with your most prized gift, your children, and it just makes sense to take your time to make the right selection.