Child Care Guide
Whether you need a baby sitter for the odd occasion or if you need one on a regular basis, there are certain precautions that should be taken before entrusting your child or children in their care. Always trust your better judgment when choosing a baby sitter and write down before hand any questions that come to mind before interviewing possible candidates for the job.
Where can I find a babysitter?
- Ask friends who they use and how long the person has been babysitting for them.
- Enquire at local colleges, look on notice boards ,quite often students will be looking for work as baby sitters especially if they are taking courses in child care.
- Look in your local library for notice boards.
- Look in your local newspapers.
- Look in the yellow pages for listed agencies that supply baby sitters.
Requirements a baby sitter should have
- Do they have the patience needed to look after a child in difficult circumstances for example if the child is unwell or starts crying?
- Are they able to stay calm and know what action to take in an emergency?
- Is the baby sitter competent in first aid, would they know what to do if your child was choking or having an asthma attack.
- Are they responsible and are they willing to accept responsibility for your child’s life?
- What chastisement would they give if your child was unruly?
Points to consider when interviewing a potential sitter
- Make sure they understand how many children they would be expected to look after, the children’s ages and any special problems relating to your children.
- Determine how the sitter will arrive and return home, if you are late returning home then often it is courtesy to take the sitter home or pay for a taxi.
- Go over any restrictions such as access to your phone, refrigerator, whether they are allowed to bring a friend into your home and rooms that are out of bounds.
- Present a few “what if” scenarios to see how the sitter would react.
- Make your expectations clear of the care you wish for your child.
- Ask about the sitters fee.
- Ask if the sitter would be flexible and how they would deal with unforeseen events such as you getting held up in traffic.
Information the sitter should know before you leave
- Allow time for the sitter to become accustomed to your home, show them around and if need be go over anything that isn’t clear.
- Make sure you write down information such as heating milk and food for the baby/child.
- Make sure the sitter knows when bedtime is and discuss any special requirements such as reading bed time stories.
- Make sure the sitter knows if your baby uses a pacifier or sleeps with a certain stuffed toy.
- If your child needs medication then make sure the sitter understands the correct amount or how to give help with inhalers.
- Be sure the sitter knows what to do in the case of an emergency, make sure they know where the first aid box is.
- Discuss what action to take in the event of a fire.
- Make sure the sitter knows exactly where you are and is given a telephone number to reach you in case of an emergency.
What you can do to help the babysitter before they arrive
- Minimize unpleasant tasks such as changing the baby beforehand and if it is close to bedtime have them bathed and in their nightwear.
- Leave food for the sitter, maybe sandwiches, crisps or popcorn.
- Try and return home at the specified time and if you are going to be late make sure you give the sitter warning where possible.
- Be sure to leave clear instructions before you leave such as what time the child has to be in bed and if they are allowed snacks.