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What you need to know when selecting a caregiver


There’s nothing simple about selecting a caregiver for your child, whether you need to stay late at work or you’re attempting to set up a long overdue date night with your spouse.

Hopefully, these tips will give you a place to begin and a way to make this nerve-wracking task a little easier.

 Ask for recommendations. Talk to everyone from your neighbor and the guidance counselor at your local high school to your pediatrician’s office and the teachers at your child’s day care. Some of the younger teachers might even babysit on the side for extra money. Heck, even the children’s librarian might know someone.

 Ask questions. Parenting.com suggests scheduling a job interview with your babysitting candidates. Find out if your potential sitter has ever taken care of a child the same age as yours. If you have more than one child, ask if he or she has ever watched multiple kids at once. As you well know, more little people makes a difference. A BIG difference.

Care.com, a company that among other things helps families find caregivers for children and seniors, offers some extra guidance for this important task. Check out this list of 10 interview questions used by real moms to find a sitter.

Ask for references. According to care.com, this is a great way to determine if potential sitters have been successful in doing the things you expect of them, whether it’s feeding your kiddos dinner or helping with homework.

For some additional advice on this important step in the process, review 20 questions to ask when calling references. 

Ask about emergencies. Find out if your candidate has ever faced an emergency and how he or she handled it. Pose hypotheticals such as “what would you do if my child started vomiting?” and gauge responses. Consider factors like baby-sitting classes, Heimlich and CPR training.

Ask to see her in action. Both parenting.com and care.com suggest doing a “kid test” and actually watching the sitter-to-be interacting with your child.

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