Leaving your children with a baby-sitter should be a comfortable experience for everyone. Taking some time to choose a good sitter for your children is one of the best investments you can make. Here are some ways to find someone who is reliable, responsible and caring:
- Talk to trusted friends. Find out about people who have a good reputation. Ask children about their sitters. They can often give you an honest opinion.
- Set up a time to talk with a sitter you are considering. Share information about you and your children. Some questions to ask a possible sitter are: How long have you been baby-sitting? Do you know CPR and first aid? What ages of children do you most often baby-sit? What do you charge? Schedule an opportunity for the sitter to meet your children.
- After finding a sitter you trust:
Ask a new sitter to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early. Your children will have a chance to warm up to the sitter before you leave and you will have time to do the following:
- Give the sitter a tour of your home. Show him or her fire escape routes and how to lock doors and windows.
- Provide emergency phone numbers as well as the number where you can be reached.
- Identify trusted neighbors to call or to go to in case of an emergency.
- Discuss discipline. Let the sitter know when and how your children should be disciplined.
- Write down your children's names, ages, allergies or medical conditions; your address, phone number and nearest cross street.
- Discuss meal and snack times and preparation of food.
- Explain house rules to your sitter.