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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:
  1. Give the sitter a tour of your home. Show him or her fire escape routes and how to lock doors and windows.
  2. Provide emergency phone numbers as well as the number where you can be reached.
  3. Identify trusted neighbors to call or to go to in case of an emergency.
  4. Discuss discipline. Let the sitter know when and how your children should be disciplined.
  5. Write down your children's names, ages, allergies or medical conditions; your address, phone number and nearest cross street.
  6. Discuss meal and snack times and preparation of food.
  7. Explain house rules to your sitter.