MARLBOROUGH, MA — Every parent needs an extra hand now and again. Whether it’s for a much-needed date night out, or someone to watch the kids after school, babysitters are a necessary component for many busy families. Finding the right person to do the job can be tricky, so your local Better Business Bureau Serving E. MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) has come up with a few tips and tricks on how to go about hiring the right babysitter to fit your family’s needs.
Use your resources. Networking is a great way to gather information on available babysitters in your local area. Ask other parents to recommend a babysitter they trust. New to the area? Talk to your neighbors or coworkers who also have children around the same age range as yours.
Websites are also a great resource when looking for a babysitter; many sites provide profiles of sitters in your local area with their experience along with background checks. If you plan on using a third-party business to find a babysitter, make sure that the business you are dealing with is a legitimate and respectable source of information. Search through BBB Accredited Businesses to find reviews and ratings on services that help families find the perfect sitter for their needs.
Determine what your child needs. Every child is different. If your child needs someone to help with their homework, ask your sitter if he or she is willing to do basic tutoring. It is important to note driving skills, including whether or not your potential sitter has a license or access to a car, if you need them to commute to your house or if you need them to pick up or drop off your child somewhere. Other important skills to look for are CPR Certification, first aid training, or basic cooking and cleaning.
Have them meet the kids first. You want your child and sitter to get along. Invite a potential babysitter over for a ‘trial-run’ where you can observe how he or she interacts with your child. Make sure that your sitter is comfortable with the responsibility and can establish a good relationship with your child while also serving as an authoritative figure when you’re not around. Use this as a time to show them around the house, fill them in on your child’s routine, and set some ground rules.
Keep an age range in mind. You don’t want to hire a sitter that is too close in age range with your child. Depending on the frequency you’ll be using a babysitter, look for the right age range so your schedule will match.
Need a babysitter for weekends? A babysitter in high school might work best. It can be difficult to find someone who is available during the weekdays who doesn’t already have prior engagements or responsibilities.
Depending on the number of children you have, a good match could be a stay-at-home mom or dad that can watch your child at the same time as their own. They already have plenty of experience taking care of children and are commonly looking for a job that allows them to be with their children as well.
Recent college graduates who are living at home are a good option. They’ll be looking for a way to earn extra money while they search for a full-time job, and babysitting on a routine schedule will help them get into the swing of a work week. This may not be the best option for long-term help, but it’s a great idea for those who need an extra hand for the time being.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org.