If you’re a parent, you probably understand the sheer panic that arises at the thought of leaving your children with a new sitter. The truth is, no one actually prefers to leave their children with someone they’ve just met… that would be weird! While parents, relatives, and family friends are typically ideal sitters, they won’t always be available when you need them. This means you’ll need to find a way to drop your worry and leave your children’s care in the hands of a qualified sitter.
So how do you find someone you can trust? It takes a little work, but that’s why we’ve provided the following 5-step process to help you out. Take a look, then start finding a qualified caregiver to keep an eye on your little ones while you and your handsome hubby hit the town!
- Pull from trusted sources
Craigslist is great for some things – this probably isn’t one of them. Your best bet in finding a sitter you can trust is asking for suggestions from people you trust. Talk to your friends, family members, neighbors, etc. to identify trusted babysitters who are currently working in your area. No luck? Create a job posting on a reputable site.
Maybe try a job posting site specific to college students, or throw your post out on Facebook to cast your net in a more limited sphere of people you kind-of-sort-of already know.
The point here is to evaluate your sources carefully. Narrowing your list of sources down to those with more specific audiences will help you weed out a lot of the wildcard candidates you wouldn’t consider even introducing to your children.
- Offer a fair rate
We know babysitting can get expensive, but as with all things in life, you get what you pay for with sitters. Offering a fair price will help you attract a group of trustworthy candidates to choose from. You don’t need to get crazy here, but try to stay at or above the market average. While 51% of babysitters (presumably friends or relatives) are paid nothing, the pay scale below is a good indicator of expected pay for those who are actually using their sitting services as a source of income:What are babysitters paid these days?
- 24 percent are paid $6-10 an hour
- 10 percent are paid $11-15 an hour
- 8 percent are paid $1-5 an hour
- 4 percent are paid $16-20 an hour
- 3 percent are paid more than $20 an hour
- Do your research
Now that you’ve created a job posting that offers a fair rate for their services, you should have at least one or two good applicants. Before you jump right into hiring them for your next date night, try to see what you can find out about them. Briefly review their social media profiles to get to know them a little. What are their interests and hobbies? Are there any pictures of them with children? Do they seem responsible in work and academics?
- Conduct interviews
This may seem excessive, but you want to get to know the person who will be watching your kids, right? Schedule a quick sit-down with a few applicants who’ve passed your initial screening. Pay attention to personality cues and attentiveness. Are they capable of engaging in casual conversation? Do they seem to have a positive attitude toward children? Are there any personality traits that seem a bit off? Follow your intuition and pick a sitter who you feel comfortable with.
- Monitor and Evaluate performance
You’ve selected your sitter and are off for your date night. Clearly, your goal from here on out is to have a good time. But is this possible when you’re constantly worried about how your children are faring with their new caregiver? Let’s take a step back and see how we can alleviate some worry here.
- Be There (Without Really “Being There” Of Course)
We may be a bit biased, but home surveillance is a must when it comes to leaving your children with a new sitter. While you’ve done the legwork to secure a great fit, you can never be too sure. This is where quick and easy surveillance from izon comes in.
In just minutes, you can have our free app installed and ready-to-go-on your mobile device. The izon camera’s flexible design also makes effective placement and installation simple. Once you’ve got everything set up, you can view live video, receive alerts for noise and motion, and automatically upload video clips to your Cloud network.
Now You’re Ready to Get Away
The 5-step process is complete and you’re out on the town now. You’ll want to occasionally check the izon app on your phone to review surveillance footage. Do this often enough to ease your worry, but not so often that it hinders your ability to have a good time. When you get back, ask your sitter how it went. Also be sure to check with your child to see if he/she enjoyed spending time with the sitter. Chances are, everything will check out if you’ve followed these steps in finding qualified caregiver!