There is so much in the media about children being mistreated that it is very difficult to decide who they will be safe with. If you need a nanny or a babysitter, how do you know that they are responsible enough to give your children the care they deserve and you want them to have? You should never just accept someone because they are convenient; there are processes you need to go through to be sure.
What Do You Need And What Can You Afford?
Childcare costs are often the second biggest expense for families in the US after housing costs such as rents and mortgages. You need to look carefully at what you need and then at how much you can afford to pay. With babysitting averaging at $16 an hour and full-time nanny’s earning more than $650 per week, it is an expense that you have to be certain you can afford before taking anyone on.
Of course, you will always find people that will work at a lower rate, and that is fine as long as they fill the criteria you have for the person caring for your children. Do some research and find what the going rate is in your locality, and that will be much fairer for you and whoever you employ.
See if you can move the hours around as it could be better to employ someone for two full days rather than for a few hours five days a week.
Nanny Agencies Are Not Always The Best Way
Nanny agencies are not always the best place to find the perfect babysitter or nanny. To start with, you need to be confident that the relevant background checks have been carried out and there have been instances in the past where false information has been provided regarding these from nanny agencies.
The only way to trust the checks is to do them yourself. See if you can find a company like Jumio, but who will work with parents/nannies, for an identity verification check, and take up any references they have provided, ones from past employers will usually throw up a red flag if they had a problem with them. Check out their social media pages, as these will show a truer picture of their personality.
Speak to friends and relations to see if they can recommend anyone, and there are also nanny and babysitting sites that have qualified people advertising their services.
No one would suggest that all nanny agencies are bad, but you still need to do the checks yourself to be certain they are right.
When you get to the interview stage you need to be well prepared. Have your questions ready and answers to any questions you expect them to ask you. Try to avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no as you will not learn much about them that way.
Do not expect them to automatically know all the answers regarding your children, as some things will depend on your practices with child-rearing.
Anyone that you think might be suitable, let the children meet. Try to leave them alone for just a few minutes and see how things are when you return to the room. If you do this with 2 or 3 candidates you will find that your children have a preference, and that is great of it agrees with yours.
Have A Trial Period
A trial period is vital just to see how things work out before making it a permanent arrangement. Set a period of a month or so and see how the children and the nanny are getting on after that.
Always be aware of your children’s reactions. This does not just apply to nannies and babysitters but to anyone, they come in contact with. Children do not generally shy away from people without reason, so be wary of anyone they do this with.
Some parents go to the extent of having cameras fitted around the home when this happens, but if you do this you should inform the person providing the childcare that they can be seen.
Every two or three months you should sit and chat with the nanny to find out anything they are not happy with, and vice versa. This should be seen as a review of their performance. It is a chance to reward them if they are doing exactly the job you wanted, or to point out things that need to change.
This chats can be useful for you and them, but the people that should benefit most from them will be the children.