Many parent wonder what the difference is between a daycare provider and a babysitter. Although they may sound the same, the generally are not. Daycare providers are often professionals who care for children in their homes and are usually properly trained. Babysitters are typically teenagers or young adults who supervise children for part-time work. Although they may not be as qualified as adults, there are some amazing teenage babysitters looking for work, it is just sometimes hard to find them.
When you are looking for a babysitter, talk to your friends and family first. If they do not have any plans, they may be willing to baby-sit for the time you need or at least recommend someone who can. There are tons of young adults or teens that will advertise their services in local papers. If you do answer a classified ad to find a babysitter, it is recommended that you ask for past references. Hiring a stranger to watch your children can potential be dangerous if you do not properly review your babysitter. Some high schools will provide a signup sheet for teens interested in babysitting. If you call the school they can give you a list of phone numbers to call and they may possibly give you a little bit of information on the students.
Once you find a babysitter it is a good idea to go over your house rules. Never assume that a sitter will know the rules of your household. Many families have different rules and expectations when it comes to the care of their children. Some teenagers, not all, may invite a friend over or chat on the phone all evening long. Specifically asking your babysitter to give their full attention to your child and to not have any visitors will help ensure that your child is being properly cared for.
If you are using a new babysitter, make sure you take a few minutes to show him/her your home. Be sure to point out all of the exits and phones, so they will know where to find them in case of an emergency. Make a list of phone numbers for your babysitter to call if needed. These phone numbers should include where you will be located, close relatives, and the police, EMT, and fire departments. On this list you should also print your home address, because in an dire emergency your babysitter may not be able to remember where your home is located. It is also important to inform your sitter of a pool or pets. If you have a swimming pool, make sure the surrounding fence is properly secured and state whether or not your children can go swimming. If you have any pets, it may be a good idea to introduce your babysitter to your animals.
Once your arrive home be sure to ask the babysitter how she feels the day or evening went. After the babysitter leaves, or the following morning, be sure to get feedback from your child. Ask if the babysitter was always in the room, had any visitors or was possibly abusive. If you child enjoyed the company of the babysitter that you had selected, you may want to ask him/her to baby-sit again. If you suspect that your child has been physically or sexually assaulted it is important that you talk to your child before jumping to conclusions. After you have discussed the possibility and abuse was found or you are still not sure, contact your local authorities.
Your child’s life is precious and that is nothing to mess around with. Once you find a good babysitter try and retain their services, children enjoy forming bonds with others. A happy child makes a happy parent.