Your babysitter may play a large role in the lives of
yourself and your children. This individual cares for your children while
you're away. He or she may be in your home for hours on end making sure things
don't fall apart. It could be quite stressful on a parent if there isn't a
level of trust in the situation. How well do your really know the person that
is in your home or watching your children in their own?
Experience - How well did you investigate the individual's experience level in childcare? Did he or she previously work in childcare or is this a new career path? Although experience doesn't denote whether an individual is going to be good for your family or not, it can help determine if the person will know what to do in certain situations.
Dishonest History - Are you positive that the individual you're hiring doesn't have a history of being dishonest? After all, he or she could have lied on an application or resume. Everyone has the capacity to change themselves from the person they were once before. However, many others will continue dishonest behaviors throughout their lives. Many of these individuals can put on a very innocent front until you see your jewelry collection on eBay.
History of Violence - Does your babysitter have a history of violence? Although it is completely possible to have a violent nature without causing harm to a child, do you really want to take that risk? As noted in dishonesty above, a person desperate for income will do and say just about anything to get hired. You need to be positive that your babysitter isn't going to do something regretful around your children.
Friendly Invitations - The babysitter should be caring for your children, not hosting a kegger. Can you be confident that your childcare provider isn't inviting various friends over to your home? While you may trust the babysitter, can you say the same for the friends you may have never met? Your babysitter's primary job is to care for your children. This task involves more than just turning on the TV and sitting the children in front of cartoons all day.
Lack of Child Interaction - A babysitter doesn't have to be violent or distasteful to the children in order to provide an atmosphere of neglect. He or she could simply sit on the computer for hours throughout the day without putting much thought into the management of the children. Instead of interacting with the little ones, a great deal of time can be spent playing games or keeping updated on family posts on Facebook. Meanwhile, your children essentially manage themselves in front of the television or on their own computers. If that's ideal for your household, then you have nothing to worry about.
Anytime you are planning on hiring a person for childcare it's always good to perform a thorough background check. The person can be pleasant and respectful during an interview but could be hiding a dark past that could put your children in jeopardy. The last thing you want to do is stress about the care of your children while at work. It could affect your career and decision making abilities. Don't leave your children and home under the care of someone you don't really know outside of his or her resume.
Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.