On my very first post on this blog, I talked a little about babysitting, and especially how to get an effective organization with babysitters.
Here we will go a little further on the subject, which seems to interest some of my entourage parents.
The organization of child care is a true cross-subject, because from it depends on our peace of mind for the other activities of our lives, be they professional or personal. Indeed, if your after school childcare “system” is not ok, upon the arrival in the middle of the afternoon, you will start to stress, to ask if everything is going well, if your Chief will not give you a last minute task, causing you to leave the office on time, etc … All these thoughts, entirely justified, will then have a disruptive role and distract you from your goal, i.e. having a productive and effective day.
I will focus my subject here on babysitter, which is a topic I know well. However, many points are valid to choose a nanny.
First, there are two types of services.
The one-time babysitter, who you are going to call for a romantic evening, for example. And the babysitter that will pick up your children several times a week from school, come home with them and supervise them awaiting your return.
In the 2 cases, you will employ competent teens or students. However, the recruitment of a one-time babysitter can be a little more “flexible” than for regular services.
Clearly define the service you want, to be able to screen the profile to recruit.
If you have two toddlers with bottles, diapers, etc., it is highly unlikely that the 14 years old’girl next door will be calibrated to handle even for one evening. By cons, this same girl will no doubt perfect for keeping your children after dinner with a good DVD if they are 7 or 8 years. So you have to create a detailed list of expectations to find the profile that you seem adequate. The definition is, therefore, essential.
Where to find her:
Several options are available:
- Word of mouth, ask around parents at school or at the end of exercise classes, etc …
- look at the classified ads in local businesses, to the concierge
- specialized internet sites as top-nanny and others
- ask the college near your home if there is a notice board for job-ads that you can view or where you can place an ad.
- print out flyers to deposit in mailboxes around you.
Remember to anticipate your search, it takes time to find the gems.
How many babysitters do you need?
If you use a babysitter for afterschool, there are several things to consider:
An occasionnal need if you have a late meeting or business trip or a regular need, everyday after school.
For occasionnal needs, 1 or 2 babysitters can be enough to cover your requests.
If you need a childcare every day, it will be prudent to recruit several babysitters. Why ? Firstly because the girls are not willing to work every day, due to their courses, and secondly it allows you to secure your organization.
Indeed, as explained in my previous article, there must be a heavy blow, the day your girl calls you at the last minute to inform you of its unavailability. So have several “selected” babysitters, will allow you to reorganize quickly to overcome this problem. However, To be sure those babysitters remain available to you, it is necessary that you give them work regularly, or they will go elsewhere.
One method would be , for example, to alternate days, the first one for the beginning of the week, the second one at the end, and a third for the weekend. Or a week over 2 or 3. the most suitable arrangement to all of you.
In this configuration, your choice of babysitters will be crucial.
Thus, try to avoid choosing people who are in the same grade levels. For example, if you appoint two girls who are in the 12th grade, you can be sure that, from March or April, you will not see anyone because of their examination. You must keep in mind.
The job interview:
In your job interview, you will explicitly ask questions about :
- the schedule of your candidate, exams …
- school holiday dates (in college or graduate school vacation schedules do not always coincide with pre or primary school).
- Ask her to tell about her experience, about the children she has handled, about her little brothers and sisters, the age of the children she had to take care…
- Ask her if she has a favorite age group.
- Where does she live? Will you have to take her back home after, can she take public transportation, has she a transport card, etc …
- Can she help your child with his homework? Help to the bath?
- Has she first aid notions? What would she do in case of an accident? Is she enough mature to cope this responsibility?
- Does she have individual insurance or the one of her parents?
- What kind of activities does she plan to make with your children ?
- What about her “cooking level”?
It is important that you keep in mind or on paper, all the questions you want to ask. Prepare a checklist, stored on your phone or computer, so have it handy when first telephone contact
Keep your feet on the ground:
Before starting, you have to put some reality in mind:
- The babysitter has not been a mother yet (in general). Do not ask her maternal instinct and even less to have the same reflexes as you! She will probably not interpret the tears of your children as well as you. She must be caring and patient with children (or so it must change quickly from job).
It is neither doctor nor nurse. So avoid giving her very sick children or have a condition that can worsen quickly. This is your role. Similarly, if your child has allergies, asthma or another, you must tell the babysitter, explain her where emergency treatment is, the doctor’s contact information in case, etc.
- She is not professional nanny or camp instructor (well not all). Help her in the selection of activities to offer to your children. Prepare the favorite films and games, etc … Some are seasoned and come with a host of activities but not all.
- She has (generally) not attended a cooking school. Then avoid throwing her carelessly “there are vegetables and meat in the fridge for dinner” (raw, of course). No, you will plan a simple dish to heat or microwave quickly. Tell yourself, at best, she will cook pasta or a steak like that, no surprises. But confirm with the girl. Furthermore, based on time, your babysitter may have dinner with your children, so prepare it. She probably did not settle for the mini portion puree you have planned for your child and a small slice of ham!
- She does not know the habits of your children. So remember to specify if the little one needs to be cut his steak into small pieces, if entitled to ketchup, if any allergens that must be avoided, etc …
- She “replaces” you for a few hours, but so far does not live there. So be attentive to her questions, visit the house for her to take her habits, tell her where utensils are, games, cookies for snack, first aid kit, etc …
storage – babysitter.
When my children needed afterschool nanny, I had installed a back door organizer found at IKEA,which has served us well. I had stowed everything necessary: first medical emergency (bandage, disinfectant wipes, arnica). But also, the batteries for games, some medications that were prescribed by the doctor (against fever, headache, diarrhea, cough …). If necessary, everything was to (her) hand. There was also the tissues, the blanket, to make it short, all the small items that my children may need. This organizer is always with us also and always faithfully fulfills its task for the whole family.
In the same spirit, she must have a list of contacts. You of course, but also relatives or neighbors to contact if she can not reach you. The family physician, firefighters, Emergency, the plumber, the concierge of your building. Place this list prominently on the fridge for example, or on the family board-it will also be valuable to your older children. On this site a sample list that you can easily reproduce
Respect the time
Set a notice period for cancelation, in particular about you, if you cancel too often at the last minute, expect to have the same treatment in return. If you cancel late, do not hesitate to give a compensation to the girl. Finally, if you tell her that you will come back at XX, stand there. A few minutes overflow may be acceptable but certainly not hours. It is the same for the babysitter who must be punctual.
Agree on the amount of his performance, package depending on experience, and the tasks she will take over. Here tips on how to pay and possible aid
Define the payment terms, the first time I used a babysitter I realized lately that she wanted cash while I was only 10 euros in the wallet, and she would not check ….
Regularly Pay according to the agreed terms, every day, once a week …
Protect your privacy and your image:
Leave nothing “hang out” that could be embarrassing for your babysitter (sex toys, illicit substances, films X etc …). A tweet with a nice photo of your “utensils” can do some damages;-)
These are a few rules of life for your babysitter. For example, no tobacco, no violent movies if children are nearby. Prohibit or restrict the use of his phone when taking care of your kids. Accept you or not a girlfriend (or boyfriend) to come join in the evening? Be clear about access to your bar, your fridge, your closet, your bedroom, etc …
Prepare your children:
It is important to tell your kids, so it is not a last minute surprise. If possible, it is well that your children can meet their future babysitter, especially if it is to pick them at school. This will also allow you to see her behavior with them, their first reaction, though, make no mistake, things will be different once you’re gone;-)
Besides, think to prevent school or daycare center. Some ask a written document with the photocopy of the identity card of the babysitter. So plan ahead.
Be very clear in your requests.
Provide a checklist of what to do and in what order, to meet the habits you have given to your children, even if in the case of an exceptional Saturday evening, it’s the opportunity for your kids to have a little party “without parents” and moreover with a different timetable . Think about it this is important for them as well and that is a guarantee of success for the next time!
Then ask her to come a little early the first time-if it’s for an evening- to explain to her home and the different rules that govern your family and allow her to catch the environment.
Once you leave, you need to stay in touch. It is no use to communicate your contact information if she can not reach you if needed! I had the opportunity to read some blogs from babysitter for the preparation of this article. And believe me, there are girls who find themselves in stressful situations for their age and mostly oblivious parents.
Then you have to trust and enjoy, or your romantic evening or to your work day. Confidence is necessary, but you must also avoid to over-think at all costs. If at your return, your children are happy and harass to know when is your next “Saturday” is that all is fine !!
Last little trick for jealous moms , Take A boy babysitter;-)
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