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6 Questions to Ask Before you Hire a Babysitter

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On my honor….I will do my best to … take care of your children and to keep them safe.”

Parents have an awesome responsibility when it comes to choosing a Babysitter, especially for parents that have no relatives in the immediate area. In this case, you either have to make some tough decisions on who you will leave your precious babies with or never go on an adult outing again until the kids are teens. Here are a few questions and things to consider when looking for or hiring a babysitter.

[1] Does the Babysitter come with a Six Degrees of Separation recommendation? Can you connect your babysitter to yourself in a maximum of six steps? Babysitters should come referred from people that you know and trust. The friends you keep, typically have similar values to yours, share similar activities and conduct themselves much like you do. If the family the babysitter comes from is drastically different from your core values, steer clear!

[2] Is your Babysitter old enough to be left alone to supervise other children? Most parents seem to be comfortable with a 12 year old and up. Maturity and understanding the seriousness of managing the safety and well being of your child needs to be carefully considered. Texting, talking or playing games on the iphone, visitors, TV watching, etc. need to be discussed. Explore decision making frameworks with the babysitter, consider how they will respond if a medical or other emergency happens while they are alone with your child.

[3] What’s the motivation for the role of being a babysitter? Do they truly like caring for, cleaning up after and have fun with children or is babysitting the result of a nagging parent to find something to do? All sitters and especially adult sitters need to be questioned in a manner so you can obtain any negative impressions that could imply abuse or molestation behavior.

[4] Any experience? Look to see if the sitter has a resume and references. Even if you know this sitter, ask to see the resume and call references. Many younger sitters will list family members, teachers, coaches or church groups as references and have little or no experience. When you call these references, you are trying to ask questions that will give you an assessment of the level of maturity, leadership skills, and how well they get along with others. Sitters with actual paid experience should be happy to have you call references.

[5] Is your Babysitter fun to be with and have enough energy to take care of your children? Parents want a babysitter with a good imagination who can create games, activities, and crafts. They don’t want babysitters plopping their children in front of the TV. A playful personality shows parents that the sitter genuinely cares about fostering a healthy, fun, and active environment for their kids.

[6] Ask to see any trainings and certifications documentation. A good babysitter should know basic first aid techniques, like the relief of choking, how to stop bleeding, and how to administer first aid to areas of swelling, burns and other common injuries. Every babysitter should be certified in CPR for children and babies. Nowadays, most families expect babysitters to have these certifications.

BABYSITTER TRAINING…

Safety Matters Certified Training has a babysitter training class that babysitters can take to earn these certifications and learn other important babysitting skills.

Babysitting has become a business. On one hand, baby sitters can earn additional income and on the other, parents are not worried about their kids when they are not at home. But everyone is not a responsible baby sitter. So if someone is really interested in becoming one, then he/she should first attend few classes on babysitting and get certified before becoming an official babysitter. If your own child is babysitting somewhere then make sure he/she is aware of general first aid and what should be done in case of any emergency. Also make sure his/her reputation is credible. Accidents are an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance. Prevention and preparedness are the best methods to avoid an accident.

In our Babysitter Training class, we teach the sitter how to develop a resume, business cards and who should be on the reference list. If they have no experience, we suggest, teachers, coaches or adults (outside of Mom & Dad) that could be listed as a reference and speak to the sitters leadership, maturity and social skills.

[AUTHOR: Justin M. Haagen] Justin is the owner of Safety Matters Certified Training and teaches CPR/AED/First Aid as well as Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider, and ACLS along with a variety of safety classes with certifications from the American Heart Association and the American Safety & Health Institute. Our Babysitter Training classes are held in Santa Barbara every quarter. To contact, email Justin@CPRtrainingsb.com or call 805-308-2252.

October 19, 2014

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