When it comes to finding a good babysitter, it isn't always so cut and dried. It's important to know that your children are safe when you are not with them so it must entail more than calling a number from the local paper. A babysitter must be someone who is in it for more than the money. It's about the safe keeping of children and anyone who does not have that as a priority would not make a great babysitter.
A babysitter does not necessarily have to be someone that has kids of their own but they most certainly should have experience with them. Any parent knows that children are clever and learn quickly how to manipulate adults that have little experience dealing with kids. This is not something you want to be happening while you are out or away at work. People who have experience with children are also often more advanced when it come to things like dealing with everyday injuries or fighting siblings.
As far as safety goes, sometimes watching simply is not enough. In the event that your children get hurt, a babysitter should be someone that knows how to deal with it. First Aid and CPR are valuable assets that a good babysitter should always possess. Those programs can help save lives and take a short time to complete. Anyone you hire to care for your kids should have First Aid training. It's also something that parents should have as well.
If you are really struggling with your search for the best babysitter possible, try asking friends and family if they have someone they could recommend. Quite often you will get a few names and numbers this way. Ask those whose opinions you truly trust. You might find this can eliminate your search altogether. Try asking before you start hunting in other places.
If the person you hire is someone that you do not know personally, it's always a good idea to do a background check. The last thing any parent wants is to make the mistake of hiring someone with a criminal history to watch over young children. Of course a clean background does not always guarantee safety but it does ensure that the person you allow in your home has not been convicted of crimes involving children.
There are plenty of great babysitting services and agencies out there that dedicate their work to helping you eliminate your search. Most of these companies, if not all, run checks on their employees before sending them to your house. Someone who is certified by one of these services may help relieve some of the pressure by doing some of the work for you. Government run babysitting services may even offer some kind of financial assistance to those in need of child care help.
Finding a good babysitter is one of those things that just has to be done right. If for any reason you are uncomfortable with someone, don't feel bad about opting against them. Your children's safety is no place to take a gamble.
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