As some of us slowly make the transition back to the office, and childcare options remain limited, getting a babysitter might be a good alternative. Choosing someone to watch over and take care of your kids while you’re not around is not something that should be done in haste. Even though letting a neighbor or friend look after your child might be convenient and easy, if you dedicate time to find a qualified caregiver, you can rest assured that your child will have a safe and enjoyable experience.
When looking for a trustworthy babysitter check with your child’s school, pediatrician, local community center, or Red Cross, most will have a list of caregivers. To help narrow your list, look for sitters who have completed infant and child CPR courses, have teaching experience, and qualified references. To truly learn whether a sitter is good with children, mature, and reliable, take time to review their references and social media pages. Finally, schedule a time to sit down and interview them in person; pay close attention to how they engage with your child.
Anytime you plan to leave your children with a sitter, make sure to leave a list of instructions with emergency information. Be specific and include items in your instructions, such as:
- Allergies or medical conditions to be aware of.
- Homework or assignments to be completed.
- Limits on TV, video games, and cell phones.
- Your location and how to reach you as well as that of other emergency contacts.
- At home, identify where the first aid kit and fire extinguisher are kept.
- Keep emergency phone numbers in a visible area.
Every family has unique needs to be met, make your expectations clear before you leave. Explain what your children are allowed and not allowed to do and talk to your children about your expectations of them while you are gone. Always check in with your children afterward and pay attention to how they describe their experience. Remind children that they can always come and talk to you about anything that makes them feel uneasy or uncomfortable. The more time invested in this process, the more confident you will be that your child is in capable hands.
For more child safety tips and information, visit MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/ChildSafety