How to find a trustworthy babysitter this summer
Now that summer’s here, some parents are scrambling to find a sitter to take care of the kids. But that process can be stressful.
We checked in with a local childcare expert to learn the best ways to find someone you can trust.
Barbara Vernon at CAPS says websites like Care.com, BabyCenter.com, ChildcareAware.Org and ECAlliance.org have good resources that can point you in the right direction. She says it’s perfectly appropriate to ask candidates for personal references and if they have a certificate from a local babysitting course.
Vernon says, “The other thing is to have a couple of people on your list and have each of them come to the house spend a little time with your children before you leave them with your child. Just so they know your routines, so they know the children, so they know what is expected of them as far as reinforcement, snacks, activities etc. That’s important.”
Bethel Lauver has two young kids. She says it’s important for her to get to know the babysitter well and lay ground rules.
“We’ve lived in our neighborhood now for about two years so we’ve gotten to know the neighborhood kids and the parents and what not so you know we are not just going to let them off with anyone. Usually we like to get to know their names and what they do at school, things like that,” says Lauver. “We go through the routine – what they can eat, what they can’t eat, bedtime, snacks, naps, everything like that.”
If you’re looking at daycares – make sure there are enough adults watching the kids. It’s especially important for eyes to always be on babies & toddlers even while they’re sleeping. Make sure to check that the daycare provider is licensed.
Vernon says, “Some of the things you also want to look for our what are the type of activities does the facility have? Are they age appropriate? Is there a wide variety? Are the toys or activities in good condition in good shape? Is the facility itself clean?”
Vernon says these ratios of adult care providers to kids are ideal:
-One adult caregiver for every for infant and one adult caregiver for every for young toddler
-One adult caregiver for every six older toddlers
-One adult caregiver for every nine preschoolers or school aged children
Vernon also stresses an open door policy should be in place for any provider you choose.
She says, “You as a parent should be able to go in any time of day and see your child and see what’s happening with your child. There should not be restrictions at all on you going into the facility to see your child.”