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How to Find & Keep a Qualified Babysitter

Tips for Finding a the Right Babysitter for Your Kids

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Finding a babysitter you trust and the kids love can be a challenge. Use these tips to find a qualified babysitter and keep him or her happily employed.

1. Ask Around for Recommendations

Whether you're looking for a teenage babysitter or a regular in-home caregiver, begin by asking your friends, colleagues, and neighbors for recommendations.

2. Contact Local Community Organizations

Call your local library, YMCA, and community education facility to find out whether they offer babysitting classes. If they do, they might be able to give you a list of local babysitters.

3. Contact Local Colleges & Universities

Also consider contacting your local community college or nearby universities. Their early education departments may have job boards where you can post your request.

4. Consider Using an Online Babysitting Service

You can also log onto www.babysitters.com to search for babysitters in your area.

5. Schedule Interviews

Schedule interviews with each potential candidate. If possible, make arrangements to conduct the interviews in your home so that the candidates can meet and interact with your children.

6. Prepare a List of Interview Questions

Prepare a list of babysitter interview questions. Make sure you include previous experience, your family's house ruleshow to handle emergencies, personal expectations, and compensation.

7. Review Your Expectations on the First Day

Once you've selected a babysitter, ask him or her to arrive early on the first day so that you can go over your rules and expectations.

8. Put Yourself in the Sitter's Shoes

Also think about how you can make your babysitter's experience in your home a pleasant one. You might consider keeping a few special snacks around and reminding your children that the house rules remain in effect when you are not home.

9. Arrive Home on Time

Try to be home when you said you would. Your sitter may have other plans, or may simply need a break by the time you arrive home.

10. Be Respectful

Finally, always treat your children's babysitter with respect. Stick to the hourly rate you agreed upon during the interview, and occasionally ask the sitter how things are going. Take the time to express how much you appreciate what he or she does for your family. Your kind words could mean more than you know!
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