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Finding a Babysitter

Babysitting Pay Rate

The current babysitting pay rate encompasses a wide range of pay. How much you pay your babysitter can vary widely depending on where you live, how much experience the babysitter has, how many children she’ll be watching, what the ages of those children are, and what her duties will be. Babysitting rates can be anywhere from $5 to $20. Here are some considerations that affect the babysitting pay rate.

In general, mother’s helpers, who aren’t fully responsible for the care of your children, but are there to assist you, get paid less.

Teens and younger babysitters tend to have a lower babysitting pay rate as well. 

Major metropolitan areas tend to command the highest pay rate.

The babysitting pay rate may be higher in cases where a babysitter has more years of experience, is caring for more than one of your children, is caring for infants rather than a pre-teen, and has specialized training such as CPR certification or early childhood education.

Babysitters who have a greater degree of responsibility, such as driving your children or teaching them a specific skill can command higher rates as well.

If you’re wondering what the prevailing wage rate is for babysitters in your locale, you can check with friends and neighbors, other parents, and local parent associations or clubs.

At Care4hire.com; when searching for a caregiver, you can sort by expected salary.
 


Finding Babysitters When You’re On The Road

Finding babysitters when you’re traveling presents unique challenges. You need to find a childcare provider for your little one, but you have to do so in a community with which you may not be familiar. When you don't know what resources are available to you or which businesses and people are worthy of your trust, how do you even begin to search for a quality childcare provider.

Check with your hotel's concierge to see if he/she can provide you with a list of recommended babysitters. Always ask the concierge about what types of pre-screening the hotel has in place for babysitters to qualify to be on their recommended list.

Do some research to find out what babysitter agencies are available in the area. Ask what types of prescreening measures are in place for individual childcare professionals.

Use word of mouth. See if a local family member, friend, or colleague knows someone in the town you’re visiting and can refer you to a reputable agency or a babysitter.

Use an online database, such as www.Care4hire.com, that lets you search and browse through potential babysitters based on locale.
 


10 Questions You Should Ask At A Babysitter Interview

You have a number of candidates lined up for babysitter interviews. To ensure that you hire the best possible candidate for your child, it’s helpful to be prepared. Here’s a list of five questions you should ask at a babysitter interview.

1.  Ask what experience your babysitter candidates have had and whether they have any experience with a child in the same age group as yours.   You may want to ask your candidates to tell you stories of some of their best and some of their most difficult experiences in babysitting children in the same age range as your children.

2.  Ask for references that include each past babysitting job.  (Ensure that you call all prior employers and other references to gather as much information about your candidates as you reasonably can.)

3.  Find out your candidates' schedule and availability, making sure it coincides with your needs.

4.  Find out if your candidates have had any CPR training, CNA training, and / or other education or experience that will help the candiates be familiar with what to do in case of an emergency involving your child.

5.  Ask what type of philosophy your candidates have in taking care of children.  Of particular interest will the the babysitters' perspectives on the appropriate amount of time a chid can spend watching television, the balance of a child's time spent in learning versus purely playing,  how to handle a misbehaving child, and what is acceptable "punishment" when misbehavior occurs.

6.  Ask the candidates if they have their own means of traveling to and from their babysitting job or if you would need to pick them up before work and return them home after work. 

7.  Provide your candidates with likely childcare scenarios and ask how they have handled them or would handle them.  For example, your toddler has wounded her knee.  The injury itself is minor, but your toddler is crying and quite alarmed.  How do each of the candidates handle the toddler?  Do they apply the bandage and tell the child that the injury is minor . . . end of story (some might perceive this to be a cold response)?  Do they apply the bandage and comfort the child (some might perceive this to be an overly coddling response)?   While this inquiry will tend to indicate how nurturing your candidates are, other scenario questions can seek to ascertain information about other traits in your candidates.)

8.  Ask the candidates what pay rate they are expecting.

9.  Ask what the candidates would expect when working for you.  (Do the babysitter candidates think it's acceptable to have their boyfriends/girlfriends over while babysitting?  Do the candidates think it's acceptable to send and receive a large quantity of text messages while babysitting?  Do your boundaries mirror those of your babysitter candidates?)

10.  Ask if the candidates are legally authorized to work in the United States.  Individuals who are born in the United States are authorized to work in the United States.  Foreign-born individuals need permission from the federal government in order to work in the US.  (Note: it is illegal to discriminate based on national origin.  If a candidate states that he/she is legally authorized to work in the United States, you need not press for further information on this subject during the interview.  It would potentially be illegal to ask if the candidates were born in the United States or if they were foreign-born but legally authorized to work in the US.) 

Questions #1, 5, 7 contain what may be overlapping information in the answers given.  Ensure that your candidates are giving consitent information among each of the questions.  Where there are discrepancies, seek clarification.  
 


Four Places To Find A Babysitter

Finding a babysitter to care for your children can be a challenge. Whether you’re a parent who just needs a night out or you’re looking to find a babysitter on a regular basis, there are a variety of places you can look for quality childcare.

Internet – Going online is one of the easiest ways to conduct your search for a babysitter. At www.Care4hire.com, you are able to view the profiles of numerous candidates interested in a babysitting position – many of whom live in close proximity to your home.

Agency - Various babysitter/nanny agencies offer a service that will send a pre-screened babysitter to your home based on your preferences and required hours.  Fees will be higher - as the pre-screening will be done for you.

Neighborhood – If you don’t need a professional babysitter, but just want someone to play with and provide basic care for your child, looking in your own neighborhood is an option. Responsible teens looking for part-time work may be interested in babysitting.

Friends and Family – Let your friends and family know you are trying to find a babysitter and would like to see if they can recommend someone. 


How Old Should A Babysitter Hire Be?

You’re thinking about hiring someone to look after your child, and you want to ensure that whoever you hire is mature enough to handle the responsibilities of the job. The American Red Cross recommends that a babysitter should be at least 11 years old if she’s attending to an infant.  Other experts think that someone who is at least 14 years of age will make a better choice for a babysitter.

If you’re merely looking for a mother’s helper who will assist you with various tasks throughout the day while you’re at home, most teenagers and preteens will be qualified to handle the job. If you have multiple children that the babysitter will be watching, greater maturity and capability may be required.  Some parents may feel more comfortable with an adult babysitter.

Regardless of age, it is best to take the time to talk to a potential babysitter hire, get to know her well enough to determine whether she is a good fit for the job, and ask for and check references.  Keep in mind that chronological age and maturity do not develop proportionately for each person.  What matters most is the potential babysitter's skills and abilities (which may or may not be reflective of her chronological age).
 


Three Things To Think About When Finding A Babysitter

Finding a babysitter can be a little overwhelming. Deciding where to look and what to look for when finding a babysitter doesn’t have to be difficult. Having a checklist of what to do and what not to do will help you in your search. Here are three tips on how to find a babysitter.

1.  When finding a babysitter, give yourself ample time to conduct your search. Settling for someone you’re not sure about can leave you feeling uneasy about your child’s care in your absence.

2.  Consider the long-term perspective. Even if you  just need a babysitter for an evening out periodically, having a consistent babysitter you can trust benefits both you and your children.  You can eliminate the hassle of repeating your search every time you need to find a babysitter for an evening.   Your children can develop a relationship with a consistent babysitter rather than meeting a revolving door of caregivers.

3.  Be thorough. Interview the prospective babysitters, ask for and check references, do background checks, and see how the prospective babysitters interact with your child or children


Signs of a Good Sitter

Choosing a babysitter can be difficult. With all of the babysitters out there, it can seem like an overwhelming task to try and narrow down the pool until you find that one, perfect caregiver.

So what makes a great babysitter?

It is important, for the sake of consistency for your children, that your babysitter be able to commit to your family for at least a year from the interview date. Within that year, there may be dates on which you need a babysitter and she is not be available: however, she ideally will be able to be your babysitter most of the times you are in need.

It is important that your babysitter be alert and eager to help. An enthusiastic babysitter won't sit the kids in front of the TV while she text messages her friends for hours. She'll be more likely to use her creativity to organize fun activities, play games, suggest a bike ride, and get the kids outside and moving. 

It is also important that your babysitter has a nurturing response to your children during the interview.

Your babysitter should have the ability to communicate well with diverse age groups and perspectives. 

Your babysitter needs to be familiar with CPR and basic first aid procedures.

It is important that your babysitter possess a basic knowledge of house safety features like child locks and fire extinguishers.  If your home has an alarm system, it is important that your babysitter knows how to operate it. 

Your prospective babysitter should report to the interview in a punctual manner. If a babysitter is late to an interview, she will be late to work as well.

Your prospective babysitter should be able to give you concrete examples of babysitting situations that she has handled in the past. 

Your potential babysitter should be asking you many questions about the job and what it involves. Ideally, she will have a list of parent interview questions for you. This will show that she's thinking about and taking seriously her role in your home.

Your prospective babysitter should be able to give you a list of references.

Your babysitter should be clean, well groomed, and well mannered.  She is setting an example for your children.

In addition to the above list, which is important in all families, some essential babysitter characteristics vary with the family and yet are essential to the families.  You will need to decide what works best in your home, a babysitter who is:

-strict or lenient,

-serious or possessing a sense of humor,

-in possession of a driver's license with a clean record (if your babysitter will be driving with your children in the automobile),

-in possesion of CNA licensure or other medical credentialing (if your child has health concerns),

-familiar with nutrition (if your babysitter will be responsible for feeding your children), and

-experienced with and comfortable using the method of behavior modification (or punishment) that you prefer.

After you evaluate your prospective babysitters with all these characteristics in mind, you should be able to select a babysitter that is right for your family.


Unacceptable Babysitter Behavior

Are you beginning to worry that your employment relationship with your babysitter may need to be discontinued due to some behaviors of the babysitter?

There are warning signs of a failing babysitter.

Babysitters should be punctual and happy to see your children.  If your babysitter repeatedly shows up late or in a negative disposition, it may be time to seek a new babysitter.

Babysitters should be comfortable communicating openly with you.  If your babysitter is reluctant to (or refuses to) answer questions or talk to you about the children, it may be time to seek a new babysitter. You have a right to know what's happening with your children, and if your babysitter is defensive, you may wonder what she's hiding.

Similarly, babysitters should be honest with you at all times.  If you suspect your babysitter is lying, ask your babysitter questions and seek corroborating information from another source (your children, an employee at the library or other location at which your babysitter and children were, etc.). If your babysitter is lying, it may be time to seek a new babysitter. 

Babysitters should be with your children consistently while they are babysitting.  If your babysitter won't answer the phone when you call while she's babysitting your children, question her about why she did not answer.  If your children tell you that their babysitter sat them in front of the television and then left on a date with her boyfriend, follow up with her about that.  If your babysitter is abandoning your children when she is supposed to be watching over them, it may be time to seek a new babysitter.

Babysitters should be interacting with your children, keeping them active and intellectually engaged.  If your babysitter is relying on the television or a video game to be a virtual babysitter, it may be time to seek a new babysitter.

Babysitters should portray positive behaviors as they are role models for your children.  If your babysitter frequently verbalizes complaints about one thing or another, she is spreading negativity.  If a babysitter gossips to you or your children about other parents and children, it is safe to assume that she is gossiping to others about you and your children.   Additionally, your children are seeing her behavior as normal and acceptable, thus they are more likely to gossip as well.  Thus, if your babysitter is not modeling positive behaviors for your children, it may be time to seek a new babysitter.

Babysitters should be respectful of you as her employer and you as the parents of the children to whom she is attending.  If your babysitter appears to be patronizing you, questioning your judgment, or failing to follow your directives,  it may be time to seek a new babysitter.

If you sense that something is off in your care relationship, we always suggest that you find another caregiver. Even a gut reaction is enough to make a judgment. At the end of the day, it's your family and your children, and it's up to you to decide what's best for them.

 


Child Care Challenges: Transitioning to a New Caregiver

If your child attends daycare or has a nanny or babysitter, he or she will likely experience a transition in care at some point: for example, your nanny or babysitter may resign or your child may transition from daycare to having a babysitter.  

Transitions can be difficult.  It is best if you can anticipate these transitions and help your child adjust to the transitions before, during, and after their occurrence.

Give your child as much notice as possible of the impeding transition.  

Give your child as much information about the transition as you possibly can.  Let your child know when the transition will occur, what will happen during and after the transition, etc.  Have your new babysitter meet your child during the new babysitter's employment interview (prior to the current caregiver's departure).  You may even want to ask your child which babysitter candidate he prefers and why . . . he may have valuable insight, and giving him the ability to help shape his future will help him adapt to that future.

Give your child the opportunity to ask questions of you before, during, and after the transition.  Your child will be experiencing some degree of uncertainty, and you can minimize the uncertainty or insecurity by being responsive to your child's questions and concerns.

Allow your child time to grieve the passing of what was (i.e., attending daycare) so that he can subsequently move on to embrace what will be (i.e., having Paula as his new babysitter).

Be alert to non-verbal cues that your child may be feeling worried, stressed, sad, or insecure.  When you perceive such cues, take the time to visit with your child.  Ask your child how he is feeling or what he is thinking about the transition.  Some children do not "open up" easily: you may need to persevere in your dialogue with your child despite his reticence.  Ultimately, he will likely tell you what he is thinking and feeling, and then you can address whatever he is trying to work through.

For the first two weeks, spend an extra hour with your child and the new babysitter to ease them into the relationship.  By doing this, you also have the opportunity to ensure that  your new babysitter knows and is acting in accordance with your family's boundaries (i.e., methods of discipline, house rules, safety, meals, nap times, regular routines, etc.).

Ensure that your new babysitter is introduced to your child's approved friends, their parents and caregivers, neighbors, etc.  Additionally, ensure that your new babysitter knows who is not allowed to have contact with your child (i.e., "friends" that you don't approve of, the sinister neighbor down the street, etc.).

Ensure that your new babysitter knows your child's favorite activities.  It is essential that your new babysitter and your child engage in some of these activities early in their relationship so as to foster the bond between the two of them.

Minimize the number of concurrent transitions in the life of your child.  Any one transition is difficult.  If your child is experiencing two or more transitions in the same approximate time frame, your child may struggle more (and longer) with the transitions.  So, moving your child from daycare to having a babysitter should be timed to occur not near your taking a job which will require you to be away from home more frequently.

If your child is very attached to his outgoing nanny or babysitter, organize periodic get-togethers to maintain the relationship.  Similarly, if your child has transitioned from daycare to having a babysitter, you may want your babysitter to arrange playdates between your child and some of his friends from the daycare center in order to maintain those relationships.

Transitions can take weeks or months of adjustment.  Give your child all the time he needs to adjust to his new circumstance.  If, after a period of months, your child is still struggling to adapt, you may wish to speak with your pediatrician for further guidance.