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Babysitter? What to ask?(4 Posts)
DD is almost 8 months old. No family to help babysit so DH & I don't have time alone to go for dinner or movie. It'd be nice to do something just the 2 of us even once a month so I've been considering a babysitter. I've never left her with anyone other than my family who live many hours away so can't help regularly. I've had someone who used to work in childcare contact me as they heard through a mutual contact that I was considering getting a babysitter. She's sent a brief message & I've yet to write back. I'm unsure what to ask.
Part of this is that DD is starting nursery in 4 months when I go back to work & I've never been apart from her for more than an hour & I think spending a few hours away every so often might help me get gradually used to it so it's not a complete shock when she goes for a long day (she'll be doing nursery 7.30-6.30 2 days a week if all goes to plan).
I obviously need to know what experience she has, possibly a CV & what she charges. Is there anything else I should be asking for? I would rather someone had paediatric first aid but I don't know if this is asking beyond what a standard babysitter is expected to have.
I had put up an advertisement in our local area asking for a very experienced nanny/childminder but nobody has got back to me so that's proved a bit unsuccessful. I'd rather continue to bring DD on "date nights" than leave her with someone I'm not 100% comfortable with. I'd only consider someone very experienced & not a teenager/student trying to make extra money.
I'd be very grateful of any advice! I've had a look online & the suggestions on many websites are to give the babysitter scenarios & ask what they'd do I think I might come across crazy if I follow that advice via email!
I would meet her and just have a conversation and see how you feel. I'd ask her about her childcare background and the work she does now, let her interact with your dd and see how she is. Talk about any concerns you have or any specific needs your dd has (does she have an allergy? does she need to be put to sleep in a certain way? etc.) just to gauge her reaction and if it seems she would be on the same page as you in terms of those things and comfortable with them. I would expect anyone with a professional childcare background to have paediatric first aid, yes, and also to have all the usual background checks done. I'd also ask for references of another family or two who she's worked for or a nursery/childminder, etc. and just be in touch with them or ask them to be in touch with you. And then it might just be a matter of asking her to come for a trial, maybe just to interact with your dd while you stay in the house and see how they get on.
You may also want to ask at your nursery if they have anyone they would recommend. Our babysitter was one of our dd's nursery teachers who also did babysitting in the evenings and weekends. So besides knowing her already and knowing my dd was comfortable with her (I know yours hasn't started yet, but it might help to start with someone she will also see when she does go to nursery), we knew she had all the proper checks and trainings and qualifications in place. She's been our babysitter now for 3 years, even after our dd is in school.
@mindutopia thank you so much! That is so useful. I unfortunately can't get someone from her nursery- our contract says if we are found to be using an employee as a childminder outside of the nursery that's breaking our contract & we're liable for all sorts of fees. I guess at least it means that all children will be in the same boat as none of them will know the employees that way.
I will definitely ask if she can come around to meet us/DD. I didn't want to ask anything of her which isn't the norm but your advice is so useful.
I asked for us (me and toddler DD) to meet childminder together before leaving her there for the first time too. She hadn't been alone with just one stranger before (only at nursery). She said every parent is different: some were happy to leave a baby/child with less but others need more reassurance and a trial run. If she's understanding of that it's a good sign. See if you click and how you feel about her after meeting and hearing what she has to say.
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