Read these 11 Short Term Babysitter Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Babysitter tips and hundreds of other topics.
You may never forget your child's sensitivities and allergies but that doesn't mean other people won't. Whenever a new person such as a summer babysitter cares for your child make sure you let them know about your child's medical needs. If your child has any allergies let your babysitter know verbally and keep a written document containing this information posted in a highly visible place such as the refrigerator. Also include emergency numbers and information on how to deal with an allergic reaction if your child is exposed.
When you hire a babysitter, ask them about training and experience before you ask them to do a job. A popular babysitter-training course is offered through the Red Cross. The course teaches babysitters decision-making skills, basic business skills and safety information among other things. Classes are given in many community locations and cost as little around $20. If you really bond with a potential babysitter who has not attended this class, it may be worth your while to pay the cost of the class for them. You should also be aware that first aid certifications expire as policies and procedures are updated from time to time.
For a summertime babysitter, who would be a better option than a substitute teacher? Subs, like most teachers, rarely choose to work full-time during the summer and will likely be open to part-time consistent work. The other benefits you would have when pursuing this route are that substitute teachers have already been through a background check through the school district they work for, have child-related education and years of experience. As your child's teacher if they can give you the names or contact information of some of their favorite substitutes or contact substitutes through the school district to find an interested party.
A temp agency may not be the most common way to hire a babysitter or nanny, but it will definitely meet your needs in the short-term. Go online to locate temp agencies in your area. Ask for their rates, which may include ad placements for your vacancy, background screening and interviewing potential candidates. Be prepared to give detailed information about the job opening you have. You need to submit a list of job requirements and preferences regarding the job seekers. This will be difficult if you do not have set hours and days of the week in which you will require services. Communicate what you will and will not be flexible on when it comes to your children's babysitter or nanny. Make sure you have given the temp agency all your information well ahead of time so that they can begin to search. Do not expect results within days. Temp agencies try to fill job postings with candidates that best fit the job. If the agency sends you someone you do not get along with move on to the next sitter or nanny. This option may tide you over in the short-term until you find a more permanent caregiver for your children.
Parenting groups for new and experienced parents help people express their roles as mothers and fathers. In these groups parents exchange ideas and advice on parenting and discuss how to be a better parent. This is the perfect environment in which to discuss your search for a babysitter. The parenting group will be able to give you a list of their own sitters or advice on how to hire a babysitter. Make sure you follow up on the sitters you hear about that suit your personal and professional needs. A babysitter that is right for one family may not suit your family.
Most parents do not get out of work at the same time that their children get out of school. Though you can rely on a babysitter, schools across the country offer relatively inexpensive after school care programs for their students. After school programs offer your child a group setting with qualified instructors and structured activities. If your hours last late into the night you can always make babysitting arrangements with another parent from the group of students in the after school program for a few hours. You can combine babysitting and school programs to make sure all your childcare needs are covered with people that have been pre-approved and that you can trust. Check your local school for details.
Most parents don't like to plop their children down in front of the television. Moms and dads are constantly looking for activities and learning opportunities for their children. Most parents, however, don't have time to shuttle their children around to these activities. Parents can help each other save time and gas money by carpooling. Switch off carpooling days with a group of parents who have kids that do similar activities to your children. As a team, parents can be their own babysitting service instead of hiring a sitter on their own.
If your child has retired grandparents, this can be an ideal babysitting option. But do not assume they are willing and able to do the job just because they are retirees. It is usually fairly easy to hire a babysitter your children's grandparents do not have the time or energy to take care of lively young children. When asking, make sure they do not feel guilty if they say no. If they do baby-sit, offer them something in return such as yard work or a ride to the doctor's or grocery store. Their time is just as much of a sacrifice as yours.
Much in the same way that some parents cover each other by babysitting each other's children once in a while, a group of parents can babysit each other in a group setting. From a kid's perspective it might be thought of as a slumber party or just a small party with friends. From a parent's perspective, this option can take the place of hiring a summer babysitter.
While one parent takes the group of kids for the evening, the others can take a date night or simply use the hours of free time to relax. Then, the next week or month, depending on the interval in which you choose to rotate babysitting services, the next parent would take care of the kidsby themselves for one night so that the other parents can have a break. Of course, sooner or later your turn will come around and you will have a group of fun-seeking children all to yourself. If the group rotation is large enough you might get a few nights off before your turn rolls around.
It would be wise to not allow people you do not know very well into the circle until you know them better. You should also try not to make a very large circle or the parent who stays with the kids will be overburdened and stressed. If coordinated well, everyone can enjoy some time off and some cheer, especially during the summer when the kiddos spend more time at home.
Summertime can be a mixed blessing for babysitter arrangements. You will have to find extra coverage during the day, but it's a perfect opportunity to try out neighborhood teens or family members. If things go well, you will have an extra summer babysitter to call for evenings and weekends during the school year. Don't have anyone in mind? Does your child love to swim? Get a list of the high school swim team members and see if any of them babysit. Your child will enjoy the summer, and be with a babysitter who can provide extra water safety. The same idea applies if your child is interested in art, video games, or golf. Finding a summer babysitter who shares an interest with your child will make the summer more fun for both of them.
Most cities have child related periodicals that are about raising your children. Dallas, for example, has Dallas Baby and Dallas Child. There is usually a classified section in the back of these magazines that offers everything from used baby furniture to clothing items to babysitting services. Look through the ads and hire a summer babysitter or nanny. Parenting periodicals also have information on parenting groups, which can be very helpful to new parents. You will also find stores and activity centers for children and parents in these periodicals.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|