5 Characteristics of an Awesome Nanny or Babysitter
When you’re looking for a new nanny or babysitter from a company to watch your kids while you are out, what qualities should you look for? How will you know when the right person comes along? Leaving your kids in the hands of a stranger can be a scary decision, but when you’re forced to do it, try looking for these qualities in those you interview.
One of the key indicators of a good, trustworthy babysitter is experience. A qualified nanny or babysitter will have years of experience interacting with children, will be familiar with techniques for dealing with difficult situations and will also likely have some first aid training. If you can find an experienced sitter who has solid references and positive reviews online, then you’re on the right track.
It’s very frustrating to work with a sitter who is not punctual or who is not reliable. Can you trust this person to do what she says she’ll do? Will she follow your instructions to the letter? This can be a big deal when you have kids with special dietary needs, medications or other behavioral issues. Plus, the whole point of hiring a sitter is to free you up to do other things. But if your sitter isn’t reliable, you’ll be stuck and may need to scramble to find a replacement before long.
To put it simply, you cannot trust a babysitter who lies or makes excuses when things don’t go according to plan. Be sure to ask all references about the sitter’s integrity, and if you hear anything that doesn’t sound right, pass and look at the next applicant.
Age alone is not the best indicator of a babysitter’s level of maturity. Instead, look at how the applicant composes herself. Does she have good manners? Is she taking the interview seriously or does she seem distracted, bored or nonchalant? The last thing you want to do is leave your children in the hands of someone who is herself childish and unprofessional.
Above all else, you just want to find a sitter who will keep your kids safe while you’re gone. That’s what it all comes down to. Ask for specific examples of emergencies that occurred during past gigs and how the applicant handled them. Also, ask to see certificates for safety classes and first aid training, and ask references about how much attention the sitter gave to keeping their kids safe and out of harm’s way. Ask the sitter how she feels about having live nanny-cams placed around the house. With today’s technology, there’s no reason to simply take someone’s word for it when asking how things are going.
Hiring a babysitter can be a stressful decision because you never really know the person you’re hiring. But you can follow these five tips to bridge that gap in knowledge and narrow down your choices to find the right person for the job—one who is reliable, honest and mature and who will keep your kids safe in your absence.