How to Find A Trustworthy Babysitter

Finding a babysitter you can trust is a lot like searching for gold. It may take some time and persistence, but once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you certainly realize you’ve found something of real value.

Like any other important job, the best and most trusted candidates for babysitting positions come from referrals from family members and friends who have already used the services of a trusted and reliable babysitter. You can also expand the search to neighbors who you may not know have teenage children who are experienced in babysitting. Then expand your search for babysitter recommendations to co-workers, fellow church members or members of social or fraternal organizations you belong to. Unfortunately, the best babysitters are always those already in demand, so it is important to start building a list of babysitters that can be trusted in the event your top choice isn’t always available to meet the demands of your schedule.

Finding a trustworthy babysitter does take time, so don’t make plans for a night out on Saturday and expect to find the perfect babysitter by Thursday. Never hire a babysitter without interviewing him or her personally, both alone and with your children to see how they interact. Check to see their maturity and patience level by asking them how they have handled certain situations in the past, such as a child who refuses to eat, a child who throws a tantrum, or a child who may be afraid of sleeping in the dark. A babysitter may be trustworthy and come highly recommended, but if their personality or style doesn’t mesh with your children, it just won’t be a comfortable fit. Ask the prospective babysitter if they have encountered emergency situations while babysitting in the past and how they handled the situation. You can also tell a lot by the questions the babysitter asks you. Unsuitable candidates may be more interested in what foods you keep in the refrigerator or if they are allowed to have their friends visit while they are babysitting than in paying attention to your children or engaging in play activities with them.

If are new to an area and you don’t have anyone who can provide personal recommendations, check the Yellow Pages or the Internet for babysitting/nanny agencies in your area. Make sure they are licensed and bonded and have done a thorough background check on the candidates they are offering to you. Ask to speak with families who have used their babysitting services on other occasions. You can never ask too many questions in your quest for a babysitter you can trust. And a trustworthy babysitter won’t hesitate to provide references along with honest answers to all of your questions.

Once you have found a trustworthy babysitter that you like, it is a good idea to have their first assignment be a short one to three hour visit rather than an all day or eight hour ordeal. Keep your expectations clear and always have a written checklist as well as emergency phone numbers handy for easy access. Once you have found one or two trustworthy babysitters that you like, pay them well and treat them with courtesy and respect and you will always have peace of mind when you have to be away from your children.