If you are looking for an occasional babysitter, you may decide to hire responsible teenagers in the neighborhood, usually teenagers who are looking to earn additional money.
Teen babysitters: advantages and disadvantages
There is an advantage when you have young people as babysitters, since they are usually active, they like to play, they are fun lovers and they entertain their children. The disadvantage is that they may be less strict than you with discipline and may not have the experience to handle complicated situations. If your child is almost twelve years old, you will need a considerably older person to care for him. A teenager only one or two years older may not have much authority. Be sure to talk with the parents of any teen you are considering hiring to get an idea of how he or she handles the responsibility. It is also a good idea to consult with other families who have hired a teenager to take care of their children.
The best strategy is to draw up a list of three or four caregivers of children who know your child who you can call if your regular caregiver is busy or sick. Make sure everyone understands the rules that apply to work at home in relation to:
Smoking or drinking
Use of the phone
Take your child out of the house
If you need a child carer on a regular basis
If you need a person more often, you must employ an older person. Newspaper ads, agencies and references are the most common means of recruiting people. Sometimes, local colleges have lists of students interested in caring for children.
Qualities you need
And, what qualities should you be looking for in this babysitter or babysitter? In general, he or she must be mature, trustworthy, friendly and nice to children. He or she must be someone with whom your child enjoys spending time. In fact, as your child grows, you should have something to say about your selection of caregivers.
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Interview the applicants thoroughly to see if you can trust them and how competent they are.
The questions you should ask
a) Ask them about other positions they have occupied
b) The ages of children who have cared
c) What was included in their responsibilities
d) How they would handle different situations (for example, if your child does not want to do the homework)
e) Ask about activities they enjoy doing with children
If you think reading or singing to your child is important, find a babysitter who enjoys these activities. Explain in detail your expectations, for example, does child care include cleaning the house? Ask and review the references carefully.
If there is a person who stands out among those you have interviewed, ask him or her to come to a “visit” while you are at home.
a) Present it with your child and pay for one hour of child care while you are there to observe.
b) Evaluate the first meeting to help you make the final decision.
c) Ask your child’s opinion about the caregiver and pay attention to their comments.
d) Trust your intuition about whether the child caregiver will function and follow your instincts.
How much you must pay
The hourly rate for child care varies from community to community. In general, the payment must increase with the responsibility and qualifications of the babysitter. Caring for several children or adding home chores to child care, warrants a higher hourly rate.
Some families prefer to hire an “au pair”. Typically, this is a person of college age from another country, who agrees to live and work in the United States for a specific period (usually one year). While an au pair can be expensive, he or she can provide cultural wealth to your family. Keep in mind, however, that many of these people have to be supported and assisted to adapt to the United States. To find an au pair, use an agency that specializes in these placements.
Agreements with neighbors or relatives or friends
Some families have cooperation agreements with neighbors and family friends who also have children. Families take turns providing child care to each other. Even in these cases, make sure you are clear about the rules you expect to apply to your children. It is also good to keep track of how much time each family is using in the agreement so that none of the families feels that the exchange of the service is not balanced.
Regardless of the type of child care provider you select, make sure that the person you leave with your child has a list of all emergency numbers, including where to locate them and the names and numbers of trusted neighbors, family members, and the pediatrician of his son. The number of the emergency hotline (such as 911) in your location and the poison control center number must be on or near the telephone.