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 Post subject: Hiring a babysitter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Location: 'Burbs of California
I've never hired a babysitter before, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do! I found a potential sitter through a local parenting group. Since I've never met this person, nor do we have any mutual acquaintances, I feel like I'll need to check references for her. What else do I need to think about?

If it makes a difference, I have a 3 year old and 11 month old twins, so will definitely not be an easy job :-).


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 Post subject: Re: Hiring a babysitter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:25 pm 
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I've been babysitting for 11 years now, so here are my thoughts.

I think it's good to offer to meet her in a public place, though she might be fine with just coming over, but of course you're a stranger to her as well so she might feel safer in a coffee shop or something. But also if you do that at least bring the 3-year old if possible (as a former nanny of two different sets of infant twins, I understand that bringing all three kids to a coffee shop to talk to another adult is probably impractical) so you can see her interact with a kid.

Definitely ask for references, ask what kind of stuff she likes to do with kids, maybe give some sample situations and ask what she would do if you want to be that formal--I think trick questions are dumb (I've seen parents online say that they asked a potential nanny if she would be ok with letting a kid cry it out and if she said yes they wouldn't hire her, which is just stupid, no matter what your opinions are on letting babies cry it out it is a common practice and most nannies are not going to limit their job opportunities like that) but I think having answers ready shows that she's experienced with kids anyway. Ask about cpr/first aid stuff if that's important to you.

Talk a little bit about your ideas about parenting, especially non-negotiable stuff. (I would argue that, if a babysitter is an occasional thing, most stuff can be negotiable and most kids have not been seriously harm because their babysitter gave them more sugar or more TV or didn't stick to the exact bedtime routine that had been established, but it's good to make the things that are very important to you clear, since parents are so different from each other and if she's worked for parents who are very different from you, things that seem completely normal and obvious to you might not to her.)

If you're anxious about leaving the kids with her, they will totally pick up on that and be anxious too. I think it's good to spend some time all together, but once you've said goodbye and reassured everyone that you will be back, it's time to get out of there.

If you want her to feel welcome to eat food from your kitchen, say so. It's an awkward thing to ask about.

If she is going to be there after the kids are asleep and you have a TV, please show her how to use it. If you're ok with her using your computer, let her know. If you have no such entertainment available, let her know so she can be sure to bring a book or whatever.

If you cancel last-minute be aware that she might have turned down other jobs for that job, and might have been counting on that money, and consider paying her anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Hiring a babysitter
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:08 pm 
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^ great advice.

Get a gauge on previous experience such as what ages the sitter has worked with before. CPR certification is a plus of course. Negotiate pay in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Hiring a babysitter
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Kitchens Planning Manchester
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Oh yeah, definitely discuss pay in advance, that is so awkward to leave to the end because no one wants to talk about money. For three kids including infant twins I think $15/hour is pretty normal, though obviously it depends on your location and the person.

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