1. Parenting

Before You Find a Babysitter: Signs You Have the Best Caregiver

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Babysitter helping young children with craft
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It's hard enough to find a babysitter, so how do you know when you've located the "best?" Here are signs that the babysitter you've hired to watch your kids is a true jewel!

Exhibits an Engaging, Positive Personality

Does your babysitter effuse warmth and friendliness? Is she positive, accepting and seem eager to have the opportunity to care for your precious tots? An engaging personality with you is a good clue that she'll be vivacious and fun with your youngsters as well.

     

    Asks Relevant Questions and Seems Anxious to Find Ways to Bond With, Please Kids

    Your sitter gets an initial nod of approval if he/she asks a lot of questions beforehand or during the first couple of sessions. Understanding kids' likes/dislikes, special preparation of food (even to whether they like their nuggets microwaved or baked) or sandwiches cute diagonally or straight, are good signs that the sitter truly wants to do a good job!

       

      Delivers On Time Arrivals, Every Time!

      Babysitting should be approached like a real job. That means an on-time arrival, so that parents can leave on time as well! While unavoidable emergencies can occur, oversleeping, running out of gas, not having transportation, or worst, "something came up," are not acceptable reasons for not meeting their part of the bargain. A great babysitter arrives as scheduled and ready for action!

         

        Has Completed First-Aid/CPR Training and Other Classes

        Many babysitters prepare to make themselves marketable to parents by willingly taking CPR/First-Aid and even early education classes to boot. Some community centers even offer babysitter training classes, usually geared toward teens, to help teach emergency response, tips for dealing with unruly kids, and easy meal management. If your sitter has initiated taking training, it's a good sign she will be passionate about doing a good job when hired!

           

          Comes Prepared for Kid-Friendly Fun

          The best babysitters come prepared with someone to do with kids in their care. Enterprising sitters may bring a simple-to-complete craft, a special book, or even a favorite DVD or video to watch together, and some even bring popcorn or special treat too (of course, they check for approval by parents first). Sitters take heed: a good way to win parents' hearts is by planning something simple and fun, even as simple as a ball to play four-square in the driveway!

             

            Is Dressed Appropriately for Fun Time

            A sitter who arrives dressed ready for a hot date later is not going to want to play ball, get dirty or sweaty, or have much fun with your kids. The best babysitters arrive "not to impress" but to have kid-friendly fun with your youngsters. They should be dressed in comfortable and conservative clothes, preferably in items that won't be ruined with a little grime, food or action! Sandals, flip-flops or tennies means she ready for play action!

               

              Provides Parents with Feedback

              Find a babysitter who will happily tell you what she did with your youngsters while you were gone (and beaming tots interrupting to add details is even better). Beware of the babysitter who seems to only want to talk with you when kids aren't in earshot; that could signal that she's going to provide a different version than what they might indicate. Some babysitters even leave parents with a "what we did" recap with fun summaries, poignant moments, and even who ate what. What a keeper!

                 

                Has References from Happy Parents

                Of course, references is one of the first things you check, but babysitters considered the best will have ample references from happy parents! The best are wanting to have your name added to their "satisfied customer" list and will make sure your kids clamor to have her come back again...and again! Be sure to ask for references and follow-up with calls to provide that extra peace of mind and security. And, then make sure you call in plenty of time, before she gets a job elsewhere!

                   

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