Qualities to Look for in a Babysitter

A babysitter is a person hired by a family to look after their children, especially in their absence. Hiring a babysitter is a common practice in many US households, but there are still a few parents who have concerns utilizing babysitting services with full confidence. In particular, it is difficult for the parents to decide whether or not the babysitter they have hired lives up to their expectations.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the qualities that a good babysitter should possess. Watching for these qualities in a babysitter when hiring, will help to ensure that you choose the best babysitter for your child.

Reliability and trustworthiness:
As you will be leaving the babysitter with your children, house, and valuables, you want her to be reliable and trustworthy. These essential qualities in a babysitter can be difficult to ascertain based on the external appearance alone. Therefore, it is advisable to check the babysitter’s references. Talk with people whom the babysitter has sat with before, and ask them about the conduct and personality of the sitter. This will help in giving you a clear picture of what kind of babysitter they are, helping you feel more comfortable and secure in the care your child will be receiving.

Enthusiastic about childcare:
Another factor to consider is the level of interest the babysitter has in caring for and nurturing children. As most babysitters are young high school/college students, who generally opt for babysitting as a part-time job to earn pocket money, it can be difficult to find people who are truly enthusiastic about this job. So, while hiring, you should make sure that the sitter likes children, enjoys being around them, loves to take care of them and will also be open to your methods of parenting. Hiring a sitter trained in first aid or CPR is an added advantage, as she will be equipped to handle emergency situations in a better fashion than someone who does not have such training.

Punctuality and dedication to work:
Though a babysitter has limited duties and is hired for a short period of time, she is expected to be punctual and dedicated to her work. Moreover, as babysitting services are often utilized in cases with short notice, i.e., having to attend an unexpected meeting or event, the babysitters are expected to arrive on time and perform their duties as specified. Checking with the babysitters’ references regarding punctuality will give you a good idea of whether or not she is someone who runs on time.

Ability to interact with children:
Not all children are alike or have common traits. Some are flexible, some are fearful and some may be feisty. A good babysitter should be able to identify your child’s personality, likes and dislikes, and within a short period of time develop a good rapport/relationship with them. She should also be able to come up with innovative ideas to entertain children and thus interact with them more easily. Be sure to look for a sitter who will interact well with your children.

Should match up with your personal preferences:
In addition to the above, you should give some thought to your personal preferences. Some may prefer a babysitter who is good at education, some may look for a sitter who is active and athletic, and some parents want someone who is going to be very caring and nurturing. So, depending upon your personal preferences you should choose a babysitter who will make you comfortable when they are around your children.

Hiring a babysitter from a reputable referral agency is advisable for parents as they should be able to provide you with babysitters who have already undergone a thorough screening process and necessary background checks. Utilizing the services of a referral agency will relieve you of the burden of conducting interviews, background checks, and checking references, thereby saving you a lot of time.