Top Tips from a former Nanny: Finding a Babysitter

How to find a Babysitter

Welcome back to another post in my Top Tips from a former Nanny series.  Regular readers already know that I was a Nanny for over 14 years prior to having my own children, then when Emmy was born I returned for just under a year before starting my own Babysitting and Nanny Agency with my former boss.

I have always loved children and wanted to work with them, I’ve worked in school Nurseries, Private Day Nurseries and family homes.  It was Nannying which I preferred – the freedom it allowed and bonds I built up with the children. It is a job I do really miss however now I am a Mum to two children of my own it’s not a job which fits in with my lifestyle any more.

Finding a babysitter can be rather daunting if you don’t already have someone you know and trust well.

They are after all going to be responsible for your most precious bundles and you won’t want to just choose a random stranger to care for them.

Typically Babysitters are employed on a cash in hand basic so tend to be teenagers looking to earn extra pocket money or Mothers/Grandparents with a few evenings free for the odd night every now and again.

Because are usually needed on the odd occasion it can be a little harder to find someone you know well enough to trust and it also depends on the age of your child.

How to find a Babysitter

Where to look for a Babysitter?

  • You could ask other friends if they could help out every now and then – even setting up a Babysitting circle where you take it in turns to Babysit each others children
  • A Nursery Nurse/Teaching Assistant from your child’s school – they would know the child well enough and in turn the child would know them
  • Put a notice up in the college – specifically those which offer childcare courses – speak with the college and ask for the notice to be put in the childcare class rooms (this is actually how I got my first job as a mother’s help while studying for my DNN)
  • Friends teenagers – Do they perhaps already babysit for their younger siblings at home? If you trust them enough then you could have a trial run one day to see if they could babysit your children
  • A Nanny or Babysitting Agency – this is one of the easiest options especially if you don’t have any close family or friends who could help out.
  • You can read my post on Interviewing a new Nanny – which can also be applied to Babysitters too.

Once you have found your sitter you need to work out what you want them to do, and set some rules for the children and them

  • Do you want them to put the children to bed?
  • Feed and Bath them?
  • Are the children allowed to watch TV? For how long?
  • What time is lights out?
  • Can they have any food or drinks? (this is mainly the sitters – it’s always welcomed if you leave something for them to nibble on as it is a boring job once the children are asleep)
  • Make sure they have your phone number and know where you will be and a rough time you’ll be home

Other points

You will want to work out in advance what you are paying them – read my post on should Babysitters receive minimum wage.

Make sure you have the babysitters number, you can then text to make sure the children are OK or let them know when you are on your way home.

Give them another emergency number should they need it – Leave numbers for doctors etc, a friend who could go over in an absolute emergency etc. I have never needed these however it is always better to be prepared.

Additional advise

  • Ask for references – this can still be done this they are qualified, a teacher can write a personal reference or a college tutor. Other families they babysit for could also provide a reference
  • Don’t just hire the first person you ask (if you don’t know them)
  • Have a trial run – maybe just go off to Tesco to do the shopping and have the sitter put the kids to bed, or a quick meal in the pub – this is a good way of testing you both to see if it works

Other posts you may like: (Click on the image to read the posts)

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