Hmmm.....something useful for me and for you... I wanna share this here so that we know our children are safe.
* Location – is it too far?
* Reliable – experienced, recommended, age, memory
* Price – not way overpriced
* Flexible – not too rigid if you're 10min late
* Is she mobile
* Able to handle an emergency
* Conducive environment for your child
* Good/Okay number of children at her home
* Able to follow instructions
* Can think on her feet
Then, follow these tips.......
Tip #1: Family first.
If you can, get someone you know and trust. Parents and in-laws come to mind here. If they succeeded in raising you or your husband well, then they should be able to do the same for your kids, assuming they are physically able to. This could, however, be a potentially sensitive situation as you deliberate if you should pay them, give them a token sum or not give anything at all (in case you insult them by even suggesting money). Then there is the fear of your family members thinking you're taking advantage of them by sending your kids over daily. Plus, each time you are late picking up your children, there is the guilt and your mother's or mother-in-law's long face to deal with. They might also make decisions without consulting you first. Think about this one very carefully. There are pros but there are also cons and it could potentially affect your relationship with your mother/mother-in-law.
Tip #2: Get a recommendation.
If you can't get a family member or relative and need to hire an outsider, always go with a recommendation. Family and friends who have kids a few years older than your child would be in the best position to recommend someone. Preferably ask your family and friends whose kids look well-fed and well-mannered rather than those who look ill-mannered.
Tip #3: Check up on the potential nanny/babysitter.
Before you even hire her, have a surprise visit to her home or place of work (if she's currently employed elsewhere and you are familiar with her current employer). See how the other children behave around her and how she treats them. If you can, talk to the parents of the other children there so that you can glean as much information about her style of childcare. Assess if your potential nanny/babysitter is too old or too young for the job – is she responsible enough; will she remember your child's feeding times and medications?
Tip #4: Quality over price.
Yes, times are hard but better to get a good nanny who is expensive rather than a cheap one who is untested and may be unreliable.
Tip #5: Interview.
Have a chat with your potential nanny/babysitter. Find out her background, how long she's been doing this and how she plans to keep your child entertained. Be sure to ask about food, milk and toys. Some prefer it if you supply them with rice, milk powder and fruits for your child's weekly needs. Others would rather you just give them money. Find out if there are other people in the house to help out and what happens if she suddenly needs to go out – will she take your child along; will they travel by public transport; does she have a child car seat or will you need to pass her yours when you drop your child off? If you have a toddler, bring your child along and watch how they interact.
Tip #6: Discuss hours and weekends.
You need to find out what her hours are and whether she can accommodate your daily schedule. Don't forget to ask what happens if you're late and her policy for weekends (just in case you need to work on a weekend). Also find out if she needs time off and her policy for school holidays. Some nannies/babysitters take a few weeks off every year. You need to know in advance so that you can plan your annual leave, if necessary.
Tip #7: Assess your nanny/babysitter's character.
While having a chat with her, get a feel of her character. Some nannies may be so experienced and stuck in their ways that they pay no heed to your instructions. They assume they know better, especially if you are a young new mother. On the flipside, you don't want a nanny who just goes along with everything you say without offering feedback and suggestions that could benefit your child.
Tip #8: How many kids?
Check out how many children your potential nanny/babysitter already has in her care. Do you honestly believe she can handle one more? Look at the other children in her care; visit at play time or lunch time. Observe how the other children interact, play and eat. Will your child be safe in this environment with the other children? If the other children are too rowdy, you might want to reconsider. If they are too timid, you need to ask yourself what's going on, too. Could there be a cane / feather duster somewhere in the house waiting to be used?
Tip #9: Emergency.
Ask your potential nanny/babysitter how she plans to handle an emergency. Is she equipped with any sort of training/knowledge on what to do if your child is choking, has a cut, bump or stops breathing? Yes, we know, not many nannies/babysitters have such training/knowledge. However, someone who can answer, seems to have their wits about them, is a former nurse/midwife and has a car to drive your child immediately to the clinic/hospital is always better than one who calls you and waits for you to drive over and deal with the emergency. If this particular nanny/babysitter seems to have a bit of knowledge and experience and is willing to learn, consider sending her for a course on child/infant first aid and sit in that session with her. You can never have too much knowledge. Don't be embarrassed to ask her these questions and even suggest you both go for first aid training. This is your child we're talking about. And, for all you know, your nanny/babysitter might be happy to learn more about first aid.
Tip #10: Go with your gut.
You know your child best and you know how you want him/her to be raised. If you feel uncomfortable with the nanny/babysitter for any reason – the other kids are too rowdy, the place is messy, she lacks good hygiene, she has too many cats – find another nanny/babysitter. It may take a while longer but at least you won't be sitting in your office worrying about your child as much.
This is your child. Take as much precaution as you need to and do as much checking and asking before hiring someone to take care of your child. Don't let anyone pooh-pooh your attempt to be safe by calling you “fussy” or “difficult”. This is your precious baby and you're entitled to be as cautious as you want to be.
Ok...should be enough information before make decision right! Hope that helps all of you. Make sure no naughty nanny / babysitter!
Source: Parenthots, Image googled
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 1:42 PM and is filed under Information/Knowledge, Parenting Hood, World Talk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.