Hiring a Babysitter – What to Do

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So your child is already in day care during the week and sometimes you just need a few hours to yourself on the weekend and need a break from your kids. One of the best things I did for myself was hire a babysitter. This can be stressful because we don’t want to leave just anyone with our kids, but someone who is going to care for them like we do. 

1. Put out an ad.

The first thing you want to do is put an ad out for exactly what you want. I posted in my local mom facebook groups for suggestions for a babysitter and then all the referrals came in. These are tried and true and I rely heavily on my moms’ groups for suggestions. I came across a college student who was home for the summer and was available. 

2. Phone interview.

Next I had a phone interview with her. I came up with a list of questions I wanted to ask her about her experience with kids, if she had a car, references, etc. I asked her to send me a copy of her resume. Then I contacted all of her references. 

3. In-person interview.

Before leaving my daughter with my new babysitter, I had her come over to meet me for an in-person interview. My daughter was asleep when she came, so we set out some guidelines about rate and expectations I wanted as far as my daughter’s meals and nap time. 

4. Supervised visit.

Since I am a photographer, I had a session near my house and didn’t have a sitter. I called my new sitter and asked if she would come with me while I did the photoshoot and play with my daughter at the park. This was great for me because I could still watch in the distance and see how my daughter was interacting with my new babysitter. I was there just in case anything went wrong. I highly suggest a supervised visit for 1-2 hours so you can see how your child interacts with him/her. When we came home and it was time for my babysitter to leave, my daughter was crying because she wanted her to stay. 

5. Hire the babysitter!

For our first time I decided to do a 3-4 hour visit with my babysitter where I was nearby, but not home. I decided to go get my nails done and leave them at home. I was nearby and able to come home if I needed to, but they were fine. Now, my babysitter watches my daughter for 8-9 hours if I need her to. I leave very detailed instructions and emergency contact numbers. I text throughout the day and ask her to send me pictures of what my daughter is doing.

The biggest piece of advice in hiring a babysitter is to ask your friends and/or moms’ groups for suggestions. Go with your gut and be sure to get references. We all need some time to get things done without our little ones, so hiring a babysitter can be a lifesaver! 

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Melinda Garrick is a native of the Hudson Valley and a New York City English Teacher. She currently resides in Buchanan, NY with her fiancee and three year old daughter. Before moving to Buchanan, Melinda resided in Peekskill, New York where she met her fiancee. Melinda attended college in Newburgh, NY at Mount Saint Mary College, receiving both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from there. She also is a Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in the Hudson Valley capturing families, maternity, weddings and branding for businesses.