One Red Cross poll found that 55 percent of parents surveyed decided to stay home because they couldn’t find a babysitter. Indianapolis-based LullabySitters.com is urging parents to rekindle the romance this Valentine’s Day with a date night, while also ensuring their children are left with a trustworthy caregiver.
Whether parents use an online service like LullabySitters.com to find a sitter or ask someone else they know and trust, they should follow these guidelines to make sure their kids are in capable hands.
Picking the Perfect Babysitter
- Be clear and up front with expectations. Do you expect the sitter to prepare a meal? Do the kids have a specific routine every night that you want the sitter to follow? Outline your expectations in advance to ensure you aren’t disappointed.
- Ask lots of questions. This is one of the most important interviews you will ever conduct. Asking questions will help you become comfortable with the person you leave the kids with.
- Research the sitter. Ask for references and then CHECK them. Look at their social media accounts. Are you comfortable with what you find?
- Request an expanded background check. Most professional babysitters won’t blink at this. Why shouldn’t they have the same background checks that Indiana teachers have?
- Have them meet the kids in advance. This is the best way to see if the sitter and kids click. Kids are great judges of character!
- Trust your gut! If you have doubts, listen to them!
LullabySitters.com is a home-grown Hoosier company created by mom Marie Maher to solve her own problem of finding qualified sitters. Marie works to connect parents and sitters through the website and through in-person “speed-sitting” events.
“The bottom line is that parents are the best judge of who the right person is to leave their children with,” said Maher. “By following these steps, you can know you’ve done everything possible to keep your kids safe. Don’t feel guilty about going out! You’ll be a better parent and partner when you get home.”