How to keep an amazing babysitter!
Oh the coveted super nanny. Everyone wants a caregiver who is upbeat, trustworthy, loving, smart, and all that jazz. When you find a sitter your family loves, HOLD ON TO THEM! Do your best to make sure they know they are appreciated.
Let's start with what not to do...
DO NOT say you'll be home at 6:00 and skip on in the door at 7:00. Seriously! Although you may like to think your caregiver exists purely to make your life easier, that's not the case. If you are constantly late coming home you disrupt their plans and that could mean they no longer want to spend their Friday evenings waiting on you!
DO NOT start the day with "Junior has lice! Can you do me a solid and wash the sheets on the sanitary cycle?" Ummmmmm, enough said? If your little guy is under the weather spare your sitter the collateral damage.
DO NOT go the cheap route! Most qualified caregivers, meaning over the age of 18 and CPR certified, run at least ten buckaroos an hour. If you are paying someone a lot less, you may lose them to another family who can, and will, pay more.
DO NOT assume your babysitter is a pet sitter. It is a caregiver's job to keep your child happy and safe, not Sparky. If you have a pet who is poorly trained, hyper or overall high maintenance, put them in a crate. Some caregivers do not feel comfortable with a puppy jumping all over them or barking at the door every few minutes. Be considerate and always ask your caregiver if they are okay with pets in the home.
Okay, now what to do!
DO plan ahead! If your sitter is coming over around dinner time, be sure they have dinner. Order a pizza or make them a sandwich for goodness sake!
DO pay your caregiver promptly and fairly! NEVER let your sitter leave without money in their hand. If they stayed an extra ten to fifteen minutes over, be sure to pay them for that time.
DO remember the holidays! If you utilize a caregiver to hold down the fort while you do the holiday shopping, show some holiday spirit and throw in a few extra bucks. A little goes a long way.
DO set realistic expectations. If you are gearing up for date night and your little one is a heaping ball of tantrums, cancel. I know, I know, dates are hard to come by in Mommy Land. However, you don't want your sitter to have to deal with hysteria. It could lead to a date night cut short in the long run.
DO communicate! Always tell your caregiver what you expect. If your little one is potty training, tell them! Explain the routine, etc. If your child eats snack at 3:00 and you are heading out at 2:45, be sure your sitter knows to feed your munchkin in fifteen minutes. Also, never leave without being sure your caregiver knows how to get in touch with you or an emergency contact while you are away.
DO give the grand tour. ALWAYS be sure you have shown your caregiver around the house. Your sitter needs to feel confident in her surroundings. If your sitter cannot tell you where to find a first aid kit, diapers, or your child's favorite toy - that's not a good thing! Help your caregiver help herself! :)
Where did I get all this info from??? Well for starters I spent a few years as a nanny and I babysat my way through school. Top that off with owning a nanny agency prior to our move to the west coast, and there you have it! A list of all the horror stories I have heard/experienced combined.
Now go make your sitter smile! :)