KUSA - Finding a babysitter you can trust is very difficult. As kids head back to school, Jennifer Hill from SeekingSitters talked to 9NEWS about the services they provide for parents who need to find a trustworthy sitter.
SeekingSitters is a nationwide babysitting referral service that does all of the work for parents. SeekingSitters finds and screens professional sitters, schedules sitting jobs requested by members and handles all payment through an online payment system. All sitters must be 18 or older, experienced and CPR and First Aid certified.
SeekingSitters was founded by Adrienne Kallweit, a licensed private investigator and mom of three. What really sets SeekingSitters apart is their in-house private investigators who thoroughly screen all professional sitters. Kallweit has been interviewed many times locally, regionally and nationally to discuss safety issues related to childcare, background checks and nanny cams.
Here are some helpful tips for parents who are looking to find a babysitter on their own:
- Get solid references: Ask for several recent job references, then take the time to thoroughly check them out. That means call the other parents, talk to them about how the sitter handled difficult situations, an emergency or discipline. Also find out how the sitter interacted with the children. Did the children like the sitter and want them to babysit again?
- Do a background check. Note: All background checks are not created equal. This is no time to cut corners. You can hire a company like SeekingSitters with in-house private investigators to conduct one-one-one interviews and carefully review a babysitter's criminal and work history no matter where they've lived across the country. SeekingSitters also verifies the sitter's CPR and First Aid certification. Many other sitting services don't conduct the same kind of background checks.
- Do your own in-depth interview: Notice if they show up on time for the interview, dress appropriately and ask good questions about your children, such as if they have allergies, and what they like and dislike. Do they act professional? What kind of childcare experience do they have? What kind of activities or educational games do they like to play? Listen as much for what they say as for what they don't say. Have they left out time periods when they weren't babysitting? Learn how long they've been CPR and First Aid certified and ask for proof.
- Have the sitter watch your kids for an hour while you're at home. This is a great way for you to watch how they interact with your kids and a great way for your kids to test out their sitter. Does the sitter check her phone all the time or have the kids watch TV? If things go well during the one-hour together, you'll feel better about leaving them alone together later.
- Listen to your gut: Is this a person you want to leave home alone with your children? What does your gut tell you about the person? If you have any nagging doubts, don't hire them.
Find out more about SeekingSitters here: https://www.seekingsitters.com/index.asp?.
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