Call The Sitter!
Know what you want
What are the most important qualities when it comes to finding a babysitter? Do you want a sitter who is CPR and First Aid certified or a person who is familiar with your family? Do you prefer to leave your children with a person over 18 years old? The best way to prioritize your must-haves is to make a checklist -- you can also refer back to it during your interviews.
Research, research, research
Talk to the families in your area and see if they can recommend their sitter -- personal recommendations are the best way to find dependable sitters. Also, ask your friends or colleagues if they have any teens interested in sitting for your children. Having a personal connection with your babysitter can relieve some of the anxiety of leaving your children.
If you can't find a personal recommendation, then the Internet can be a helpful tool. While there are sites that may provide local babysitter listings, you should also check babysitter-specific sites. These sites provide more information, the option of reading client reviews and even background checks. Two of our favourites are www.phoneababysitter.com and www.canadiansitter.ca.
Schedule an interview
There is a reason employers do interviews -- you can can learn more about someone in person than by simply looking over a resume. So set up an interview and plan your questions so that they hit all of the must-haves you have listed from step one. Also, be sure your children are home and get to meet with the sitter so you can gauge their interaction.
What do your kids think?
Leaving your kids with a sitter they like and feel comfortable with will make them and you feel more relaxed. So a great tip is to ask your children after the interview what they thought of the sitter. Factor their opinions into your decision.
It is important to obtain at least two references from your potential sitter and to check up on those references to see if your potential sitter has given you all the correct information. If you need more information, ask for references from families with children about the same age as yours to get the most applicable reference.