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Tuesday, January 19th
Alright. Somehow, amidst all the searching, all the interviews, all the time spent looking and thinking about who to hire to care for your child, you've finally found the one. The seemingly perfect babysitter, for your more-hectic-than-perfect family. But is the search really over? Yes, you now have someone you're about 98% certain can handle things. But what about that 2%? After all, hiring a babysitter is just like hiring any other employee for a job; and that employee is always at risk for losing their job, should they fail to perform their responsibilities adequately. So how do you know if your babysitter is hitting, or missing, the mark? How do you evaluate the performance of your caregiver? What's the difference between demanding and having expectations? There are generally seven areas to test whether yours is an effective babysitter. Understanding what these areas are and what your specific expectations for them are, will be useful tools in evaluating the performance of your babysitter.
Primarily, you'll need to be able to evaluate how responsible your babysitter is. Punctuality is an important quality that should not be overlooked. You'll know the caregiver respects you and your time, by showing up on time. Likewise, you should respect your sitter's time by setting clear expectations of the length of time required for them to babysit, and make efforts to not deviate from it. Another serious factor, is how well your caregiver follows directions. Do they pay attention to the rules important in your household? Or are the rules disregarded while you are away? Along with that, follow through in your babysitter's actions compared to their words, is extremely vital. If your caregiver tells you they plan to accomplish something- especially related to their employment- then they should regard you highly enough, to follow through with that. And of course, you'll want to make note of how many accidents happen while you're away, or how clean the place is upon your return. Some accidents are normal and bound to happen, and your babysitter shouldn't be penalized every time some little mess happens. However, if accidents become a recurring theme while you're gone, or if the state of cleanliness in the house once you return is going to be the next day's project- then that should raise some concerns.
The next characteristics you should use to evaluate your caregiver's performance, depend on their social skills both with you and the child. Gage the sitter's interactions with you; with the child. Are they respectful towards you? Do they have a relationship with and entertain your kid? You're not paying a babysitter to watch your child watch television all day- so pay attention to the interactions between them. Does the babysitter make efforts to infuse fun and creativity into their time spent together? Equally important is the communication between you and the caregiver. Are they a clear communicator? Do they ever sound vague or ambiguous about reports of the evening while you were gone? If so, these are certainly red flags. Finally, listen to what your child reports about the babysitter. While you are the employer, not them, trust their instincts and value their input. How your child feels and acts around the babysitter, will speak loads to the character of your caregiver.
In conclusion, evaluating the performance of your babysitter is a simple way to measure the quality of care your sitter is providing. Looking at aspects of your caregiver's responsibility and social skills, can help be effective tools in measuring that quality. In the end, however, it will ultimately depend on your family and the needs you all require; so keep that in mind while you're evaluating your babysitter.
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