We are headed to New Zealand next year for a wedding and as the fabulously organised parents that we are, we have the bookings done and dusted. The last remaining hurdle though is figuring out babysitting details for the night of the wedding. So, as I am not a huge fan of leaving my son with a stranger, I asked the lovely Julie Warner from Julie Warner Travel Plans to help me with some ideas on finding babysitters when you’re on the road.
As I suspected, the tips were really good, so good in fact that I decided to share them with you 🙂
Finding Babysitters When You’re on the Road
Finding babysitters when you’re travelling presents unique challenges, whether you’re a parent who just needs a night out or you’re looking to find a babysitter on a regular basis. You need to find a childcare provider for your little one, but you have to do so in an unknown community. When you don’t know what resources are available to you or which businesses and people are worthy of your trust, how do you even begin to search for a quality childcare provider?
A good starting point is to check with your hotel when you make your reservation to see if they offer child minding services or can provide you with a list of recommended babysitters. Always ask about what types of pre-screening the hotel has in place for babysitters to qualify to be on their recommended list. Allow time when you arrive to meet with the candidate/s so you can assess personally their suitability for your childcare requirements – gut feel always plays an important part in these decisions, make sure you trust yours!
Do some on-line research, there are various babysitter sites available covering many destinations around the world that allow you to search their databases, advertise a position and view profiles of potential candidates. If you have a selection of candidates before you depart, conducting interviews via Skype will allow you a good insight into the best match for your family’s requirements. This could be a good way to introduce your child to the sitter so they are familiar with their face and voice so meeting them in person won’t feel like they are strangers.
You can also check out local parent bloggers, family related companies/services/magazines and reach out to them on Twitter or Facebook for a local recommendation.
Check your destination’s local phone book for a babysitting agency or child care service before you leave on your trip. If visiting friends or family, use word of mouth and ask if they know someone suitable or can refer you to a reputable agency. If in a more remote location, try contacting the local playgroup, pre-school or primary school and ask if they have any staff that offer babysitting services or can recommend any local sitters.
Five Questions You Should Ask At A Babysitter Interview
To ensure you hire the best possible candidate for your child, it’s helpful to be prepared. Here’s a list of five questions you should ask at a babysitter interview.
- Ask what experience your babysitter has had and whether she has any experience with a child in the same age group as yours.
- Ask for references that include past babysitting jobs that a candidate has had.
- Find out your babysitter’s schedule and availability, making sure it coincides with your needs.
- Find out if your babysitter has had any first aid training and is familiar with what to do in case of an emergency involving your child.
- Ask what type of philosophy your babysitter has in taking care of children and that you are comfortable this will work with your child.
- Above all else, whichever way you locate your babysitter, allow plenty of time beforehand in your selection process so you are comfortable with your choice and can actually relax while you are away from your child. Perhaps schedule a short visit before your main outing to allow your child to meet and start building some trust with the sitter. This will also give you an insight into how they interact with each other and a greater level of comfort when you are away for a longer period of time.
The final and most important step – Go out and have a good time!
Do you have concerns with hiring babysitters? Tell us more in the comments section below.
Till next time….