Trusting someone else to take care of your kids is a serious task, and finding a worthy candidate can be a huge challenge. Here’s a brief guide to getting the most out of the process, and making sure you find the best fit possible!
Make a clear list of your needs
They may seem simple to you, but writing a detailed list of exactly what you want from a childcare professional will help you to refine your search and make it easier to sort through applicants later on. Cost, availability and duties are a given, but don’t forget to consider any particular areas of expertise you might need, and ask about what ideas a potential babysitter might have for engaging your children to make sure you’re on the same page.
Be open in your expectations
We don’t all share the same philosophies on raising children, so it’s important that your sitter knows exactly how your family operates, though it may seem obvious to you. Is your home a no-TV zone? Are there special demands in your child’s routine? Perhaps a five-minute debrief is a must-have element of your professional’s commitment? Make these known early on and both parties will start off on the very best footing.
Be rigorous in your screening
Preparing a list of interview-style questions is a great idea to get to know a potential sitter’s work style and personality, as qualifications can only tell you so much. And although we’re not looking for a letter to send up the fireplace à la Jane and Micheal in Mary Poppins, don’t forget to ask your kids for their thoughts too. Consistency between caregivers is essential, so don’t be afraid of being meticulous!
Choose a reliable source
When choosing someone to look after their children, many parents look to their own social circles, local community and neighbourhood groups for inspiration and recommendations. This can work extremely well, but can often take a lot of leg work (and luck!) not forgetting that children have a dizzying array of needs. For those new to a city or community, this can also be a huge challenge, and a drain on precious time, especially when setting up a new life.
Fortunately, Family Space is here to help! Childcare specialists in Paris and the Île-de-France, we pride ourselves on our rigorous selection process for our childcare staff, and finding a great fit for families and their nannies and babysitters is central to our commitment. Check out our ‘About Us’ page for details of our screening process at family-space.com/about-us/#screening-process.