HIRING A SITTER?
Questions to ask:
- Have you taken the Red Cross babysitter class, which teaches basic skills?
- Do you have CPR or first aid certification?
- Have you taken any classes in early childhood education or development?
- What are your general discipline and childcare philosophies?
- What is included in the rate? Will you make my child dinner? Do dishes and other light house-work? Will you pick them up or drop them off?
- If your sitter has worked in a daycare setting, ask about his or her certification. Even those operating out of their homes must register with the state and meet many state regulations.
Ways to save:
- Hire a younger sitter. You can probably find a 'tween or young teen who charges $7-8 an hour.
- Negotiate to pay one rate for hours when your child is awake and another after they go to bed.
- Start a baby-sitting co-op with friends. Each family in the co-op could agree to baby-sit another family's kids for one night a month and get one night a month out.
- Go out with friends and leave the kids at one home and jointly hire a baby-sitter.
- Find a sitter working out of his or her home; it might cost less if you are willing to take your children to them.
Where to look:
- Call nearby day-care centers and ask whether any of their teachers baby-sit.
- If your place of worship has a youth group or nursery program, ask there.
- Try subscription sites like Care.com, Sittercity.com, Seekingsitters.com, Sitters.com, Elitesitters.com
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