Finding the right caregiver for you family can be tricky. You need someone who meets all your needs, has the right qualifications, and also gets along with your kids. The hiring process can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the six steps below, you will be well on your way to finding the perfect sitter.
Step One: Figure out what you want
Before you start the process of meeting and hiring a caregiver for your kids, you should think about what you need. Do you want a sitter with a driver’s license to pick the kids up from school and drive them to their soccer practice, swimming class, and piano lessons? Do you need a caregiver with experience working with children with special needs? Do you want a sitter who can help with French homework?
Sit down with your partner, or anyone else who shares the childcare duties with you, and sort out your priorities. Write down your needs, as well as expectations, to make sure you are on the same page. It will be much easier to find a suitable sitter once you understand what it is you’re looking for.
Step Two: Browse your options
Get on BookJane and start looking through the variety of qualified and experienced caregivers available for hire. It used to be such a hassle to find quality childcare; contacting friends and family to let them know you need a sitter, searching through websites and agencies hoping to find a suitable person, reading through endless resumes hoping one will have all the right qualifications. Thanks to BookJane, the entire process is now super easy.
Download the app, choose any certificates, diplomas, languages, and years of experience you deemed necessary in step one, and then browse through the sitters who match your criteria. Take your time to fully read each profile to get a feel for the caregiver’s personality. Double check their credentials and make sure they provide the services you need. Then proceed to step three.
Step Three: Schedule an interview
Once you have found a few sitters who fit your needs, contact them for in-person interviews. Your kids are your most prized possessions, and now is your chance to meet with professionals who understand your needs. Have a list of questions prepared ahead to ask the candidates, making sure to note how each person answers to discuss with your partner afterwards.
First impressions can be so important, but keep in mind that you don’t have to make up your mind after a single meeting. Plan a second meeting, or even just a phone chat, to see if the sitter is right for you. And remember to interview more than one person to provide comparison and a variety of options.
Step Four: Have a meet and greet
After you’ve narrowed your search down, have the remaining candidate (or candidates) meet with your kids. This can be a quick meeting, just to see if everyone gets along, or you could plan to have everyone interact for an hour or so to see how things go. This is also a great way to hire more than one sitter; parents often find that hiring two or three different sitters gives the kids an opportunity to enjoy different personalities.
Each caregiver will have their own unique strengths, so you could even have one favourite for helping out on date night (a sitter who knows how to plan a night of fun for the kids), one for excursions (a sitter with more experience, a driver’s license, and the ability to keep kids calm in crowded public settings), and one for day-to-day help (light housekeeping, homework help, food preparation, etc.). It would be nice to find one person who meets all your needs, but it can work just as well to spread things out. Plus, it’s always nice to have more than one sitter you know and trust, in case of last minute appointments or emergencies.
Step Five: Do a trial run
After you’ve met the sitter, and the kids have all met the sitter, it’s time to give them some space. Go grocery shopping, see a movie, or even just lock yourself away in the home office and get some work done. Let your new sitter have some alone time with the kids to see if they play well together. This will give your kids a chance to come out of their shells, and will allow the caregiver to find out if your family is right for them also.
The optimum trial length is either a morning or afternoon, depending on when is best for your schedule. A weekend is usually the best because you will have more free time and be available before and after the trial to have a chat with the sitter and the kids. Don’t expect too much from this first session, just have them spend some time together at home.
After the trial is over, ask the sitter a few questions about how everything went. Find out if they enjoyed themselves (in an attempt to see if they like your kids), or if any problems arose (in an attempt to see how they handle sticky situations). Also make sure to ask the kids how things went to get their perspective on the new sitter. It’s not vital for your kids to love them from the start because it’s more important for you to trust your sitter, but it would be a great bonus if the kids like their new caregiver.
Step Six: Don’t be afraid to start over
If you’ve gone through steps three through five and realize things just aren’t working out, don’t worry; you can just start over. It can take time to find the perfect sitter for your kids, and there’s no need to rush the process. It might seem harsh to tell a sitter they aren’t right for your family after having spent time with them, but she/he will understand because they are professional caregivers.
Go back through your notes and figure out where you went wrong the first time around. Learn from your mistakes and update your priorities. BookJane has so many amazing and qualified caregivers available right now, you’ll have no problem finding one that meets your needs and is