During my very first post on this blog, I told you a little bit about babysitting, and more particularly how to organize with babysitters, we will go a little further here on the subject, which seems to interest some parents around me. the organization of childcare is a real subject of substance, because on it depends our peace of mind for the other activities of our lives, whether professional or personal. Indeed, if your after-school evening care system is not up to speed, as soon as the middle of the afternoon arrives, you will start to feel stressed, wondering if everything will go well, if your boss will not give you a last-minute task that will prevent you from leaving the office on time, etc. All these thoughts, quite justified, will then have a disruptive role and distract you from your objective of having a productive and efficient work day.I will focus my topic here mainly on the babysitter, which is a subject I know very well. However, many points are equally valid for choosing a nanny, first of all, there are 2 types of research and “services”. The occasional babysitter, to whom you will call for a romantic evening for example. And the babysitter who will pick up your children several times a week at school, go home with them and take care of them until you get back. in both cases you will use competent teenagers, however, the recruitment of a punctual babysitter can be a little more “flexible” than for regular benefits. clearly define the benefit you want, this will result in the profile to be recruited. Basically, if you have 2 small baby tips, with bottles, diapers etc., it is highly unlikely that the neighbours’ daughter, barely 14 years old, would be “calibrated” to manage them would only be one night. On the other hand, this same girl will probably be perfect for babysitting your children after dinner, with a good DVD if they are 7 or 8 years old. It is therefore important to clearly define the task and profile that you think is appropriate. The definition is therefore essential. A babysitter in Nantes and in the big cities in general, is not complicated to find.
Where to find it:
Several possibilities are available to you:
- word of mouth, ask the parents around you, at the end of school, at the end of sports classes etc….
- look at the classified ads in local shops, at the caretaker’s
- websites and specialized applications such as Bsit and many others
- ask the school in your home if they have a classified board that you can consult or place an ad on.
- print flyers to put in the mailboxes around your home.
- Remember to anticipate your search carefully, it takes time to find the rare pearls.
How many babysitters do you need?
If you use a babysitter for school outings and early evening activities, there are several things to consider:
- only comes on time if you have a late meeting or travel
- comes every night of the week
For occasional needs, 1 or 2 babysitters can be enough to cover your needs. If you need a babysitter every day, it will be prudent to recruit several babysitters, because on the one hand the girls are not necessarily willing to work every day, because of their classes, and on the other hand it allows you to secure your organization, because, as explained in my previous article, you have to plan the hard blow, the day when your young girl calls you at the last minute to inform you of her unavailability. Having several “referenced” babysitters will allow you to quickly reorganize yourself to solve this problem. However, in order for these “referenced” baby sitters to remain available to you, it is necessary that you regularly give them work or they will go elsewhere, for example, you can alternate days, the first for the beginning of the week, the second on weekends, a third on weekends for example. Or every other week or every three weeks. In short, what will be most appropriate in this configuration, the choice of your babysitters will be crucial, so you should avoid choosing people who are in the same school levels. For example, if you choose 2 young girls who are in the first or last year of high school, you can be almost certain that from March – April you will no longer see anyone for exam reasons (French baccalaureate and general baccalaureate). This must be kept in mind.
The recruitment interview:
In your recruitment interview, you should clearly ask questions about
- the schedule of your future recruit,
- the date of his exams,
- school holiday dates (in university or higher education, the holiday schedule does not necessarily correspond to that of the “lower classes”).
- Ask her to tell you about her experience as a babysitter, about the children she has already cared for, about her younger siblings, about the age of the children she has had to care for.
- Ask her if she has a preferred age group.
- Where does she live? Will you have to take her home after her service, can she take public transport, does she have a transport card etc…
- Can she help your grown-up with his homework? Bathing?
- Does she have any first aid skills? What would she do in case of an accident?
- Does she have individual insurance or is it her parents’?
- The activities she does with other children
- his “level” in the kitchen.
It is important that you keep in mind or on paper all the questions you want to ask him. Prepare a check list, saved on your phone or computer, so that you have on hand when you first contact the phone
Keep your feet on the ground:
Before the start of the service, it is necessary to put a certain number of realities in mind:
- the babysitter has not yet been a mother ( in general), do not ask her for a motherly fibre and even less to have the same reflexes as you! She’s probably not going to interpret your children’s crying as well as you do. She must of course be kind and enjoy the contact with children (or she must change jobs quickly).
- She’s not a doctor or a nurse. Avoid giving him children who are very sick or have a condition that can get worse quickly. That’s your role. In the same vein, if your child suffers from allergies, asthma or other conditions, you must inform the babysitter, tell her where the emergency treatment is, the doctor’s contact details in case etc.
- She is not a professional kindergarten assistant, nor a camp instructor ( well, not all of them). Help her choose the activities to offer your children. Release favorite movies, favorite games etc… Some are seasoned and come with a wide range of activities but not all.
- She has generally not attended a cooking school. So we avoid throwing it carelessly “there are vegetables and meat in the fridge for dinner” (raw and to be cooked of course). No, you should plan a simple dish to reheat or cook quickly. Tell yourself that at best, she will be able to cook pasta or even a steak, so there are no unpleasant surprises. But to be validated with the girl. In addition, depending on the schedule, your babysitter may be brought to dinner with your children, so plan ahead. She will probably not be satisfied with the mini portion of mashed potatoes you have planned for your child and a small slice of ham!
- She doesn’t know your children’s habits. So remember to specify if the youngest one needs his steak cut into small pieces, if he is entitled to ketchup, if there are allergens that must absolutely be avoided etc….
- She replaces you for a few hours, but does not live there. So be attentive to her questions, show her around so she can get her bearings, show her where the cooking utensils, games, snacks, first aid kit, etc….
When my children needed a babysitter in the evenings after school, I had installed a sign behind a hallway door at IKEA that was very useful to us. I had stored all the first-aid supplies (bandages, disinfectant wipes, arnica) there. But also, the batteries for the games, some essential drugs that had been prescribed to me by the doctor and for which my children had no contraindications ( doliprane, smecta, sweet syrup, vicks ointment). If necessary, everything was at hand. There were also the paper handkerchiefs, the cuddly toy, in short all the small objects that children may need. This organizer is always with us, and he always faithfully fulfils his task for the whole family, in the same spirit, he must have a list of contacts at his disposal. You of course, but also family members or neighbours to contact if she can’t reach you. The family doctor, firefighters, samu, plumber, caretaker of your building. This list, prominently displayed on the fridge for example or on the family board, will also be valuable for your older children.
Define a notice period in case of cancellation, and especially for you, if you cancel too often at the last minute, expect the same treatment in return. On the other hand, if you cancel very late, do not hesitate to offer compensation to the girl. Finally, if you give him an end of performance schedule, stick to it. A few minutes of overflow may be acceptable but certainly not hours. The same applies to the babysitter, who must be very punctual.
Agree on the amount of her service, by the hour or by the package, depending on her experience and the tasks she will take on. You will find here advice on how to pay and what help is availableDefine the payment terms, the first time I used a babysitter I realized late that she only wanted cash when I had only 10 euros in the wallet and she didn’t want a check….Pay her regularly according to the agreed terms, every day, once a week…
Preserve your privacy and image:
Don’t leave anything “lying around” that could be embarrassing for your baby sitter (sex toys, illegal substances, X movies etc…). A tweet with a pretty picture of your “utensils” can do some damage.
Set the rules:
These are a few rules of life for your babysitter, for example, no smoking, no violent movies if the children are around. Prohibit or limit the use of her phone when she is caring for your children. Do you or do you not accept that a girlfriend (or her boyfriend) will join her in the evening? Be clear about access to your bar, fridge, closet, bedroom etc….
Prepare your children:
It is important to inform your children, so that it is not a last minute surprise. If possible, it is important that your children can meet their future babysitter, especially if she has to pick them up at school. It will also allow you to see his behaviour with them, their first reaction, even if, let’s not kid ourselves, things will be very different once you leave 😉D’ elsewhere, think about notifying the school or recreation centre. Some institutions require a written document, with a photocopy of the babysitter’s identity card. Be extremely clear in your requests, even if it means providing a checklist of what needs to be done and in what order, in order to respect the habits you have given your children, even if in some cases, and especially during an exceptional Saturday evening, it is also an opportunity for your children to have a small evening “without the parents” and therefore with a different schedule than the other Saturdays. Then, bring her in a little early the first time, if it’s for an evening, to explain your home and the different rules that govern your family, and allow her to take a few points of reference. Once you’ve left, it’s essential to be able to remain contactable. There is no point in giving her your contact details if she can’t reach you if she needs to! I had the opportunity to read some babysitter blogs for the preparation of this article and believe me, there are really young girls who find themselves in very difficult situations for their age and especially totally unconscious parents. Then, you have to trust and enjoy either your romantic evening or your work day. Trust is really essential, but we must also avoid “psychotropic” at all costs. If when you return, your children are delighted and harassing you to know when your next outing will be, it’s because everything is fine!