10 Things to Look for From Babysitting Services
Sometimes parents need help with child-care. Often, it is a regular thing, because both parents have to work, but sometimes a family just needs short-term help in a pinch. You may have a regular sitter for any weekend outings, but your sitter may be a student who is unavailable during the work week. For weekday help you may need to utilize a professional service. If this is the case, then some of the items listed below may be new to you. The following are a few of the things to note when you are choosing a babysitting service.
- Integrity – Sometimes a babysitting service may operate under the auspices of a group such as the YMCA or a church society, and such a service is already associated with an organization that has an established integrity. Check out any endorsements or affiliations.
- $$$ – Babysitting services aren’t cheap, but should represent a savings over other types of child-care, such as a nanny or an au pair.
- Availability – If your sitter comes to your home or place of business, it is important that she be available at times that fit your schedule, just as a drop-off service needs to be open at hours that will accommodate not just your work schedule, but your commute time as well.
- Backgrounds – Employees of a babysitting service should have undergone background checks, and customers need to be reassured that this is the case.
- Neighbors – Some of your friends and neighbors may utilize babysitting services, and these people should be able to help you with information regarding the services they have chosen.
- Substitutes – If a sitter who comes to your home is unavailable for any reason you will want to know whether or not the service will be able to provide adequate substitute coverage.
- Group Size – When taking a child to a sitter or a sitter service. parents will want to note how many children are being cared for, and how many care-givers are present. If the staff has to spend an inordinate amount of time with some children, it may affect the care your child receives.
- Ages Cared For – What age groups does a service deal with? Your child will probably be more comfortable if he or she is with a peer group, and if there is a balance between boys and girls.
- Ambience of Center – If you take your child somewhere for care. take note of the surroundings. Is the venue clean and well-lit? Too hot or too cold? Does there appear to be enough in the way of toys and activities? Does the staff appear to enjoy what they are doing? These are the sorts of things you will only find out by taking a tour of the premises.
- Licensing – Is the service you have chosen up-to-date on any and all licensing and certification requirements? States and municipalities may have different requirements for an agency, and all regulations must be complied with.
You want to address as many of these issues as you can before you make any final commitments.