How to Find Someone to Care for Your Children While You Work
If you hold down a job but have children, you’re no doubt aware of the necessity of having someone to watch them while you’re at work. Simply finding a warm body to stay with your children isn’t good enough, though; you need to find someone you can trust–somebody who will not only be there when you need them, but will treat your children with dignity and respect while keeping them safe and sound and out of trouble. Following are a few tips on how to find someone to care for your children while you work.
Types of Child Care
Before you begin a search for a child care provider, you should decide on the type of child care you’ll need. Do you want someone who will stay for extended periods of time–essentially moving in for awhile–or do you only need someone for a couple of hours during the day or night. You will need to know approximately how much money you can reasonably afford to spend for child care, which could impact how long a period of time you’ll be able to be away from home–if child care ends up costing more than you make while working, you may as well stay home and take care of your kids yourself.
Friends and Relatives
In order to save money, you may want to enlist the aid of your friends and relatives to provide care for your children while you’re at work. If you have a large family or close friends that are available during the hours you’ll need help, they may be your best choice for child care. Because you know them personally, you will be aware of whether or not they’ll be reliable. Close friends or relatives may also be willing to work cheaper than a professional child care provider–maybe even for nothing, or you may be able to trade your time for theirs by doing something for them during the time you’re not working.
Word of Mouth
If you do find it necessary to hire a professional child care provider, you will need to make sure they’re reliable, honest, and good with children. There is an old saying that goes something like, ‘the best form of advertising is word of mouth.’ What that means is that if someone is satisfied with a product or service, they are likely to recommend it to other people. Finding a reliable childcare provider is no different in that respect from any other service or product–if the person has performed their required duties to the satisfaction of the parent or guardian they are worthy of being recommended to others. What this means to you, if you’re looking for someone to care for your children, is that you should ask your friends and relatives if they know of anyone who may be dependable enough to watch your kids. Perhaps they are in a similar position and you could share their provider.
If you do come across someone who is recommended highly, even if it comes from multiple sources, you may want to check them out further. A simple background check will help you make up your mind. You should do a little research to make sure they have nothing in their background that points to unreliability or dishonesty, or if they have a criminal record.
A good place to start is to go online and type the person’s name into your browser’s search engine. If they have a common name, you may come up with multiple hits, but if you take your time you may be able to pinpoint the person. If you are on a social network, such as Facebook or Twitter, you may be able to find out a little about them by typing their name into the social network’s search engine. In some cases, their information may be available to the general public. You can also check the sex offender registry to make sure they haven’t been convicted of a sexually related crime. If you type ‘sex offender registry’ into your browser’s search engine you will find a great many sites, both national and state, that list sex offenders in any particular region.
Once you’ve checked out a person’s background, you should conduct a personal interview before hiring them. The interview should be carried out while your children are present to see how they react to the person, and to see how the person interacts with the children. If you’re satisfied that the person is reliable and honest, you could hire them on temporary basis to make sure they get along with the kids and that the kids accept the sitter.
Guest post from Jean Clark. Jean writes for BackgroundCheck.org, a site that educates people about background check procedures.