Babysitting. With no family in the area to access regular care for our son, by the time he was about six months I was starting to get comfortable with the trade off of being nervous to leave him with a sitter for the sake of some quality mom time. My son was a voracious breastfeeder so let’s face it, my boobs also kind of liked the idea of being tucked away in a high-neck sweater far from his adorably meaty but shockingly intrusive nipple pinching little fingers.
So how do you dive into the world of finding a babysitter who isn’t friend or family? Like many parents I was fairly apprehensive about it being a local teenager versus fully grown adult with some knowledge of caring for an infant, especially of something went wrong.
We decided to ask Alison Nannies on Call for some tips about finding (and keeping) a great caregiver for your child. With over seventeen years of experience and 26,000 full and part-time nanny placements we figured they know their stuff about childcare matchmaking!
What is the average age that a couple feels ready to take a night off of parenting and hire someone to watch their baby? How can nervous parents know when they're ready?
There is no real average age for parents to feel ready. Sometimes you never feel completely ready and that’s ok too. For example, we work with parents from newborn all the way to the teenager years. It depends a lot on the parents confidence levels and if they have other children in the house that can make a difference. If you are hiring someone you haven’t met before and feel nervous about that it’s a good idea to have a quality meet and greet in advance and even meet with a few before you decide.
What is the ECE profession and certification? What sort of training is involved and for how long? Should I try to find a caregiver that has it?
According to the College of Early Childhood Educators, early childhood educators assess and design curriculum according to an individual child’s needs and plan programs and environments for play and activities that help children make developmental progress within healthy, nurturing and challenging play environments.
The College stipulates that it’s members are professionals who must meet the entry to practice requirements and standards of practice. This means that parents may be assured that their children are in the care of a qualified professional.
Allison let us know that many of the Nannies on Call nannies have completed their Early Childhood Education certification, however many other nannies out there come with years of experience which counts for a lot too, with or without the certification.
What are some good etiquette tips for working with a nanny?
Some good etiquette for working with nannies includes: Good communication, Being clear on your expectations and household duties, discussing the children's day to day routines (feeding, napping and activities), any allergies, medical or behavioral concerns etc...
Still stumped on where to find a good sitter? Luckily Nannies on Call is operating in major cities across Canada. As a thoughtful bonus each nanny brings a "Nanny Bag" to each booking which contains arts and crafts, toys and books for the children -Mary Poppins style.
Whether your first night away is at 6 days, 6 months or 6 years we hope you enjoy yourself and unwind as much as possible!