How Old Should a Babysitter Be?
Age of a babysitter is not considered to be a guarantee of maturity. There are cases, when 13 – year – olds, who make much better babysitters, than some 50 – year – olds. Persons’ levels of activity do not always have anything to do with the age. There are people of more than 70 years old, who have much more energy than other people of less than 30 do. Moreover, there are plenty of young people, who find the babysitting process too tiring.
Many parents consider that sixth - , seventh - , and eight – graders are ideal to be babysitters. These teens are mature enough to have a sense of responsibility, they are glad to feel “grown ups”, and they do not have the same social distractions, elder schoolers do. As a rule girls are some more mature than boys at this age of their live. Still, before you decide to take a teenager as a babysitter to take care of your child / children, you should speak with his or her parents in order to be aware how he or she is able to handle responsibility. You should also check if there are babysitting courses in your town, local community group or school. Classes of this kind are held in order to help pre – teens and teens learn about the ways of taking care of children for people, who may prefer to hire babysitters with this type of training.
There is one more possibility for parents, who wish to hire a babysitter for their child or children. It is to become part of a babysitting cooperative. Such cooperatives are organized to provide structure for the often spontaneous shared babysitting, happening between friends. Parents, who take part in these kinds of cooperatives, take care of each other’s children in a structured organized way. However, this way of babysitting has its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of the cooperatives like this is the ability to have money saved and you are sure in the people, who take care of your kids, you know them well and can trust them completely. The disadvantage is that you will have to plan on doing a regular amount of babysitting each month.
Where to Look for Babysitters
Your network of friends and relatives with children. Remember, that other parents may be a perfect source of information about available babysitters. You may get all kinds of information about the potential babysitter for your children. There are cases as well, when several families have the same person, who takes care of their children. Do not forget, that reliable babysitters may also have friends or their own children may babysit as well.
Neighborhood middle schools, high schools and colleges. Most schools have bulletin boards, on which the ads of pupils, looking for a job are posted. There are student placement services, which match students up with potential employers in most colleges. One of the best places to look for genuinely interested potential babysitters are colleges, which specialize in early childhood education, because besides their wish, these students have some background information about child development.
Churches and synagogues. The clergy or the head of a youth group, may have some information about potential babysitters.
Advertising in a community or school newspaper. The advantage of placing the ad into the newspaper is that you will have a wide range of people to choose from, however the disadvantage is that you will practically have no control over the number of people, who will wish to babysit your children. Moreover, in case if you place the advertisement in a newspaper or on a bulletin board, the hardest task for you will be to conduct a careful checking of all references before you will find the right person to take care after your kids.