There might come a time in your life when you are faced with the decision to send your small children to daycare or leave them home with an in-home care provider. What do you do? Do you send them to school where they can socialize with other kids and learn more than they do at home, or do you hire someone to come into your home and provide them with the care they need? There is not a right or wrong answer based on your parenting preferences, but you should know what you need to consider when hiring someone to come into your home and care for your child.
Perform a Background Check
Never allow a person to come into your home and keep your children without first performing a background check to be sure they are not criminals. When you send your child to a daycare facility, you are working under the assumption that facility is licensed, insured, and has carefully screened anyone who applies for a job. You’ll check the state to see about licensing to be sure the facility has all the required licenses, but you are responsible for checking the background of a person who comes into your home looking for a job with your children.
Any home care provider must have a reference or two to work with. You should ask for references, call them, and speak to them at length. If a care provider doesn’t have a reference, you must ask them for something that will tell you what kind of person they are. If they’ve grown up babysitting, if they ever worked at another job, or if there is anyone you can call and ask about their character and their experience. You cannot hire someone without good references.
Ask About Socialization
Will your child be socialized at home since there are no other kids around? Does your in-home care provider plan on taking them to the park and scheduling playtime with other kids? Is there going to be any of the necessary socialization kids need to help them learn and grow?
Ask About Education
Does your new in-home care provider plan on helping your kids learn? The ideal candidate is someone who will sit down with them to read, play games, use their imagination, and learn. They need not be a certified teacher, but helping kids learn when they are still small is a wonderful idea. It helps them get ahead and succeed in school. You want more than just someone who is present all day while ignoring your kids.
Ask About Emergencies
The most important thing you must know is how your care provider handles emergencies. Are they CPR certified? Do they drive so they can get your child to the doctor if there is an emergency? Ask them about their routine and how they handle illness, accidents, and other problems that might occur when spending time with small kids. You must know the person watching your child for you has the ability to handle a situation like this without panicking.
Ask About Experience
Not everyone who cares for your children will have years of experience, but they should have some. Ask about their education, their experience, and why they think they’re good with kids. Just because someone never worked as a nanny or a babysitter before doesn’t mean they can’t. They might be the oldest of 7 kids and spent their life raising their own siblings. Ask and find out the answer to this question.
Listen to Your Gut Instinct
If you meet someone and you have a good feeling about them, listen to that good feeling. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter how good someone looks on paper if you don’t have a good feeling about them. If you have any uncertainty or doubt about a person caring for your kids, don’t leave your kids with that person.
Your kids will benefit from being around someone who will educate them, socialize them, and spend quality time with them, and you must find the right person. Hiring the wrong in-home provider could hinder their growth and education. You want someone with a good attitude and a great personality to be with your kids when you are not.