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6 Key Considerations When Choosing A Child Minder For Your Kids

In many ways, choosing someone to watch over your children when you are away is a lot like holding auditions to find a person who could become like a second parent. With that in mind, it is especially important to carefully weigh certain considerations that could help you determine whether the relationship will be a fruitful one overall.

1. Whether To Get Live-In Help

Many parents wonder if they should get a child minder that lives at the residence or whether it is okay for that person to travel to the home every day. Sometimes, the answer to this question may be related to budget concerns.

For example, you may find it is more costly to have live-in help, because that may entail having to prepare a certain room in your home so that it can function as guest accommodation for the child minder.

However, if you know you will need someone there for the majority of the day throughout the week, it may ease your mind if the person is living in your home, rather than having to travel to it.

Theoretically, if someone is watching over your children, but not living in the home, they may occasionally have trouble getting to your residence on time due to outside factors such as heavy traffic or sleeping too late.

2. The Length Of Time You’ll Need Assistance For

It is also worthwhile to consider how long you anticipate needing someone to take care of the kids. Some parents just get help during the summer, because they do not always want to send their children to camps, or rely on other types of childcare that occur outside the home.

However, for other parents, child minders are hired because it is anticipated that they will become a part of the household for many years and perhaps even during the entire childhood. If you only need assistance on a short-term basis, it may be appropriate to look for helpers that are interested in making some money during the summer because they are ordinarily taking college classes.

If your goal is to find someone to give you assistance throughout the course of many years, narrow your search and target people that have dedicated themselves to making childcare a career. Sometimes, people that are interested in pursuing jobs in fields like early childhood education end up doing so only after working in childcare for years and realizing that they really like being around kids.

3. How Receptive Your Kids Are To Getting A Child Minder

Some children are very excited about the fact that someone will be coming to stay with them when their parents are away. You may also find, however, that your children are not immediately open to the idea of bringing someone new into the household.

For best results, it is always a good idea to be as open as possible with your children about even the possibility of getting someone to watch them on a full or part-time basis. Always keep the dialogue relaxed and open, making sure to leave plenty of time for kids to ask questions and raise any concerns that are on their minds.

If you do not do that, the young people in your life may feel betrayed and be under the impression that you do not truly care about what matters to them. In the end, because you are the adult, the decision of whether to hire someone to take care of child minding needs is up to you. However, by keeping your children in the loop about what’s going on, you could potentially avoid a lot of chaos.

4. The Availability Of The Child Minder

As mentioned above, many parents have differing expectations as far as what they need and for how long. During your search for a child minder, it is in your best interests to be as clear as possible in terms of what you expect from the person you hire.

That way, anyone who is interested in potentially working for you should immediately have a good idea of whether they would be a good fit. If you know from the beginning that you need someone to watch the kids Thursday night and make that fact known, your honesty should automatically eliminate people that know they are not available on that night for whatever reason.

5. Qualifications And Certifications Of The Child Minder

It is also very important to thoroughly check the qualifications of anyone who is putting himself or herself forth as a candidate for your child minding role. Ideally, the person you choose should have experience that you are able to verify.

In the absence of such experience, you may choose to pay special attention to the fact that the person is actively participating in things that show dedication. For example, if the individual is a volunteer mentor at the local elementary school, that indicates they really like children and will be around them even without being paid for it.

Certifications are also crucial to examine. If someone you are interviewing says they have a childcare certificate or received training in first aid, don’t just take their word for it. Insist that the person provides you with documentation of such certificates, and check references too.

6. General Demeanor

Although you can certainly do a lot of research without ever meeting a child minding candidate face to face, it is necessary, of course, to conduct thorough interviews in person. During those sessions, it should be easiest to judge whether a person seems genuine and able to meet your expectations. During the first time you meet with an individual, it may be best to do so when the kids aren’t around, so you’ll have the opportunity to get to know one another with limited distractions.

However, if after the initial interview you feel the person is still well worth your consideration, it is at that point when you need to let the kids take part in making a decision. When talking with the child minder, go into detail about the types of activities an average day might contain.

Also, bring up specifics such as medical issues or behavioral problems your kids sometimes display. When those topics are discussed, you should be able to gauge whether a person seems well-equipped to handle challenges.

Pin ItWatch closely how the individual acts around your children, too. The person should openly display kindness and seem committed to trying to help the kids feel at ease.

Although it will take a while before the kids and child minder are totally comfortable around each other, you should still be able to spot some telltale things during the earliest interactions.

You’ve just learned several of the factors that could help you make a well-informed decision when picking a child minder. In addition to conducting a careful search using the guidelines above, it’s also useful to propose offering a trial period so you can be sure whether your choice was the right one.

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Katherine Hurst
By Mary Williams
As a child development expert and behavior specialist, I understand how challenging those early years can be. I am to provide parents with the confidence and skills they need to negotiate the parenting pathway and the challenges it presents with ease. In addition to my consultation work, I have also founded and directed school programs and also have years of experience in pregnancy and supporting parents with multiple births.

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