Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so chances are, you might need a night away from the kids. Leaving your children at home with a new babysitter can be nerve-racking, but there a few key things you can do to help keep your mind at ease.
All parents need the occasional night out, but leaving your kids in the care of someone else can be unsettling. And an evening filled with worry is not much of a break.
So how do you find the right babysitter for your brood who will put your mind at ease?
What Does the Law Say?
There are no set laws when it comes to babysitting in a private home for a young child in the state of Nevada. But there are basic guidelines state to state that can help parents find the ideal candidate to care for their children. For example, even though there is no set minimum babysitting age by Nevada law, most states do suggest a babysitter be at least 13 years old. If you have a baby or toddler, an older, more-experienced babysitter is recommended.
References from family and friends are a great resource for finding potential babysitters. And websites such as care.com are also a great tool — candidates come with references, and many have been vetted by the site.
Regardless of the source, always meet potential babysitters ahead of time. It will give you the opportunity to observe the interaction between the candidates and your children, and it’s also a great time to learn more about them. You can find out, for example, if they’ve completed first aid courses or earned CPR certification. Have they taken childcare classes, and how experienced are they with children the same ages as yours?
Ultimately it’s up to you to determine and provide appropriate care in a safe environment for your family. Choosing a sitter wisely and establishing clear household rules will help things go smoother while you’re out and better ensure the safety of your children.
Take the Stress Out of Babysitting with These Top Tips
What does safe look like while you’re away? Here are some basics:
- Secure the area: Block unsafe areas of the house with baby gates, place small objects out of reach and put away potentially hazardous materials.
- Enact a ‘no visitors’ rule: Strongly discourage any visitors while you’re out. The babysitter might get distracted, which could lead to an accident.
- Provide clear information about the children: Write down information regarding any allergies, medications, bedtime routines and restrictions on activities.
- Make a ‘call’ list: Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers that includes poison control, neighbors, nearby friends or relatives, and cell numbers for you and your spouse. Don’t forget 911.
Caring for your children is an important job, so take your time to find reliable help. Having more than two babysitters is recommended, as a last-minute emergency or cancelation can happen to anyone. And let your children, if they’re big enough, help be the judge. After trying out a new sitter, talk to them about the experience and get their feedback.