It is preferable to personally interview several prospective sitters. Observe their interaction with your children. Look for mature and responsible people who listen and respond well to your children and appear relaxed and happy with them. Be specific about your expectations. Ask for a number of references (e.g., past employers, teachers, counselors, relatives, friends, neighbors.)
If you have not already done so, ensure that you have his or her name, address, and telephone number. If the sitter is not an adult, you should also meet his or her parents.
Once you have made a tentative selection, check all references carefully. Assure references that their comments will not be revealed to anyone, including the sitter. Ask them if they believe that the sitter possesses the demeanor, responsibility and qualifications to care for children. Ask if they would hire this person to care for their children. If anything said by a reference makes you feel uncomfortable, it may be best to select another person to care for your children.
Also, Kieran's Law now allows parents to request fingerprint background checks of in-house caregivers who provide care for more than 15 hours per week. Parents should contact the DCJS Records Review Unit at (518) 485-7675 for forms and fee information.
Ask your babysitter to arrive at least fifteen minutes before your departure time. If the sitter has not been in your home before, conduct a brief tour of the house. Point out the location of telephones, first-aid equipment, doors and other possible exits.
Ensure that the sitter fully understands specific responsibilities and your general expectations. This includes knowing:
When You Return Home
When you return home, you should always have a discussion with the babysitter. Ask about:
After the babysitter has left, talk to your children about what happened while you were gone. Ask them:
ALTERNATIVE SOURCES TO FIND BABYSITTERS / CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
(This list was created primarily by using the Internet. We are not sponsoring nor indicating the quality of any of the providers or services listed in this guide. This is simply a starting point to perform your own detailed and in depth search for a quality provider of child care services.
CHILD CARE ORGANIZATIONS
NYS Child Care Coordinating Council – www.nyscccc.org
Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council – www.cdcccc.org
NANNYS/LIVE IN CHILD CARE SERVICES
A New England Nanny - www.anewenglandnanny.com
Nanny Locators - www.nannylocators.com
BABYSITTERS (Long and Short Term)
Care.com - www.care.com
Criag’s List ( Albany ) – http://albany.craigslist.org
Babysitters.com – www.babysitters.com
Sitter Café – www.sittercafe.com
Colonie Youth Bureau (offers Babysitting Course) http://www.colonie.org/yes/index.htm
Other Networking Sources:
Use “Google” www.google.com and enter keywords to search for local organizations.
Talk to people within your company, sports leagues, business/fraternal clubs & organizations, and during social gatherings.
Retirement Communities or Senior Centers
Churches, Religious Education Centers
Housing Development or Association Newsletters
Parks & Recreation Centers
County Youth Bureaus
YMCA or YWCA’s
Boys & Girls Clubs
Boys & Girl Scout Councils
Junior Achievement Clubs
High School Clubs & Organizations
High School Guidance Offices
College Early Childhood or Teacher Education Programs
College Career Centers