Tips on Choosing a Nanny or Babysitter

TrustLine is an essential step in finding the right nanny or baby-sitter.  But TrustLine is just one important tool to help you choose the best in-home caregiver for your child.  Here are some other TrustLine tips:

  1. Check each candidate’s references and work histories, and then make sure they’re registered with TrustLine by calling 1-800-822-8490.
  2. Interview potential caregivers and observe how they interact with and respond to your child.

Ask all candidates open-ended questions to understand how they care for children:

  • Tell me about your previous experiences working with children.
  • What activities do you like to do with children?
  • What are your feelings about discipline?
  • How would you handle naps, eating, toilet training or emergencies?
  • Are you comfortable following directions even if you would do things differently with your own children?

Ask practical questions:

  • Are you certified in child/infant CPR or first aid?
  • What if my child cries all day or refuses to eat or to nap?
  • Are you wiling to care for my child if he/she is sick?
  • What hours are you available?  Could you work extra hours occasionally and how much notice would you need?

Trust your instincts.

Hire someone both you and your children like and then agree to a trial period.  Spend some time watching your children and the caregiver interact before leaving them alone.

Once you have found a good caregiver:

  • Set up clear job responsibilities.
  • Communicate regularly about how the arrangement is working.
  • Periodically drop in unannounced to observe your child.
  • Always leave emergency contact information.
  • TrustLine is continually updated.  Caregivers who have committed a disqualifying crime subsequent to their clearance are removed.  So, you should call TrustLine periodically to make sure your caregiver is still registered.
  • For information on choosing child care and for referrals to licensed child care, contact your local child care resource and referral agency.  For the one nearest you, call TrustLine at 1-800-822-8490 or see the Child Care Resource and Referral Network web site.