Tips on Choosing a Provider


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:

  • Check each candidates’ references and work histories, and then make sure they’re registered with TrustLine by calling 1-800-822-8490.
  • 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.