Hiring a Babysitter for The First Time? Read This

So, you’ve finally made a reservation in that restaurant you’ve wanted to visit for ages. You’re going on a date night! Don’t let the stress of childcare take away from the excitement of your outing. Read these tips on hiring a babysitter for the first time, and it will be smooth sailing.

Talk to Your Kids

Your children will be curious—and potentially a little put-out—to hear that you’re leaving them for the evening to go out and have a nice time. Explain that adults need time to themselves, and it doesn’t mean you’re not really excited about the family fun day you have planned for the weekend. Tell your kids that this is a chance for them to feel a little more grown up, as they will be in the house without you (albeit with a sensible grown-up on hand to help). If possible, introduce them to the babysitter before you go, so your kids know who to expect.

Find a Babysitter

It might be tempting to hire the first teenager who replies to your ad, but bear in mind that looking after kids you don’t know is a big responsibility. In an ideal world, your babysitter would be someone you know—a neighbor, perhaps, or your best friend’s teenage daughter. If this isn’t possible, hire someone who has accredited experience. Some babysitters have qualifications through Red Cross, whilst others have professional licenses granted by local state departments.

Talk to the Babysitter

Whilst you don’t need to overwhelm the babysitter with an endless list, it does help to be prepared. Let them know where everything they will need is (ideally lay it out on the table so it’s accessible). Prepare a meal so they don’t have to cook, or give them some money to get a take-out. A quick text halfway through the meal, to let you know everything’s OK, will put your mind at ease without interrupting your special night.