How to Choose the Best Nanny or Babysitter

7 Ways to Take Charge of Child Care

Entrusting your child to someone else's care is one of the most-stressful decisions you'll ever make as a parent. Someone who looks good on paper may be the absolute wrong person to bring into your home. These child care resources can help you make an informed decision so you can choose the best nanny or sitter and keep your kids safe and happy while someone else is watching them.
  • 01 of 07

    Understand Your Many Child Care Options

    A picture of a mom waving to a teacher and her child
    Finding the right child care is the only way you'll feel comfortable leaving your child. Photo © Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

    Shopping for child care resources is easier when you know all of the options you have available. You're not just limited to a day care during the mornings and afternoons and a teenager you barely know during the nighttime hours. Between Mom's Day Out, babysitting coops and many other types of child care, you can pick and choose the kind of child care based on your family's unique needs.

  • 02 of 07

    Look for the Signs of a Bad Babysitter

    bad-babysitter.jpg
    Know the signs of a bad babysitter to keep your child safe. Image Courtesy About.com

    You have your suspicions but are they accurate? Should you say something? What if you're wrong?

    Your worry can keep you up at night. If you even think you have a bad babysitter on your hands, you need to dig in and find out for the sake of your children. Recognize the signs of a bad babysitter so you can take action.

  • 03 of 07

    Weigh the Pros and Cons of Relatives as Caregivers

    relatives-as-caregivers.jpg
    Using relatives as caregivers can be a blessing and a curse. Image Courtesy About.com

    Having relatives watch your children can be a blessing and a curse. They will usually watch your children for free. A blessing!

    Just because their family doesn't mean they will take care of your children as you would. And if they don't, you now have a situation on your hands that you have to deal with because you can't just fire your family member. A curse! Before you decide to use relatives as your children's caregivers, consider the possible situations you may encounter and how...MORE you can solve them.

  • 04 of 07

    Know What to Avoid in Child Care Providers

    avoid-in-childcare.jpg
    Avoid red flags when choosing child care providers. Image Courtesy About.com

    The potential candidate who shows up late or texts the whole time you're interviewing her is a pretty glaring red flag that she's not the right person to watch your children. But what about hidden signs you may not discover until she's actually on the job?

    Knowing what to avoid in child care providers before you start your search will help you narrow your list of candidates to the one child care provider who is just about perfect for the job.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Communicate Easily with Child Care Providers

    communicate-with-child-care.jpg
    Communicate freely with child care providers to let them know of your expectations and concerns. Image Courtesy About.com

    Communicating with child care providers is key to making sure your children are taken care of in the same manner you would. However, it's often difficult to tackle the subjects that arise because you're scared your voice may affect the quality of your children's care or damage the relationship you've established with your child care provider. Top tips for parents help you communicate more effectively with child care providers so your children won't be adversely affected.

  • 06 of 07

    See if a Nanny or Au Pair May Work Better for You

    nanny-au-pair.jpg
    Know the difference between a nanny and au pair to decide which child care option is better for you. Image Courtesy About.com
    If you want child care more individualized than a day care environment and more regularly than a babysitter, a nanny or au pair is an option you should consider. These two positions are different from each other so you can find someone who fits in with your family's personal needs.
  • 07 of 07

    Consider a Nanny Cam

    nanny-cam.jpg
    A nanny cam can ensure your kids are in good hands. Image Courtesy About.com

    Do you really want to know what's going on in your home when you're not there? A nanny cam can provide you with peace of mind or send you on a search for someone new to take care of your children. You can let your nanny know you have a nanny cam or hide it to watch true behavior.

    Just be prepared for disappointments or even outrage. While most nanny cams reveal your children are in good hands, we've all seen the horror stories on the news of nanny cams catching children being...MORE mistreated while on the nanny's watch.