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Nov 3

Nanny Interview Tips with SOSsitter | What are the best nanny interview questions for in-person interviews?

The in-person interview is a crucial part of choosing the right nanny for you. In this blog post, we share some tips on nanny interview questions to help you choose the right nanny for your family. Don’t know where to start looking for a nanny? SOSsitter links families looking for a nanny and caregivers offering their services. Find the right nanny for you with SOSsitter.

Learn what are the best nanny interview questions with SOSsitter.

Where should you ask the nanny interview questions?

The first question we get often asked is where should the in-person interview be held with your potential nanny or babysitter? The answer is at home of course! You need to have a good idea and especially a good feel for the person that will take care of your kids. Having the sitter come to your house is an excellent opportunity to see how she interacts with your family members and pets, and to ask the nanny interview questions. You might want to wait until the weekend so you won’t be pressed for time between dinner, bath time, etc. Unless you are concerned that she might be scooped up by another employer, then schedule the in-person interview as soon as possible!

Hopefully you will have had the opportunity to interview the nanny over the phone. Then you can confirm your first impressions that you made over the phone, clarify certain points and ask more in-depth nanny interview questions. You can proceed the in-person interview much in the same manner as the phone interview by starting with a job description. Since you are in the house, you can go in more detail by actually walking them through the steps of a typical day and show them where things are, ex. cups and plates. This is a good time to explain special needs such as allergies, medication, etc. Then, you can start asking some more specific nanny interview questions. 

Learn which nanny interview questions to ask with SOSsitter.

Which nanny interview questions should you ask?

The goal of the in-person interview is to get the sitter to reveal as much as possible about him/herself so any nanny interview questions should focus on that. Review their references and work experiences with them and get them to talk. Here are some nanny interview questions you could ask:

How old were the children in their last job and what duties did they perform?

What did they like or dislike about their last job?

If the sitter is younger, ask them questions about their family life.

Do they have siblings?

What are they studying at school?

What are their favourite subjects?

You might also try broaching more sensitive topics. Are there holes (months or years where the sitter was not working) in the resume that you would like to discuss?

Does the sitter have children of their own?

Where will her children be while they are taking care of your children? One of our clients realized that the sitter had to leave at a specific hour to be home when her child got back from school. The only problem was that neither of the parents would be home from work by then!

Before the interview, be sure to write your nanny interview questions down on paper so you don’t forget them.

Who should ask the nanny interview questions?

Is your spouse also participating in the interview? Excellent! He/she can help by either sitting in the interview and watching for non-verbal cues or by minding the children so you can ask the nanny interview questions in peace. Or perhaps you prefer to reverse the roles? This is best decided by you both as you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and your family situation. After asking in-person nanny interview questions, you will know if this is the nanny for you. If it is, start discussing salary and benefits. Haven’t found the right sitter for your family yet? Start finding now with SOSsitter.

Oct 14

How to Find the Best Housekeeper?

It’s not always easy to find a housekeeper who is reliable, competent, discreet, and honest. But with a little patience, and by using the right search tools, it’s possible to find that hidden gem quickly. This article explains how.

The best housekeeper doing her daily tasks

How to find a housekeeper: where to search?

Checking the classified ads (whether it’s in the newspaper, on Kijiji or LesPAC, or elsewhere) isn’t a safe option for finding a housekeeper. Indeed, anyone can claim to be a housekeeper in order to gain access to your home during your absence. In this type of advertisement, the criminal record isn’t checked, and the person could have bad intentions.

Doing business with housekeeping companies, which employ many household cleaning employees, could be a safer option to consider. But the cost of the housekeeper (or housekeeping team) is often very high, since the owner of the agency retains a portion of their employees’ wages.

Unlike housekeeping companies, SOSsitter puts individuals who want household cleaning services in touch with housekeepers who are available in their city. The criminal records are checked on request, the hourly rates are indicated (each housekeeper has their own rate), references from former clients are provided, and you know how many years of experience each candidate possesses.

How does SOSsitter work?

By registering on the SOSsitter site, you will have access to a list of many housekeepers who have filled out a complete profile with a photo. Up to twenty search criteria will allow you to find the housekeeper you need. 

You can also create a job offer indicating which types of household chores you want to have done and how often (each week, every two weeks, or once a month). The candidates who serve your city will then contact you right away.

Finding your house cleaner through SOSsitter also makes it safe and easy to pay your new employee via our online booking system.

What are the rates for a housekeeper?

The hourly rate for household cleaning depends on each housekeeper. An agency employing several housekeepers will set a standard hourly rate, but for independent housekeepers, this rate is at their discretion.

Per hour, the rate may range from $15 to $35 (or more) depending on the housekeeper’s experience. You should therefore take the necessary time to hire a housekeeper with an affordable hourly rate.

Bed made by the best housekeeper for you

Qualities to look for in a housekeeper

A good housekeeper should possess many qualities.


If you’ve never hired a house cleaner before, you’re probably nervous about the idea of a stranger coming to clean your home, so it’s essential to know how to find a housekeeper who is truly honest.

Some homeowners are present when the housekeeper comes to work in their home, but most give them a key to the house so that the cleaning can be done while they’re away. A criminal record check is recommended in this case, as well as getting references from former clients.


The housekeeper you hire must be present in your home on the date and time agreed on with you. In addition, they must follow your instructions and lock the doors again before they leave.


The housekeeper you choose must be able to offer impeccable service.

When you come back home, you must be 100% satisfied with the cleanliness of the place. “Cutting corners” is literally forbidden when it comes to household cleaning services!

Good intentions 

A housekeeper must want to please their employers and bring them the joy of living in a clean home. You’re delegating your household chores because you already have enough work, and this will take a huge weight off your shoulders.

A well-intentioned housekeeper is happy that their work can help you.


Discretion is an important quality to look for in a housekeeper. You will sometimes be at home when they come to clean, and you expect the work to be done without them watching you or asking you personal questions.

What work can be done by the housekeeper?

Do you want to know how to find a housekeeper who will be able to carry out exactly the work you want done? SOSsitter lets you post a personalized job offer that will be seen by many candidates. There, you can list all the household chores you want to have done.

The tasks usually performed by a housekeeper include:

  • vacuuming and washing the floors;
  • cleaning the surfaces (counters, stove, refrigerator, etc.);
  • cleaning the bathrooms;
  • washing the patio door windows;
  • cleaning the inside and outside of the microwave; 
  • dusting the furniture;
  • making the beds;
  • etc.

On request, the housekeeper can clean the inside of the refrigerator and the stove, do the laundry and ironing, and even prepare meals. They can empty the dishwasher and wash the windows and walls. Each employer has their own requirements, and the chosen housekeeper must adapt to them.

Some housekeepers have their own cleaning tips, but you can determine which cleaning products will be used for each surface. Generally, it’s the employer who provides these products, as well as the cleaning tools and equipment.

Register on SOSsitter

To find experienced candidates to carry out your household cleaning quickly and easily, register on the site today.

That way, you will be able to look for a housekeeper who meets your specific criteria. In addition, you can safely pay your chosen housekeeper through our online payment system.

Dec 22


Why is Child Discipline Important?

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Raising a child is like giving them the keys to become a member of our society and enabling them to become a responsible adult who can think and adapt. The basis of this education is to make them understand what is an acceptable behaviour and to set limits. Discipline does just that. Nannies should adopt a positive attitude when it comes to child discipline. Positive and effective discipline is teamwork. From parents to nanny, together with everyone involved in the child’s education, should have a consistent approach to the child so that they receive the same answers for a given behaviour.

Several studies show that emotive responses, like shouting and giving corporal punishment, are not the best approach and that children who were raised this way are more likely to become aggressive adults with negative behaviours. It is therefore important to use a positive approach when it comes to child discipline rather than to react with emotion. The secrets of successful positive child discipline are attitude and communication. This post will outline what is a positive attitude while the subject of communication will be covered in another post on this blog.

How Can You Achieve Positive Child Discipline With Your Nanny?

First and foremost, a positive child discipline attitude with the caregiver is achieved by being consistent. As parents and the nanny,  always choose a positive approach and never fall into the emotional reaction. You need to be constantly listening and show a lot of patience, adaptability and flexibility. The basic idea is to provide guidelines and limits and teach the child to make the right choices, so you need to encourage them to make the right choices and congratulate them when they do. A discussion with the nanny or babysitter is necessary to ensure she will provide the same guidelines as you do. Confusion creates frustrations and misunderstandings, which in turn can easily lead to emotional reactions.

Quite often, it is enough to anticipate potential problems and present the child with a proper option before they have the opportunity to make a bad decision: for example, if they are about to play with crayons, ask them if they want to draw on the kitchen table or spread newspapers on the floor in their room. Do not let them decide where to use their crayons. Over time they will know the different options and choose between good alternatives.

What Does a Positive Attitude Entail?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is positive-attitude-SOSsitter.jpegA positive attitude is also creating a respectful and loving environment where the child can flourish without fear or frustration. It is therefore very important that the nanny takes her cues from you and is careful to always talk to the child calmly and with respect. This does not detract from being firm but creates a dialogue rather than giving orders to be followed blindly.

If your nanny and yourself adopt this positive approach to child discipline, you’ll see that with a little patience your child will learn to make the right choices.

Looking for a nanny but don’t know where to start? Find out more about our nanny and caregiving services and how you can get the help you need. 

Nov 12

How to conduct a background check on a babysitter?

Learn how to conduct a background check on a babysitter or nanny with SOSsitter.

Selecting a caregiver is definitely an important decision that you should not take lightly. Before hiring, you must first validate her identity and conduct a background check on the babysitter for previous criminal or sexual offenses.

Indeed, a crucial step in selecting your child caregiver is to conduct a background check on the nanny, that is, to validate her criminal history and to verify the absence of sexual offenses on her record. You do that by requesting to see her most recent certificate of good conduct. The time of hire is the only opportunity you have to ensure that your family is in the hands of someone you can trust.

Step 1 of conducting a background check on a babysitter: how to verify the caregiver’s identity? 

The first step in conducting a background check on a babysitter is to make sure that the candidate you are going to evaluate is the person she claims to be. Do not hesitate to ask her for two identification documents. Photo IDs issued by the government will ensure not only that the child minder is who she says she is but also she is legally in the country.

Step 2 of conducting a background check on a babysitter: how to verify the caregiver’s criminal record? 

After the identity of the candidate is verified, the second step in conducting a background check on a babysitter is to request a Canadian Criminal Record Check. It is a nationwide search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database that queries police records for convictions for which a pardon has not been granted, for absolute & conditional discharges and for any stays of proceedings, as they appear on CPIC.

In addition, when conducting a background check on a nanny, it is strongly recommended to obtain confirmation of the absence of sexual offenses. This is of course particularly important when selecting a candidate who will be responsible for one or more persons considered as vulnerable (children, the elderly and individuals with disabilities). The search, based on the applicant’s fingerprints will reveal whether the person has been convicted and/or has obtained a pardon for a sexual offense.

It is very important to ask your potential childminder for the most current certificate of good conduct. In fact, it is recommended to request a new certificate as a prerequisite for hire. This can be done at the expense of the nanny or be covered by the family. All the checks can only be requested by the nanny herself. They can be obtained at any police station or using the services of specialized companies. The costs range from 40$ to 100$.

How to conduct a background check on a babysitter with SOSsitter?

SOSsitter facilitates conducting a background check on a babysitter to simplify the search for the perfect caregiver for your children. With SOSsitter, you can purchase the criminal record of any SOSsitter caregiver if the candidate gives explicit consent at the time of registration. If this option is available, a buy button will appear on the caregiver’s profile. The check will be performed by SOSsitter’s partner Sterling Solutions. Moreover, if you have the SOSsitter annual membership, you are entitled to a free background check for a candidate of your choice. 

By following these simple steps to background check your nanny, you’ll be able to entrust your home and your children with confidence.

Nov 8

How to conduct a nanny annual review?

Learn how to conduct a nanny annual review with SOSsitter.

If you work, you know how important not only regular feedback on your work is, but also your annual review. Well the same is true for your nanny. If you do not do a nanny annual review, you should consider it. And if you fret about doing a nanny annual review – don’t! A nanny annual review is a positive opportunity to communicate and build your relationship with your nanny. Here are some things to consider:

What to prepare before a nanny annual review?

Schedule the review with Nanny giving you both enough time to prepare. Share the topics that you would like to cover during the nanny annual review in advance. Nanny annual reviews usually include the following: a review of performance (what has worked well, what could be improved), wage reviews and other elements of remuneration such as benefits, changes to duties, changes in the family situation, review of Nanny’s Log and any documented events. You should prepare for the meeting – reviewing documentation, doing research on current wage levels and ensuring you are clear about messages you want to convey.

What to do during the nanny annual review?

Preferably both parents (if a two parent household) should be at the nanny annual review and it should be held somewhere where you can concentrate on the task at hand (i.e. no children running around!). Nanny’s annual review should have a positive tone, with any hard messages shared constructively and professionally. The discussion should be a dialogue which means that Nanny should get to share perspectives and bring any issues or points to the table.

What to do after the nanny annual review? 

If you have agreed to new terms for Nanny’s employment – new responsibilities, a change to remuneration or benefits – be sure to update the contract in a timely fashion and give Nanny a copy. If you do not have a contact, write-up what was agreed and send it to Nanny so you both have it on record.

We say it often at SOSsitter and we will say it again: communicate, communicate, and communicate. It is the foundation for a good relationship with your Nanny! 

If you or someone you know is looking for a Nanny, check out qualified candidates in your area at SOSsitter. SOSsitter links families looking for a nanny and caregivers offering their services, so sign-up now on SOSsitter to find the right nanny for your family.

Nov 7

How to leave your baby with a nanny for the first time?

Learn the best way to leave your baby with a nanny for the first with SOSsitter.

Leaving your baby with a nanny for the first time is a big step in the life of the baby and in yours. Since the baby was born, you’ve spent all your time with him and are the expert in his well-being. It is therefore natural to feel anxious to leave your baby with a nanny for the first time. You are the only person who will know when you are ready and to take this step with confidence. Before leaving your baby with a nanny, a little preparation is necessary. At SOSsitter, we have gathered some tips to ensure that the first separation goes smoothly.

Leaving your baby with a nanny for the first time: how to select the right nanny?

The best way to feel confident when leaving your baby with a nanny for the first time is to thoroughly select the nanny to whom you’ll entrust your little one. Beyond the necessary precautions to follow and the advice that apply to any caregiver selection (see the several posts on the subject on this blog), if it’s the first time that you leave your baby with a nanny, you should be looking for an experienced candidate. Caring for a baby is very different from babysitting an older child, and some skills are more important than others. In addition to being confident that the nanny will know how to take care of your baby, you will certainly learn some useful tips from her. If you haven’t found the right nanny yet, try posting a job on SOSsitter.

With SOSsitter, let’s learn how to leave baby with a nanny for the first time.

Leaving your baby with a nanny for the first time: how to introduce your child to the nanny?

Once you have found the perfect nanny for your family, introduce her to your child before the first day of leaving her with the caregiver. Ideally, the new babysitter should spend at least half a day with you and baby so that he gets used to seeing her in your home and see you talk and interact with the nanny. In addition, it’s the opportunity to show her where things are, the daily routine that you have with your baby and how you like things to be organized in the house. Don’t forget to take the time to leave her alone with the baby for a few minutes while you go to another room.

Leaving your baby with a nanny for the first time: what is the best way to leave?

Now that you have prepared everything, it’s time to take the plunge and leave your baby with the nanny for the first time. The most important thing is to act naturally because the child will feel your stress. You have already reviewed your home set-up with the nanny and given her a list of contacts to call if anything happened. The last thing you need to do then is to leave baby with the nanny: welcome the nanny and say goodbye to baby, explaining simply that you will be back soon. Do not hesitate and linger, even if your child cries. He is testing you! Plan activities for the nanny to keep baby busy right after you leave and ask her to send you SMS or email frequently.

Simply follow these simple steps and you will be able to leave baby with a nanny and enjoy your day without baby, stress free and without guilt. Haven’t found a babysitter yet? SOSsitter links families looking for a nanny and caregivers offering their services. Start finding now with SOSsitter.

Oct 17

How to find a babysitter part-time job?

Working full time as a child caregiver can be exhausting and therefore working part-time is an interesting option for many people. Do child caregiving jobs offer part-time work options? This question is on the mind of a lot of individuals who want to find a babysitter part-time job.

Finding a babysitter part-time job on the Internet

Finding a babysitter part time job is not that difficult. Find out in this article some tips for finding a job as a part time babysitter.

What to know about part-time work?

A part-time job is of course different than a full-time. Not necessary in terms of tasks at hand, but more for its duration. The hourly volume of part-time work generally ranges from 15 to 29 hours per week as oppose to 30-40 hours per week for full time work.

There are several reasons for some people to opt for a part-time job: monetary reasons like round off the end of the month, or time bound reasons where other activities are present in their life such as school or another part time job.

The role of a babysitter

The role of a babysitter varies from family to family. Several babysitter part time jobs are offered on SOSsitter, and each has its unique requirements. From night supervision to full day children supervision including taking care of household chores such as preparing meals and helping with homework. A babysitter is a person of trust and needs to be responsible and engaging with children. To succeed as a child caregiver it is essential to possess these qualities.

Look for a job as a babysitter on the Internet

Are you thinking of getting a babysitter part-time job? The internet is your first resource to start your search. Many babysitter part time jobs are regularly posted on online job portals online.

Whether you are a student or simply attracted by child caregiving, you can easily find a part-time job as a babysitter with SOSsitter.

Register on a job site

When registering on a job search platform, make sure to provide all the requested details so you can maximize your chances of landing the desired job. Make sure to showcase your skills and qualifications in a complete manner. Including your picture is also important. Employers are looking for candidate profiles with pictures, so make sure yours is included, where your face is clearly visible and up close. Additionally, do have background check done and ready to present to employers. Hiring families have a clear preference for babysitters with an up to date (last 6 months) background check.

Once registered, you should expect receiving part time jobs alerts in your email almost immediately.

In summary, the Internet is a good way to get a part-time job as a babysitter. Simply register on a caregiving job site, like SOSsitter, or to a broader job site and you’re done.

Aug 21

Help for kids to get the Back to School seem like a breeze

I am a practical girl and I like to simplify my life as much as possible. In the parenting area as well. I am reading a great book by Vicki Lansky, Practical Parenting Tips (Meadowbrook Press) that has plenty of really good tips (a great resource), especially help for kids by parents on how to get the Back to School time easier on everyone.

Back to School is a season of change with lots of adjustments to make for parents and kids alike. Here are 9 tips, straight from the book, that the author is suggesting as help for kids to smooth into Back to School. Some of them are funny but they just make sense!

  • Prepare for school the night before. Set the breakfast table and select an outfit.
  • Set a timer to alert your child when it is time to gather belongings and leave for school.
  • Sew nametags into clothing, especially coats or gym clothes.
  • Tape milk money to the inside of your child’s lunch bag or box, so he or she will not lose it.
  • Teach your child to wait for the bus driver’s signal when crossing the street.
  • Save empty paper towel tubes for carrying important papers or paintings to school.
  • With young children, pin notes to the teacher onto your child’s clothing.
  • Have a parent who works outside the home drop off your child at school or at the bus stop. Your child will be accustomed to saying good-bye to that parent, so it won’t cause trauma.
  • Don’t forget to ask your child about school activities the day before.

Being organized and practical will take out the stress out of the daily routine. And, by the way, if you have your Nanny preparing the kids to school, share those tips with her!

Jul 19

A Nanny needs time off too from child care

As a nanny, you too need time off. That’s right. There is much research available online that points to the importance of taking time off, both for our health but also for productivity at work.

In summer, a nanny needs time off too

Some might even say getting the appropriate amount of time off is even more important for those who are involved in chid care, as it requires intensive engagement with children who by definition need care and support.

If you are a nanny, whether you are planning your vacation, just need a day off or even some time during the work day to go to an appointment, there are some simple ways to have a productive discussion with your employer.

As a nanny, clarify your needs!

It is best to agree on the amount of paid (and unpaid) vacation that both you and your employer find acceptable when you first start working together. Annual reviews are a good time to revisit the arrangements in place or to raise it if you have not discussed it before.

If you need some time here and there to go to the doctor or dentist, talk to your employer and figure out good times that are most convenient for you and the family.

The sooner the better!

This is especially true when planning annual holidays or vacations. Giving plenty of notice means that there is time to ensure no conflicts (i.e. both you and your family want to go on holiday for that last week of August) and to make alternative arrangements. It also takes into the account the family schedule, a sign of respect and understand. Families do not like surprises. Avoid them.

A nanny needs a holiday!

Your family will understand the importance of taking holidays and if they don’t, you can forward this article! This is your mental and physical health we are talking about, and the wellbeing of the children is directly impacted. So be confident, clarify your needs and get straight to the point. Don’t “um and ah”.

Make technology work for you!

Use email to set out what you are thinking in advance of the discussion. Typing the email will help you clarify your thinking. And then use a shared online calendar if available to make sure your time off is in everyone’s calendar!

If you are a nanny looking for a family to support, you can sign up for free on our site!


Apr 6

The importance of grandparents: what role should they play in the lives of their offspring

Happy family looking at the cameraGrandparents are an essential landmark in the lives of their grandchildren. Their challenge is to find the balance between the love they feel for them and the discipline they must uphold, in harmony with the education advocated by parents. Grandparents should keep in mind that they should not take the place of parents or become too intrusive. Here are some of the roles that grandparents can play:

– Source of additional unconditional love from the first moments of the child’s life

– Educators complementary to parents, role both emotionally and educationally. They have more time, are less stressed, calmer pace of life

– Anchorage point, stability in the family environment, widens the emotional sphere of grandchildren

– Source of treats and special permissions without going against parents’ education

– Support for parents from birth. Grandparents, however, must respect their limits and not overdo it!

– Allies of the parents; they should not criticize them or go against the way they chose to raise their children, this could create many tensions

– The parents! Do not forget to thank the grandparents for all they do for their grandchildren and for you!

– For grandparents who need respite, visit our SOSSitter website