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May 27

Identify your needs first before a babysitter or nanny search

Ok. You need someone to help you out with child care. A nanny or an occasional babysitter.

And now I would say stop.

Take one crucial step before you start your research. That step will go a long way in facilitating your research and speeding up the process. And that step is to identify the profile of the right person.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what you want before you start looking for a sitter. Knowing what you want is not as easy as it sounds because sometimes we have a hard time expressing our needs, especially when it comes to something as important as who is watching our children. My best advice to you is to start with a pen and sheet of paper. Separate the sheet into three columns (see table below) with the following titles: the “must haves”, the “nice-to-haves” and the “must-not-haves”.

Think about your situation and what will go into each column. Questions you might ask your self are as follows:

* How many children do you have?
* What are their ages?
* Do you live in a remote area that is not accessible by public transit?
* What time do you want the sitter to start/finish?
* What personality traits are you looking for in a sitter?
* Other (specific to your situation)

Start jotting down the answers to these questions according to the categories below and soon enough you will have a profile of the type of babysitter or nanny you are looking for. It may not be a realistic profile at first, but you can adjust it as you go along. The table below helps you define what is really important and gives you a guideline to follow. With this table filled in, your search can truly start!

Must-have Nice-to-have Must-not-have
First aid training(you can offer to pay for it) Speak a foreign language smoker
Experience with young children Lives closeby
Young and playful Over 18

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