“Gold standard babysitters have these three things”: How to find the best sitter for you.

Video by Bree Tomasel

Parents are incredibly selective when it comes to choosing child minding for their loved ones. Being unable to secure a trustworthy person to look after your children usually results in cancelling or rescheduling your plans.

So how do you find someone you trust? What are the primary things you look for in a trustworthy person? Does convenience trump trust? What about price?

For most, the convenience of leaving their children with family, close friends or neighbours is the most simple approach. But what about families that don’t have access to these contacts?

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Australia has a large community of expats which means a great deal of families don’t have a village of support. With the high cost of living in Australia, we have also noticed the shift towards grandparents remaining in the workforce and working later in their lives. They are travelling more than ever too as overseas travel has become so accessible.

Many parents have children with unique needs such as behavioural issues or they might have a highly sensitive food allergy which can make the thought of trusting a babysitter a huge risk. It’s a tough burden to bear, considering the modern woman often juggles work and home life balance.

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This struggle is the inspiration behind Sittr, Australia’s number one babysitter and nanny app, that simplifies the search for trusted child carers.

After working with a team of lawyers, insurers and childcare industry experts, we are confident that our mandatory steps taken to vet nannies and babysitters on the platform are as strict as you would find in any childcare centre around the country.

Qualifications

The standards for babysitting have changed considerably in the last decade or two. Simply hiring the teenage girl from next door out of convenience could involve risks: should an accident happen or your child require first aid, most teens aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with stressful situations like a medical emergency.

Qualifications are essential when finding a babysitter, especially if you have a child with a health condition or special needs. The gold standard of a top babysitter should include the following;

● A current working with children check. This is a government provided check to ensure the babysitter is cleared to work with children and has no previous criminal history.

● First aid training which should include knowledge of Asthma Attacks and Anaphylaxis.

● Public Liability Insurance

To help increase the number of qualified sitters in Australia and raise the standard in child care, Sittr have partnered with St John First Aid, to offer certified first aid training at a discounted price for our babysitters and nannies. We believe that this is an important step towards raising the standards for an industry that should undeniably require health and safety qualifications.

The combination of insurance and first aid qualifications guards against almost all kinds of accidents and other liabilities that may occur when you’re not in the family home.

Profile

Once you’ve narrowed down your selection by qualifications, you can now start to examine the people behind the qualifications.

The relative importance of one background over another is likely to be personal to you. What we can advise here is that going a little bit outside of your ideal can lead to better outcomes. Your children might benefit from a younger, qualified carer who has lots of energy and can keep up with your little ones. Older children and teens may find it more valuable to get care from a nanny who has specialised hobbies like tutoring, music or language.

Meet Annabelle, our sitter of the week. She has just returned from a Gap year abroad as a boarding house matron in the UK for a prestigious boys college. Belle is young, energetic, always punctual and great with kids of all ages. She loves to bake, craft and be outdoors. Mature beyond her years, she is sure to keep your kids entertained and happy. Belle is based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney but is flexible with her bookings and will sit for families all over Sydney. To book Annabelle or more amazing sitters like her, head to www.sittr.com #sittr #wearesittr #babysittingapp #ondemandchildcare #babysitting #nanny #parenthood #trusted #premium #insured #community #firstaid #workingwithchildrencheck #childcarejobs #northernbeaches

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Recently, we have seen a shift from the stereotypical role of a nanny being limited to females. Although ‘manny’ isn’t a job title that many Australians are familiar with, more men are entering the childcare industry. We believe that when it comes to finding the right carer for your child, qualifications and experience are just as important and should not be limited to gender.

Hiring a manny has many advantages – they can be a great supportive role model for children who are absent of a strong, influential male in their lives, or simply as being a stronger authority figure for particularly challenging kids.

There’s something we need to talk about. Why is it that you never see celebrity nannies? We talk about the invisible caretakers on our podcast for imperfect parents. Post continues after audio.

Location

Knowing where the babysitter is based is important. Having a teenage babysitter on your street may seem incredibly convenient, but could become awkward if things don’t work out and you have to see them every day.

Most professional babysitters are willing to travel up to 30kms for a job and will have their own transportation or use public transport or ride sharing apps like Uber.

The great news is there are many amazing and qualified babysitters and nannies on the Sittr platform who have the exceptional qualifications and background experience.

Some of the babysitters and nannies who are available to book on the Sittr platform are childcare workers, nurses, paramedics, midwives, teachers or lifeguards. Despite only accepting five per cent of applicants, the Sittr community has grown to over 950 vetted carers and 27,000 users around Australia.

Like most jobs and professions, they should get better over time – babysitting is no exception. In fact it had the biggest journey to go through, from the task handed to bored teenage neighbours to a professional service. Through technology, we can examine and vet the perfect candidates to come and be a part of your family. We can demand more of the people who look after our children when we’re away – leading to a better experience for everyone.

What are your tips on finding the perfect baby sitter? Tell us in a comment.

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