School’s out at 2 — and you work until 6. What’s a parent to do? An after-school sitter or nanny just might be the hero your family needs. Look for these seven qualities before you make your hiring decision.
Transitions can be hard for everyone. A good after-school sitter can recognize children’s individual needs, helping ease the transition and making all the difference in your evening.
Organized and Reliable
Punctuality and the ability to juggle multiple schedules are both key traits for after-school sitters and nannies. You need to be able to rely on them to be in the right place at the right time, every time.
A Good Driver
If your sitter will be driving your children, they should have access to a safe and well-maintained vehicle outfitted with the appropriate car seats, and they should know how to properly fasten them.
After-school sitters and nannies need to be prepared with healthy snacks to feed hungry kids after the last bell rings. You might be lucky enough to find a sitter who also has the skills and willingness to prepare your dinner, but remember, you’ll need to pay a little extra for that.
A+ Tutoring Skills
Make sure your sitter is comfortable and capable of assisting with homework. Your job description should reflect the need for someone with a strong academic background and/or tutoring experience if your children will require this kind of help.
Flexibility and Availability
Discuss a sitter’s availability on days when school has early dismissal or is closed. It will make life a lot easier for you if your regular sitter can fill those gaps. And make sure your sitter will be able to stick around if you are delayed getting home from work.
Your sitter should be able to ask your child details about his day as well as pick up on nonverbal signs that suggest something is going on at school. An after-school caregiver should be comfortable giving you a full report each day, talking to your child’s teacher if necessary, and bringing any concerns to your attention.
With these seven qualities in mind, trust your gut and look for a sitter who clicks with your family.