All woman writer
She is the woman who will take care of your little bundle when you're unable to, the second mommy your baby will have throughout his/her formative years. With that in mind, you have to ensure not only that she loves children, but that she can handle emergencies and do simple things like help stimulate your child.
That's why choosing a sitter/nanny for your little one can be a mind-boggling experience and one that should be handled with great care. You have to bear in mind that children are not able to express themselves clearly to let you know how they are being treated while you are out. The onus is therefore on you to get a trustworthy person in your home to care for your child.
Childcare experts on healthsafety_baby-sitters.html say, "A good rule of thumb is the younger the children being watched, the older the babysitter should be." And babycentre.co.uk advises that you don't compromise when carrying out this important search. "Your child deserves the best caregiver you can find - so be prepared for a long search," the childcare site says. "You'll need to be patient and resourceful, consulting everyone from friends and family to the nanny agencies about possible candidates."
Locally, agencies like the Jamaica Household Workers Association and the Citizens Advice Bureau can help.
The JHWA provides trained workers for your home, who come properly screened and with references.
Executive director of the Citizens Advice Bureau, Pauline Harper, says people come in to the Bureau from time to time as trained practical nurses but who are willing to be placed as nannies while those without training come armed with years of experience as well as recommendations.
She explained though, that the end result is left up to the parents to interview the individuals and find out whether or not they are able to take care of the child.
"I presently see the need for sitters to be trained in the field of childcare before they take on the task of baby-sitting," Harper said. "But you also have students leaving the secondary schools who are trained in childcare and qualified as sitters."
When choosing a sitter, here are some tips you can follow:
*The recommendations of people you know and trust are your best bet for finding a reliable and capable babysitter.
* If you're new to the area and don't know how to go about finding a sitter, ask your neighbours or co-workers for recommendations, inquire at your church, or talk to your child's doctor or nurse practitioner for suggestions.
There are in fact agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Ministry of Labour, JHWA and even some employment agencies that will help you find qualified sitters.
* Interviewing prospective sitters and checking their references will help you narrow down your sitter choices.
* Sitters should provide references that indicate a proven track record for showing good common sense, maturity and following instructions.
* Sitters should have first aid training and know how to manoeuver a choking child and have knowledge of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a combination of rescue breathing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compression).
* Make sure the sitter knows where your first aid kit is located.
* In addition, you may want to invite the sitter over for a dry run while you're at home, so you can familiarise him or her with your household and observe how he or she interacts with your child.