- Make sure you know the babysitter, or at least know of someone who knows her. Word-of-mouth recommendation is an advantage.
- Ask for references and talk to people who know her.
- Check the home environment to ensure it's clean and child-friendly.
- Ask questions, like what she will do in case of emergency (give scenarios); whether she knows basic first aid; who is her support system; how will she deal with a difficult child.
During the care
- Be in close communication with the babysitter via phone or SMS.
- Make occasional spot checks.
- After picking up your child from the babysitter, you should immediately check him or her for any bruise or injury that might have been incurred at the place.
- Look out for signs of potential abuse or neglect, like the child is hesitant when heading towards the house, has a low appetite, is withdrawn or overtly shy.
- Spend time with the babysitter on an informal basis, like take her out for breakfast during the weekend.