Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to interview your sitter

The interview is an important step in finding the right sitter for your ohana. Keiki Sitters makes the process easier by vetting potential sitters for you to choose from, but it’s important for you to meet with and interview a sitter to ensure you find the one that’s perfect for your family.

We recruit our sitters from the local universities and community colleges. We specifically visit the classrooms of students majoring in early childhood development, education and nursing. These sitters have a passion for caring for others and plan on making a life-long commitment to it.

Keiki Sitters has two requirements for someone interested in joining our services:
  1. The sitter must be at least 18 years old.
  2. The sitter must return a clean background check.

The background check is a national criminal search that checks all 50 states for felonies and misdemeanors. It is so thorough that we can even sometimes see minor traffic violations.

Once the sitter has returned a clean background check and her age is verified, she can then log onto www.KeikiSitters.com and upload her photo, fill out her profile, resume, references and availability calendar.

Because we are an online service, anyone can sign up. It is very important that parents conduct interviews to ensure the sitter has the qualifications they are seeking (CPR/First Aid, a certain number of years of experience, etc.) and that the sitter's personality is a good match for their family.

Sitter interview questions
To help ensure you find the right sitter for your ohana, ask these interview questions:
  • What do you like and dislike about babysitting?
  • What would you do if a babysitting job lasts longer than expected?
  • Would you have a backup ride home in case we could not drive you home?
  • What is your past childcare experience?
  • How old are the children you’ve babysat for in the past?
  • Do you have any allergies to or are you uncomfortable with cats, dogs or other pets? (Tailor this question to the pets in your home)
  • Can you drive in the case of an emergency?
  • What do you do when a child won’t go to sleep?
  • What is your proudest babysitting moment?

It is very important that you speak with parents who employed this sitter in the past. Ask them questions such as:
  • Did she ever cancel or not show?
  • Was she ever late?
  • Did she ever bring crafts or toys from her home?
  • Does she do light house keeping while the children are sleeping, without being asked?
  • Does she dress conservatively?
  • Did your children ask for her when she was not there?
  • Do you trust her with the valuables in your home?

One important question to ask toward the end of your conversation is:
“I understand that this sitter has done a fabulous job caring for your children and that you strongly recommend her, but if there was just one thing that you could change about her, what would it be?”
Past employers who have had a good experience with their sitter will often share the positive things and neglect to tell you the little things that bothered them. Using this question will show them that they can open up to you, because you understand how wonderful this sitter is. If the parent still has nothing that they would change about her, then you know you have found a keeper!

Find the perfect sitter for your family; join us online at http://KeikiSitters.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From Keiki Sitter to Mom, Valuable Experiences Benefit Both Roles

Being a Keiki Sitter has helped prepare Danielle Guthrie for motherhood, and now the experience she is gaining as a Mom is having a positive influence on her role as a sitter.

Danielle works for Keiki Sitters between three and seven times each week, and has done so since she became a Keiki Sitter just over 2 years ago. The experience she gained from Keiki Sitters has given her cultural insights and continuous improvement on childcare techniques as she meets people from all over the world.

“I learn new things all the time from the children and parents I interact with,” Danielle said.

Danielle and her son spending quality time together in a swimming pool.

As a Keiki Sitter, Danielle learned that every parent wants to be the best parent they can possibly be – a feeling she could certainly relate to as a new Mom. “Working as a Keiki Sitter creates a network of parenting information among parents and sitters. I have learned many soothing techniques for young babies, I’ve gained enhanced nutritional knowledge from other moms, and confidence in my ability to make sound decisions about the health, safety, well-being, and mental development of children,” she said.

Being a Mom has enhanced the way she cares for children – and not just because she’s more comfortable singing songs and acting silly in an effort to make them smile. “I feel like being a mother has opened up a part of my heart that naturally makes me feel like a warmer, more loving person, and I feel like children pick up on that,” she said.