I recently heard from a friend who had found a babysitter on Care.com, but it wasn’t the right fit. There are lots of reasons that a match may not work out all the time, but in this case, the member felt she had done everything right. She had posted a job for someone to take care of her preschooler and Kindergartner 3 hours a day, every day, for the after-school hours.
She interviewed babysitter candidates, checked references and background checks and hired someone she thought had the best qualities: energetic, good with kids and affectionate. She pictured her kids doing art projects, playing in the yard, reading books, dancing around to the latest Baby Einstein CDs.
So imagine her surprise when she came home early one day to find her babysitter on the couch watching TV, while the kids played with iPads.
So what went wrong? It turns out she just didn’t create her job post accurately. She didn’t realize what she wanted from the sitter until she hired someone who seemed great.
But I think the stand-out issue is that she requested a “sitter” instead of a “part-time nanny.”
Now, many of you with fantastic babysitters will disagree, but I think of a “sitter” as someone who cares for the child and is ready in an emergency. They’re your date night hires, the must-run an errand hire, the help out here and there person. They will call 911, play games, read stories. But if you’re looking for someone who will grow with the child, challenge him with developmental tools, tutor, plan creative play, I’d advise you look for someone who considers herself a nanny.
So we encouraged this member to post a job for a ‘part-time nanny’ instead of a babysitter and explain what she wanted the person to do in her job description. She’s found a better match for her kids — and comes home to great artwork hanging on the fridge.