Message from the Editor
Entrusting someone to care for your kids can be difficult. Finding a qualified babysitter requires time and effort, but your reward is assurance that your child is in capable hands. Qualities to look for include maturity, friendliness, common sense,possibly speaking Persian, and a genuine fondness for children.
The recommendations of people you know and trust are your best bet for finding a reliable and capable Iranian babysitter. If you're new to the area and don't know how to go about finding a sitter, ask your neighbors or coworkers for recommendations, inquire at your place of worship, look for one on this website, or ask your child's doctor or nurse practitioner for suggestions. If your child is already enrolled in a daycare or after-school care program, staff members who are already familiar with your child may be willing to either babysit or provide sitter recommendations.
Interviewing prospective sitters and checking their references will help you narrow down your sitter choices. Ask about a sitter's experience caring for children and whether he or she is certified in infant and child CPR or has taken a babysitter course such as that offered by the American Red Cross. (Your local YMCA, community hospital, or American Red Cross chapter may have a list of babysitters who have completed their babysitting safety and infant and child CPR courses.)
In addition, consider inviting the sitter over for a dry run while you're at home to familiarize him or her with your household and observe the interactions with your child.
Before you walk out the door, prepare the sitter with the following information:
* Go over your child's usual routine (for example, homework, bedtime, mealtimes) and your general house rules (for example, any limits on TV, computer use, video games, playing outside, etc.).
* Make sure the sitter knows where you will be and how to reach you at all times, and under what circumstances to call 911 before contacting you.
* Make sure the sitter knows what to do in an emergency. Provide an emergency phone list that includes neighbors, friends, relatives, and your doctor. Write your own phone number and address on the list, so that in case of an emergency, the sitter can provide that information to the police or paramedics.
* Show the babysitter where emergency exits, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are located. Demonstrate how to enable and disable security systems and alarms.
* Show the sitter where you keep the door keys in case a child locks himself or herself inside a room.
* Let the sitter know of any special problems your child may have, such as an allergy to bee stings, certain foods, or household products, or the need for medication at a specific time (the directions for which should be clearly explained and written down). Show the sitter where first-aid items are kept.
* Teach kids the meaning of 911 and how to call for help, so that if something happens to your babysitter, they know what to do.
Let your babysitter know your expectations before you leave your home. If you'd prefer that the sitter not leave the house with your child, make that clear. If the phone and visitors are off limits, discuss those restrictions.
Deegeh maa gofteem.