What should I look for in choosing a babysitter?
Look for someone who can meet the needs of your children.  The younger the child the more mature and responsible the babysitter needs to be.  Be cautious when brothers and/or sisters can easily manipulate or another; this can lead to trouble.
Try to use a consistent babysitter with your children so they can become familiar with one another.  Choose a babysitter who is comfortable around children and preferably has some type of child care experience in the past.  Try to match the personality of your babysitter with that of your children.
What are some important things to remember to tell the babysitter?
·         Safety is the first and foremost requirement for babysitting.  Make sure the babysitter and child know the rules. Set the ground rules and write them down on a sheet of paper before you leave the home.
·         Always leave a phone number where you can be reached, as well as a phone number of a friend or relative.  Consider checking in once or twice to make sure things are running smoothly once you leave the home.
·         Leave a flashlight with batteries on hand in case of light failure or power failure.
·         Show the babysitter how to use the fire extinguisher and where it is located.  Also show her where the smoke alarms are located.
·         Provide an activity or game that is safe, interesting and enjoyable for both your babysitter and children while you are away.
·         Discuss nutritious drinks and snacks that are available for babysitter and your children while you are away.
What about discipline?
Make sure your babysitter understands how you want her to discipline your children if that may be necessary.  Set the rules as to which television programs are acceptable and instruct on limiting television viewing.
Where can I find trained babysitter?
If your community has an instruction class for babysitters, choose a babysitter from this group of candidates if possible.  If your babysitter has not been instructed through one of these classes suggest that she attend one if available.