I’m often asked by parents if there is some way to hire a babysitter during their family vacation—and know it will be someone they can trust and feel comfortable with. It’s a tough question. Yet for parents with babies or active young children, just having one relaxing (and dare I say “romantic”?) dinner together during a vacation—or the opportunity to set out on an afternoon’s snorkel trip together—or catch a Broadway show—can do wonders for a marriage.
Many large hotels offer a list of local babysitters, and some resorts offer private “in-room babysitters” for infants too young for children’s programs, but in these arrangements it may be difficult to screen the caregivers ahead of time—or even guarantee they’ll be available when you need them. So what’s a parent to do? I recently put the question to an expert on this very topic: Katie Vaughan.
Katie is the founder of Westside Nannies (www.westsidenannies.com), the Los Angeles-based agency you may have seen featured on Dr. Phil or Entertainment Tonight, which is responsible for assigning nannies to many high-profile and celebrity families. Here are her tips for hiring a nanny or babysitter for your family vacation.
5 tips for hiring nannies and babysitters on your family vacation
1. Find a reputable agency – Insider Tip: The International Nanny Association, www.Nanny.org, provides a state-by-state listing of reputable agencies around the US
2. Make sure the agency understands your needs – For example, do you require a nanny with infant experience for your newborn or an energetic camp-counselor type babysitter for your 5-year-old twins?
3. Verify qualifications – Make sure the agency sends you a resume, references and proof of a background check and CPR certification.
4. Check the references!
5. Make sure to provide the nanny with emergency contact information