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Parents know that nothing in the world is more important than a baby sitter. Finding a reliable babysitter doesn’t have to involve any rocket science, but they need to consider several factors and do some homework to make the right decision.

This handy guide by ServiceMarket, the UAE's leading marketplace for home services, can help you do all this with ease.

Your kids’ age matters

The first thing you need to consider is the age of your children. If any of your children are below the age of one, then you should definitely hire registered nurses who are affiliated with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). In fact, since they specialize in taking care of children who are younger than three years, many parents prefer to hire them for infants and toddlers. Registered nurses are also recommended for children with special needs and medical conditions.

Make sure they’re registered with a licensed company

While all registered nurses are licensed and trained professionals, there are many babysitters who work illegally in the UAE. You might be tempted to hire them as they are often willing to work at very low rates, but you’d be doing so at your own peril. Their lack of training can put your child’s safety and well-being in danger. If you’re hiring a standard babysitter, then the surest way to ensure their reliability is to only hire them through a licensed company.

See resumes and references

If there’s ever a time to do a thorough background check, this is it. After all, the person you’re selecting will be taking care of your children while you’re away from home. So, do ask to see the complete resumes and references of the shortlisted babysitters. Some of the things you should check in the resume are their certifications, education, previous jobs, and the number of years they’ve worked as a babysitter. Their education really matters because if your children spend many hours every day with them, then they’ll also learn a lot from them. You should also consider getting in touch with at least a couple of the references they provide to find out whether they had a good experience with them.

Interview and try

After you’ve shortlisted a few babysitters, call them in for an interview. Not only will this give you a chance to find out about them, but they’ll also be able to get a better understanding of your exact requirements. Consider creating and going through a detailed checklist to make sure that the house rules and expectations are clear. If time permits, ask them to spend a day with your

children in your presence, so that you can see how comfortable the children are with their new babysitter. Get feedback from your children as well after the session. Feel free to ask the company to send another babysitter if you notice that your children are not comfortable with the current one. You can even try multiple babysitting companies to find the most suitable babysitter. The process of finding the right babysitter can take a while, so it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes in advance and don’t forget to book a babysitter at least a week before you plan to be away from your children.

Vet the company

Bigger companies tend to have more experienced babysitters, so be sure to do some homework to find out the size of the companies you’ve shortlisted. What’s more, the bigger the company, the more likely they are to provide you with a reliable substitute in case your regular babysitter takes some time off. You should also ask them if they’ll be able to send the same babysitter every time so that your children can be in the care of the babysitter that they’re already comfortable with. A great way to read reviews and compare ratings.

Once you’ve done all this, you’ll be able to step out of the door with the peace of mind that only comes when you know that a suitable and reliable babysitter is watching over your kids.  

Obed Suhail is a Senior Writer, ServiceMarket.com