You're searching for a baby sitter for your little darlings and want to word the description just right to make sure you get the perfect blend of Mary Poppins and your favorite aunt who took care of you when you were a kid. Start with your must-haves -- likes kids, first aid training, no criminal record -- then add your wish list items. The first category is non-negotiable; the second includes qualities you hope to find but aren't necessarily deal-breakers.
Your Family's Needs
Your family's particular needs drive the introductory paragraph of your job description. Make the introduction descriptive enough to give potential sitters a concise overview of what they'd be doing if they end up caring for your kids. For instance, you might write: "Active family of five requires baby sitter for three busy children. Both parents work outside the home and travel occasionally. Primary job duties include picking up children after school on weekdays, helping with homework and after-school driving responsibilities and occasional meal preparation. Must love interacting with children and have plenty of energy to keep up with family's busy schedule."
You'll likely require more of a full-time caregiver for a newborn than you might for an occasional evening sitter for your 6-year-old. In every case, however, certain qualifications are absolute requirements. Spell these out right up front: "Seeking a loving, experienced baby sitter to provide safe, friendly, hands-on care for my children. Must be drug-free, with no criminal history. References required." Other requirements are situational -- if you expect the sitter to pick your children up from school or take them to piano lessons or soccer practice, your description should include "Must have own car and clean driving record."
Key Wish List Items
Certain items on your wish list likely are more important than others, so put these next, after the must-haves, in the job description. Looking for someone older than the teenager down the street? Include phrasing such as "Mature individual preferred." To ensure you find a sitter equipped to respond to health emergencies, include "First aid and CPR training strongly preferred." Include additional important qualities in this section of the description, such as "Ability to keep up with three active boys" or "Experience with newborns preferred."
The standard baby sitter job description will emphasize playing with the kids and keeping them safe, happy and appropriately engaged. If your family has special requirements of a sitter, however, highlight those in the description. "Sitter will be responsible for providing daily medical treatments to child with cystic fibrosis" or "Special food preparation required for child with numerous food allergies" signal to a prospective sitter that your family expects her to handle situations beyond typical child care duties. If you expect the sitter to do housework, include that in the description -- "light housekeeping required" -- and discuss that with her when negotiating her duties and compensation.
As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.