Covid Parenting

Finding Safe Childcare During COVID-19

Covid-19 has challenged so many aspects of our lives. We have lost time with our closest relatives and friends along with jobs that gave us financial freedom and stability. Things have certainly changed and a new normal has emerged from all of this. As we know, life has to continue on, but with extra precautions than before.

It is already difficult for a mother to return to work on a regular basis now add a life threatening pandemic on top of that. Not, only do we have to consider who is responsible enough to care for our child(ren) while we are away, but also what are their activities when they are not working for us?

I chose to write on this topic, because I, like many other parents, am currently having to deal with making this important decision in the coming days. I will be returning to work soon and need to find someone whom I feel is safe enough to come into my home and be in close contact with my son on a daily basis.

Before 2020’s epidemic became a nightmare to our country, I was already picky when it came to finding the perfect sitter for my toddler. I worried about how he was treated, if he was comfortable, if he ate well. You know, typical parental worries. Now, though, I cannot help but worry about what the potential candidate is doing while not at work. Is she/he hanging around in big crowds? Is he/she wearing masks or wandering carelessly out in public? This certainly has brought on a new type of anxiety for parents, including myself.

I have put together a compilation of things you should think about before interviewing your next potential sitter for your child(ren) and some questions that could help in your decision making.

Before the Interview

It is important to be prepared before having someone come into your house, yours and your family’s safe zone. Where has this stranger that you are inviting into your home been prior to being here?

First thing First:
Shoe covers: Shoe covers will help protect you from any thing the candidate may be carrying on the bottom of their shoes. I should have been doing this long before covid, but of course didn’t think of it until after. People go into public restrooms, step into public parking lots where others spit, vomit, and some even urinate on. So, yes shoe covers are a great idea.

Masks: Nothing different or out of the ordinary with this one. Masks are important and necessary to keep them from spreading their germs while they speak, laugh, and breathe.

Social Distance: When I am interviewing someone I usually like to shake their hands, but of course with covid being a part of the world for now, that won’t be an option. Stay 6-8 feet apart when interviewing the individual. If the day is good, then interview outside. You don’t know if this person or the next, for that matter, is going to be the perfect fit for your child and there is no need to have different individuals coming in and out of your house. Unless you know for sure you are wanting to give this candidate a shot, then you can invite them and show them around.

Be Prepared: And lastly, the obvious- have your interview questions and expectations in hand. You don’t waste time thinking about details you may have left out or want to know about them. As mentioned earlier, these questions have to be a little different than before due to how times have changed rather quickly.

Interview Questions

  1. How are you trying to reduce the risk of contracting covid?

2. Do you use masks and gloves when you leave the house?

3. Do you still gather with family and friends?

4. Do you have siblings or anyone in the household who physically go to school or go to work? If so, how are you all being careful there?

5. Do you visit relatives? If so, do you all wear masks while in their presence?

6. Have any of you had covid in the past?

7. Have you been around anyone who has recently had covid?

8. Do the people you live with practice social distancing?

9. Are you okay with wearing a mask while interacting with the child(ren)?

10. Are you okay with checking your temperature every morning?

11. Are you okay wearing a face shield in addition to the mask?

12. Do you have the flu shot?

13. Will you help with disinfecting frequently while working?

Being Safe is #1 Priority

Not only do these questions give you information for your protection, but for theirs as well. They are probably just as nervous as you are, to come into another’s home during this time. Some questions may be a little personal, but if this has to do with your family’s health, then you shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to ask the questions necessary to make sure you are making the right choice. This may be a little extreme in other people’s eyes and that is okay.

Your family’s health should always be your number one concern and you shouldn’t have to walk on egg shells on that matter. We shouldn’t look for perfection, but for safety as much as possible during these trying times. If you are as cautious as I am, but still need to go to work, these are some questions you might want to consider when interviewing your child’s next potential nanny. Wouldn’t you rather have a hard conversation and ask hard questions than to assume, be wrong and contaminate those you love, possibly causing permanent damage to their health or even worse, death?