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Interview to Go: In a Pinch

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Robyn Zeldin is the founder and owner of Wee Care Placement Agency and In a Pinch temporary care solutions. Robyn is the mother of 2 young, vivacious boys and knows first hand how hard it can be to find good help. We talked to her about babysitting and her new book The In a Pinch Back-Up Plan.

1. What do parents need to look for when selecting a babysitter?
Most importantly look for relevant experience when selecting a babysitter including experience working with the same age group as your children. References are also important. I would check between 2 and 3 references and make sure the references provide information consistent with what the babysitter has told you.

2. Leaving baby or child with a sitter/nanny for the first time can produce anxiety. What do you suggest for making the process a little easier on parents and child?
For children make sure to hype up the experience as much as possible. Say, "Sarah is going to come over and play with you." Maybe even pick out a special activity that the babysitter can do with the child and keep talking about how lucky and exciting the children should be. Plan a special snack too. If needed, make sure a child has a blanket or other item that helps them to transition into new situations. For parents, make sure all of the emergency numbers are left out, all the information the babysitter needs. This is where my book comes in handy. It has spaces to fill in important information like emergency numbers and notes about a child's routine. Give the babysitter all the tools to making the experience a good one. If parents are really nervous, try starting out with a shorter evening - like going to a coffee shop - and then working up to a longer time away. Call in and make sure everything is fine. And again, make sure you have selected the right person.

3. What motivated you to create the book?
In a Pinch is a temporary babysitting company for those times when things come up. The book is a compliment to the service. It is a place to keep all the info the babysitter needs to make a positive experience. The two go hand in hand. If you have the book and a great babysitter, it can always be sucessful. Its perfect for when you are running out the door. A lot of things evolve from people's own experiences. My company evolved from my experience having a baby and needing a sitter for a wedding. At the last minute my sitter cancelled!

4. What kinds of things can people get out of the book?
The book provides all the information, a caregiver will be need to be fully aware. There is a whole section on recipes - fun recipes to make with children, there is a section on art activities, games and songs. It is like a nursery school in a book. It is a great guide for the babysitter. It has emergency numbers, routines, and a special needs sections to list tips and preferences. There is also a do's and don'ts section like: "My child is only allowed an hour of television." Some kids can be persuasive! There is also a section about the house: "This is where we keep the extra key etc.."

5. Exposing your child to different caregivers can be beneficial for both parents and children - why are you passionate about providing childcare options to parents?
I am passionate because I think we need it. Consistency is great, but sometimes you can't have the same caregiver. I am passionate about providing really good care so people can continue to live their lives. It is empowering for women to be able to continue to work and live a successful life knowing that people are looking after their kids well. You don't have to worry and that allows you to function in what you are doing.


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