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Choosing the right babysitter in Dubai - step by step guide

No one ever said that choosing the right babysitter in Dubai was easy and simple. Period.

Acquiring a trustworthy and reliable babysitter and letting her take care of your loved ones is not a simple task. Discovering an all-in-one diaper pro, coolheaded expert who can handle any emergency without a blink of the eye, and play creative games instead of dropping your baby in front of the TV?

Not only the process is complex enough, but the sole fact that you need to test a person and analyze her thoroughly before making a final decision is just adding salt on an open wound.

Know your needs before you start the search

Determine the hours and days you'll need care for your loved ones, including potentially working additional hours on evenings and weekends as needed. Ask around, do your homework, check with colleagues, friends and family, be curious about the current hourly rates for nannies in your area to ensure your childcare budget can pay a livable wage. Hiring a babysitting service in the UAE is a regulated process and it requires preparations and fulfillment of duties. It is a two-way street and successful and loving relation needs maximum efforts from both sides.

Be sure to determine the amount and kind of childcare experience you'd like required. Set realistic expectations about responsibilities and prioritize these. Establish clear conditions of employment—maybe you want your nanny to have current CPR/First Aid certification, a valid driving license, clean driving record and receive criminal background check clearance.

How to choose the right babysitter

Many people, especially in the US or Australia rely on friends and close family members to babysit their children. With no limitations when it comes to legal age that another child, such as an older sibling or local teenager, is allowed to babysit, this is the most practical approach for many of them. However, the situation in Dubai is much different and with so many expats relying on family is impossible. Thus, families turn to part time nannies or full-scale integrated nanny services to take care of their kids.

In most cases you will need to work with a babysitter who you do not know from before so be sure to dedicate more time and efforts on the prospecting process before the actual employment.

There are way more than one approach to finding a good babysitter:

  • Ask other parents or colleagues who reside in your area
  • Find a professional babysitter or a live in nanny already living in Dubai
  • Sponsor a nanny from abroad to come and work for you
  • Use a babysitting agency

Then, when you have your expectations straight, you can always visit – the most popular online services booking marketplace in Dubai and the region. You can easily analyze the market, check nanny availability, match it with your schedule, check reviews and references and compare and book a babysitter online from the convenience of your home.

5 tips how to cope with the process

You want a sitter who is dependable and trustworthy. Someone who can keep your kid safe while you're gone. There are qualities and characteristics that a person can have to make them more likely to be a great caregiver. So, you can always fall back on the most important aspects of the person, however, in this updated 2019 version, let’s go with what comes first when it comes to the process how to choose the right babysitter and what to be careful when you interview the nanny:

Consider the references and her background

Checking references and performing background checks are a must during any babysitting hiring process, but when narrowing down the top picks for your caregiver, consider the conversations you had with the families she listed as references. Thinks and check whether the previous families are in any way similar to your family, or whether their kids the same ages. What were the main duties and responsibilities she had to fulfill and how similar (baths, cooking dinner, homework help) were they to your ideas and preferences for your kids. Background check is crucial regardless where your nanny in Dubai came from so be sure to do your homework thoroughly. Then, if your prospective babysitter in Dubai has had experience handling responsibilities which befall in the same scope as your vision for your family, it's likely to be an easy transition for all concerned.

Choose a quiet, public place to meet

This is a very important step. You both need to get out of your comfort zone and focus on what is important. Make sure you interview the nanny without distractions and in a public place. This might mean you have to meet at a coffee shop when it’s not busy, but it’s important to start this out as a professional process. Plus, it’s way easier and less challenging to concentrate when you aren’t nursing, shushing, or running after your baby with fresh mobile skills.

Go over the interview questions

Compare the answers with the most important questions for your case. We all have standard interviewing questions (availability, experience, age, etc.), but every individual family has its own, unique set of needs, so what are yours? Is it imperative your kids have a ride to and from after-school activities? Go back to the answers your candidates gave you about driving history, punctuality and familiarity with safety or medical emergencies, allergies handling or anything else you think is crucial for your case.

Do you need someone to cook meals in your absence? Be open and point out what you would like to be part of their diet. The candidate who stands out among the rest are those who shined at something near and dear to your heart.

Do a kid test

Organize a hangout session with your kids – an experienced and honest candidate won't blink an eye if requested to do a trial run. Observe her style, teaching skills, her playfulness, how she sets the ground and disciplines the kids, whether your kids connect with the candidate and many other tiny aspects of the child-sitter interaction firsthand and not through the baby monitor. They are of tremendous importance when making your final decision. It will be fairly easy to realize if it's working or not. And if not, you can just thank her, pay her, and tell her it's not the right fit at this time.

These are only a small portion of the things you need to focus on. The process is indeed much more demanding, and it should be – at the end of the day you are not buying another pair of shoes but choosing a person who will spend the day with your loved ones.

Check, ask around, check reviews, read what other people who were once in your shoes have to say and do a good market research. Set basic criteria, discover possible matches, make your decision and directly book a nanny online.

Trust your gut and close the deal

It might happen to come across a candidate who has a shining babysitter resume, fantastic and remarkable references and perfect answers for all your interview questions -- but something just seems not right. You might not be able to put a finger on it, but you don't need to explain it. Trust your instincts. Set the rules, define the details, particularly regarding costs, hours, timing, contacts, flexibility and expectations and you are good to go.

5 qualities to look for in a babysitter

  1. Reliability. You want a sitter who respects the babysitting job – and your time – enough to show up on time. In fact, if she’s as good as you think she is, she’ll arrive early to discuss ideas, preferences, instructions and plan for the day.
  2. Preparedness. Good sitters come to work with ideas on what to do while they’re with your kids, such as games, crafts or other activities. If she has a plan in case your kids claim to be “bored" and she leads the way instead of leaving them do what they want to do, then she is probably a keeper.
  3. Experience. Every sitter has to start somewhere, but you’ll want your sitter to have some kind of experience before they care for your kids. That experience may include caring for siblings at home, sitting for other families or maybe taking a babysitting class which helped her to better handle difficult or unexpected situations better than someone with no experience.
  4. Ability to take charge. You nanny should definitely be fun and playful, however, she should also know how set limits and impose authority figure and enforce your household rules as demanded and agreed. If you set specific homecare instructions for the rest of the day or general guidelines (ex. no more snacks after teeth brushing or no TV until after homework is complete), it is her job to make sure they are followed.
  5. Attentive and loving. Good sitters give your child a snack when he is hungry and console him when he scrapes his knee. You want a sitter who is always listening to your child and interacting with him in a gentle, loving way instead of constantly checking her phone for emails or text messages.

Finally, you can always rely on for updated information, practical tips and tricks and simple online booking process.

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