Things to Know Before Letting Your Babysitter Drive Your Kids

By Alicia Geigel on September 1, 2022

Hiring a babysitter means entrusting them with certain responsibilities and duties, ranging from being in charge of playtime, putting the kids to bed, and cooking meals. Along with these responsibilities, your babysitter can also be in charge of driving your children around, whether it be to playdates or to a restaurant to grab a bite to eat for lunch.

Giving your babysitter the responsibility to drive your children around can conjure up some anxiety for you at first, but through these five simple steps, you can reach a point of comfortability that will make your life easier. Read on to know how to approach your babysitter about driving!

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Image via Unsplash

1. Do Your Research: When hiring a babysitter or nanny, the first and most important priority is to thoroughly look into the prospective person who will care for your children. A good place to start is conducting a background check, as that can give you a brief overview of their educational background, employment history, and even their criminal background. Doing so can dig deeper into what may not be explicitly revealed in an interview or pasted on their resume, especially things related to driving like DUIs, reckless driving, speeding tickets, etc. Robyn Correll of Care.com additionally suggests conducting a Motor Vehicle Records Check, which can also share any hiccups in their driving history from the past three years. From there, you can move on to filtering through candidates and evaluating your trust in their driving abilities.

2. Ask About Potential Scenarios: Anyone can say that they are a good driver, but until there is solid evidence to prove that your potential babysitter has a decent record, don’t leap toward the first one that comes your way. Outside of a background check and official driving records check, another way to gauge your babysitter’s driving is by going through a variety of different scenarios during the interview process. As you are going through questions, dedicate some time to go over a number of driving scenarios that force the babysitter to think critically and problem solve. Scenarios to discuss could include what to do in the event of an accident, if a child gets sick in the car, or if the car breaks down. While it is safe to trust in the likelihood of situations like these rarely happening, the answers of your potential babysitter can give you some insight into how they can handle certain stressful, high-pressure situations.

3. Ride Along With Them: The best way to find out how well your potential babysitter can drive is to ride along with them while they’re behind the wheel. Of course, if they are more reckless while driving they may try and tone this down while you’re in the car, but most likely you’ll get a good impression of their driving style and abilities this way. Try and test drive various common places that the babysitter will be traveling to with your children, such as the park, a grocery store, a fast food place or restaurant, or a friend’s house, to determine how well they can handle the typical roads and destination.

4. Establish Ground Rules: Now that you’ve settled on a babysitter based on their credentials and safe driving history, you can move forward and establish ground rules with them regarding driving your children around. These can be simple, such as driving without distractions like phones, buckling seat belts, abiding by the speed limits on roads, etc. You can go even further and dictate certain times to go out during the day, curfews at nighttime, and places to go if necessary. This is up to your discretion and ultimately an agreement between you and your babysitter, so be firm in what you will and will not tolerate when your babysitter is driving your kids around.

5. Start Slow: Entrusting your babysitter with the responsibility to take care of your children is not easy, especially when it involves high-risk activities like driving. If you are uneasy or uncomfortable with the idea but want to grow and be open to it in the future, start slow with small trips. Doing so can build trust and help to ease your anxieties while also taking some weight off of your shoulders. Small trips could be to a local park or playground, a food store, a restaurant or fast food establishment, or a friend’s house. Anything within a couple-mile radius is a safe and reasonable place to start. Once you become more comfortable, you can then entrust your babysitter with longer-distance traveling and more serious destinations like doctor’s appointments, school, etc.

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Image via Unsplash

Making the leap to allow your babysitter to drive your children to and from places can feel a bit uncomfortable at first. Despite this, you can definitely grow to a point of comfortability with your sitter by doing background checks, interviewing them, riding around with them, and setting ground rules. All of these steps are great ways to establish trust and ultimately make for a safe environment for your children to be in.

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