Parents should always be very careful who you put in charge of your children. For working mums especially in Nigeria, this is an area that a lot of care has to be taken in the process of selecting a house help or an au pair to take care of your children.
In the absence of a regulated system or a registered and well recognised childcare agency, a lot of Nigerian parents rely mainly on the old ways of getting house helps from the village or from somebody you know who knows somebody else. There has been a lot of horror stories from parents who got a raw deal from this old system.
In recent time some childcare agencies have started to spring up. Some of them recruits au paires from within and outside Nigeria. Parents are expected to take carers on with the assurance that all the necessary checks has been carried out.
However, it is also important for parents to take extra care in carrying out their own checks. Parents need to be vigilant, ask questions on areas they are not sure of, request for documents, rely on their parental instincts e t c. You can never be too careful.
Another important point every Nigerian parents should take on board is to always treat whoever is employed to care of their children with love. Don’t abuse or maltreat them, because if you do they might take it out on your child when you are not there. Give them time to recuperates after a hard days job. Remember, they are humans, just like you.
When choosing a caregiver, parents should select someone who:
- Has checkable references
- Is old enough to care for children. Babies can’t care for babies.
- Has experience caring for babies and young children
- Is patient and matured enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
- Understands that young children must always be watched
- Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food from a child as punishment.
These are warning signs of a potentially dangerous caregiver someone who is:
- Angry or severely impatient when children have tantrums, cry or misbehave.
- Violent and/or controlling behaviours
- Physically or verbally abusive with children
- Not trust worthy for any reason