If you’re getting set for an interview with a prospective babysitter for your child, here are 10 questions you must ask.
1. How long have you been in child care/what did you do before then?
Hire someone who has some knowledge of handling children, or at least has worked with people. It is best to hire someone who has worked as a nanny or babysitter for a while, but even if you decide to trust your kid with a first-time babysitter, the perfect candidate should have job experience working with young people, either as a tutor, counselor, or a worker at a daycare center.
2. What ages of children have you taken care of before?
Look for a babysitter that has handled kids within the age range of your kids to ensure that they know what it takes. It is one thing for a babysitter to have worked with kids, but watching a 7-year old is different from a 2-year old.
You can also ask your prospective babysitter what ages of kids they prefer to watch. While some nannies love handling young kids, some others might find crying babies overwhelming, so it is best to ensure that the babysitter matches perfectly with your kid’s age.
3. What do you love most about babysitting?
A babysitter who cannot tell you a thing or two that they love about their job might not genuinely enjoy babysitting, and may just be doing it as a way to make extra cash. Gauge their response and see whether or not they have a passion for the job.
4. What do you want in an employer/ family?
Every babysitter has expectations from the families they work with, but many employers fail to have that conversation. Discuss with your babysitter and find out what they have liked and disliked about families they’ve worked with. You need to know how a babysitter’s expectation matches your reality.
5. What is your view on discipline?
You and your sitter should be on the same page when it comes to discipline and correcting wrong behaviors from your kids. To ensure that the babysitter handles issues and challenging behaviors the way you would ask them what they think is the best disciplinary method. If their ideas don’t match with yours, then tell them what you expect and find out if they can implement them.
6. Are you okay staying later than planned or showing up on your off-days?
Emergencies occur all the time, and when they do you need to know whether you can depend on your sitter to help.
If they’re not able to show up on short notice, you might need a backup sitter for such emergencies or employ someone with more flexible schedules. However, you must pay your babysitter for extra hours.
7. Are you open to helping with homework or house chores if needed?
If you need a babysitter to help your kids with homework or handle some chores around the house, discuss it during the interview. Some sitters might be open to taking up extra work, but some might not. (ambien)
You can choose to hire someone else to help with the chores and tutoring or stick it out until you find a babysitter that can handle all the chores.
8. What activities would you have with the kids while I’m away?
Your babysitter should have ideas on games and child-friendly activities to keep your kids busy while you’re away. Ask this question to know whether your babysitter plans any activities you won’t be comfortable with, and also share ideas concerning the activities you’d like your kids to be engaged with.
9. Can you use a first aid box/administer medicine?
Nobody knows when your child would catch a cold or get a cut, so you need a babysitter that can handle such situations well. Medical experience is not necessary, but simple first aid knowledge is important.
10. What circumstance do you consider an emergency?
You need to determine what circumstance should be considered an emergency, and when the babysitter can call you. Find out what situations your sitter considers an emergency and tell them what works for you.
These questions will go a long way to help you know the person you’re interviewing and find out if they’re best suited for your family. If they don’t answer the questions satisfactorily, then you shouldn’t hire them.
If you have some other personal requirements that aren’t stated above, such as age requirement or bilingual status, then include them in the list to ensure you cover everything that’s necessary
Don’t forget to request and check references before you make your final decision!