Find a Babysitter Questions

Regardless of how you find potential babysitters, you’ll want to be sure to properly screen and interview them. The more you know about a sitter, the better informed your sitter selection will be.

Once parents find a sitter they are interested in, the interview process should begin. Parents should make an initial connection with a sitter and ask for a time to have a phone interview. During the phone interview parents should gather basic information about the sitter to gauge if she has the qualifications required to sit for their family. Parents should inquire about experience, training, education and motivation for sitting. Asking open ended situational questions about past experiences, like “Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a toddler who had a tantrum?” will help parents evaluate a sitter’s care giving style and ability to handle different types of situations.

If the phone interview goes well, parents should hold an in-person interview. During this interview, parents should ask more in-depth questions about their experiences and interests and gauge how they feel about the sitter. Parents should consider the sitters level of maturity and evaluate if their experiences have prepared them to meet their family’s care needs.

If the in-person interview goes well, parents should check the sitter’s references. If the references are favorable, parents should conduct a second in-person interview with the children present. During this interview parents should carefully watch how the sitter interacts with the children and gauge their level of comfort with the sitter.

After this interview parents should be able to determine if they wish to hire the sitter and offer her a position. If parents are considering an adult sitter, they should make a sitting job offer contingent on the results of a thorough background check.

Parents should have a trial period and ensure that they have made the right sitter choice for their family. If the sitter will be providing regular care, a written agreement can help to ensure that the expectations and duties of each party are clearly understood.

The 10 Most Important Questions to Ask a Potential Babysitter 

When choosing a sitter, it is imperative to make an informed decision. One way to gather information that can help you do that is to ask the right questions during a babysitting interview. You are entrusting your children to your sitter and it is important that you get all of the relevant information you need to make an informed hiring choice. Here are 10 important questions to ask your sitter during your initial interview. Knowing the answers will help you to make an informed decision.

  1. Can you tell me about the ages of children you’ve cared for? Your sitter’s experience will be a reflection of her overall attitude about caring for your child. Make sure your sitter has previous experience with caring for children that are the same age as your own child.
  2. What services do you provide? Will your sitter be responsible for cleaning your child’s room, helping with homework or preparing meals? Will she pick him up from school? Spell these details out in advance to make sure there is no miscommunication later.
  3. Are you trained in CPR and first aid?? Although it is a scary possibility and not likely to happen, your child could have a life-threatening emergency while in the care of the sitter. Make sure your sitter has the proper training to deal with emergencies or is willing to be trained later. She should be able to be calm in an emergency and get professional help quickly.
  4. What is your availability?  Will your sitter be providing before or after school care? Will she be available for weekends or an occasional date night? Make sure this is clear before she starts work.
  5. What are your rates? Knowing in advance what you will be paying your sitter will clear up any confusion about payment.
  6. What activities will my child be engaged in while I’m gone? If you have a no television rule, make it clear that your child is not to watch cartoons all day while you are gone. Discuss whether your sitter will be willing to take your child to playdates, story time or other activities during the day.
  7. Do you have experience caring for children with special needs? If you have a child with special needs, it is imperative to find out if your sitter is equipped to handle any issues that arise with your child. If she doesn’t have experience but you want to hire her anyway, ask if she is willing to be trained in how to care for your child.
  8. What is your discipline philosophy? Your sitter’s theories on child discipline should be in line with yours. Discuss the methods that work best for your family and make sure you’re on the same page.
  9. How can we reach you while we are away? Does your sitter have a cell phone or other means of mobile communication? This is especially important if your sitter will take your child away from your home.
  10. Do you have references? Speak to any past employers about your sitter’s performance and care history. This is the most important question to ask your sitter.

When choosing a sitter for your child, take your time and make an informed decision by asking these 10 important questions for selecting a babysitter.