Tips for Interviewing a Babysitter

babysitter helping to pickup in nurseryAs a parent one of the most nerve racking experiences we have to do is find a reliable and trustworthy babysitter. Someone that we can believe will do a good job taking care of our child or children whether it is for a few hours on an as needed basis or someone the is going to care for them daily while we are working.

Here we are going to offer a number of tips for you to help you interview a potential babysitter. I recommend asking these questions whether you are looking at hiring a teenager or an adult.

First, do a prescreening call prior to setting up an interview with the potential babysitter. During this prescreening phone call you want to ask the following questions when interviewing a potential babysitter:

1. Ask their age
You have to decide what age range you are comfortable with. In my experience, you don’t want someone who is to young and inexperienced and you don’t want someone who is to old and unable to meet the demands of your child. You also want to keep in mind the age of your child/children.
   
2. Do they have a car?
This is important if you are planning on having them watch your child in your home.

3. What do they charge?
You want to make sure their fee falls into your budget.

4. What hours are they available?
This is important if you are looking for daily care. If they are only available until 3 and you need someone until 5 there is no point in interviewing them.

5. What references do they have?
We are all concerned about our childs safety. Make sure you ask for some references and call them. Also when talking to the references ask how often they use this individual and if they don't use her anymore, why.  There are also services to help you find a babysitter that does free background checks such are care.com.

Now we are going to look at the interview. Set up a time that is convenient for everyone, I recommend having your kids at the interview. The reason for this is that kids are really a good judge of character. While most children need to warm up a little to a new person, if they aren’t comfortable through the entire interview process this is not the right person for you. Plus you really want to see how the babysitter is going to interact with your child/children.

Prior to the interview come up with a list of questions that are important to you. You might want to know the type of experience they have babysitting. Whether or not they know First Aid and CPR. Have they ever been convicted or charged of/with a felony. If you are looking at hiring an adult, I recommend doing a background check. There are services on the internet that will run a check for about $40. It may seem pricey, but these are your kids and while I like to see the good in people, I am also realistic. People lie, either because they don’t want you to know and judge them on past behavior or they are up to no good.

Ask for references of past “employers” you want both good and bad. No one is perfect and it is a true show of character if they are willing to share the contact information of someone that they didn’t have a good interaction with and you can talk to them both.

Make sure that you get all of their contact information. Name, phone number for both home and cell, home address and I would even ask for a recent photo. It is better to be safe then sorry.

During that interview you are also going to need to go over your expectations of the babysitter and make sure that they can meet those expectations.

There are really wonderful people out there that will do an exceptional job taking care of your precious little ones, take the time to find them.

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