Hiring a Babysitter
Hiring a new babysitter requires thoughtful preparation, patience, intuition, and little bit of luck. Like most moms, you probably have very high standards when it comes to finding someone to care for your child or children.
You may not find a sitter right away, but don’t give up. It takes time and persistence to find the best sitter for your family. This may take a little luck and good timing when a good sitter suddenly becomes available.
It also requires a lot of mother’s intuition.
“I can tell a lot from a candidate just over the phone,” said Shellie, a mother of three in Chicago. “I have a few open-ended questions to start out with when interviewing a new sitter. I can tell from their voice and energy if they truly love children, or are just looking for another job. I always do a phone interview before setting up an in-person interview. It saves me a lot of time.”
Prepare for the Interview
When hiring a sitter, keep in mind that nobody is perfect. You may want to prepare a list of qualities that are most important to you and prioritize them. What is the most important sitter quality to you? Put it at the top of the list.
Do you want someone who seems to be fun, and who your children will like? Or do you want someone who is responsible, and will keep your children safe? Are you on a limited budget? Then the sitter’s rate may be at the top of the list.
Most likely, you will not find someone who fits every single one of your criteria. Prioritize those criteria and hire the best candidate you can find. When interviewing a potential sitter, start with your top priority and work down from there.
Before any interview, put together a list of questions that will lead to the answers you are looking for. Such as:
1. Can you tell me about your past experience as a sitter?
2. What ages were the children?
3. How long were you with each family?
3. Do you have any formal training or certifications in early childcare?
1. Have you ever had an emergency situation? What did you do?
2. Have you ever had to administer medicine to children?
3. Do you know CPR?
1. Are you currently working? Why are you looking for a new position?
2. When would you be able to start?
3. Do you have other plans outside of childcare?
1. Why do you enjoy being a sitter?
2. What are your favorite activities to do with children?
3. Are you willing to do laundry and clean up after the children?
Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list of interview questions. When hiring a sitter, be sure to discuss hourly rates*, days and hours of work, family discipline, additional responsibilities, etc. And always be sure to ask for references. Good luck in your search!