If you’re in the process of hiring a sitter, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, there’s nothing more important during this process than interviewing your candidates. Even if they’ve been recommended to you by a friend or family member, it’s still important to set up an interview. These interviews will give you a much better idea of the person you’re leaving in charge of your children’s well-being. And as any parent will agree, the most important thing in the world is your children’s safety. Below, we’ll discuss some questions to ask a potential babysitter, along with some ways you can ensure they’re a safe choice for your kids.
Start Off With Some Basic Questions
At the beginning of the interview, start off with some general questions. Things like “How many years have you been babysitting?” Or if you would like to be more specific, “how much experience do you have babysitting X year old children?” This will give you a sense of how prepared this person is for the job at hand. That being said, experience isn’t the only factor that should be taken into account when looking for a babysitter. As most parents would agree, an inexperienced candidate with a clean background is still better than an experienced sitter with a criminal history. But more on this later.
Some more questions you should ask at the start of the interview process are:
- What days and times are you available to babysit?
- How long have you been working with children?
- How much prior notice will you need before setting up a date?
- What sort of activities will you be doing with the children?
- What kind of ground rules will you set for the kids?
- How will you go about enforcing these ground rules?
- If there are any behavioral issues, how would you handle them?
Obviously, there are many other questions you could start off with. But keep in mind that you should be tailoring each question to your own (as well as your child’s) specific needs. The above questions should give you a pretty good understanding of how you should start interviewing your candidates however. From there you’ll want to cover any specific situations that may arise and cover exactly what is to be expected of the sitter. And of course, if there are any additional responsibilities they’ll be tasked with, you should make those known during the interview process as well.
Detail Specific Scenarios And Expectations
After you’ve discussed some of the more basic questions, you can start getting into the specifics. One question you should always ask at this point is whether or not the candidate is CPR certified. Or if they have ever taken a child safety course. As the knowledge and tools provided by these classes could prove to be life-saving in the event of an emergency. And when it comes to babysitting, your child’s safety is the number one priority. In the event that the candidate has not completed either of the above programs, ask them how they would respond in an emergency situation. If you feel comfortable with their response, and feel as though they could calmly take control of the situation, then you’re one step closer to finding a potential babysitter.
At this point during the interview, you want to try and be as specific as possible. Not all of the questions have to involve potential emergencies, you should also try to envision more likely scenarios and bring them up during the interview as well. Use the following questions as a guideline and tailor each question towards your family’s specific needs.
- If my baby needs his/her diaper changed, would you feel comfortable doing so?
- If my child has a minor accident or allergic reaction, what would you do?
- Would you be able to assist my child with homework?
- Have you ever babysat for a child with special needs?
- Will you be able to prepare meals/snacks for my child?
Find Out More About Their Background
While interviewing a babysitter is one of the most important steps to finding the right match for your children, it’s also important to look beyond the scope of the conversation at hand. It’s easy to forget that people may lie during the interview process, especially if they have something to hide. This could be something small, like saying they have more experience than they really do. Or it could be something incredibly dangerous, like hiding their criminal record or sex offender status. Unfortunately, asking the individual outright whether or not they have a criminal record won’t really get you anywhere. As they can easily just lie and say they have a clean record. This is even more of a concern if this is the first time you’re meeting this individual.
Luckily, there is something you can do to give you the peace of mind you need while trying to find a babysitter. And that’s conducting your own online background checks. With a powerful online resource like Kiwi Searches’ person search tool, you can easily type in the name of any individual, and in minutes you’ll receive a detailed report of their public records. This detailed report includes standard background information like phone numbers, email addresses, date of birth, aliases, known relatives, and current address. But that’s not all. You’ll also receive crucial information regarding your family’s safety, such as criminal records, sex offender reports, liens & judgements, and more. Don’t put your children’s safety at risk, make sure you run a background check before deciding on a potential babysitter.