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How to find the best babysitter



Questions that help you get it right from the start

babysitters, kids, pandemic, interview, questions

Looking for babysitters right now is harder than ever. Dawn Jorgenson spoke to experts in the field to put together a list of key concerns, plus a suggested list of questions parents should ask prospective babysitters during an initial phone interview.

If the person you are considering hiring is someone who has come as a recommendation by a friend, or even if it’s a neighbor, you’ll still want to chat about all the must-know information about your children, including house rules and discipline.

Eight basic questions to ask during an interview for a babysitter:

1. How long have you been babysitting?

2. Could you be available on short notice?

3. Do you have reliable transportation?

4. Do you have experience caring for children of XX age?

5. What are some activities you enjoy doing with kids?

6. How comfortable are you enforcing house rules?

7. How do you usually deal with behavioral issues?

8. This is a screen-free/sugar-free/dairy-free/pet-friendly/non-smoking/etc. home. Are you comfortable with that?

If you’ve never met a candidate before this process, Jorgenson adds, you’ll want to do a more thorough interview, which includes arming yourself with a list of things that are important to you, and making sure to ask specific questions about those things. You’ll also want to get more details about the babysitter’s skills and experiences, as well as what kind of job they are looking for.

More questions that uncover more about the babysitter’s background:

1. What do you love about babysitting?

2. What do you look for in an employer?

3. What do you find most challenging about caring for children?

4. Have you taken any childcare or safety classes?

5. If so, do you have copies of your certifications you can provide?

6. Are you willing to submit a background check??

If you already know what days and hours you’re looking to fill, explain what this would look like, and write down some questions that will be specific to the kind of care you expect for your children, including things like allergies, pets, special health needs and house rules. Create a potential situation that could arise and then ask them how they’d handle it.

Finally, if you’re nearing the end of your phone interview and your candidate has acted or said one of the following things, you may want to reconsider the hire:

1. They forgot about the interview altogether.

2. They don’t return calls or emails to schedule the interview in a timely manner.

3. If an in-person interview, they show up late.

4. They speak negatively about past clients or children they’ve cared for.

5. They seem unwilling to perform basic functions of the job.

6. They seem distracted or unenthusiastic.

7. Take the time and choose your babysitter with care.




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