I have four children, which means my husband and often need babysitters. We prefer to have reliable family members watch our kids, but sometimes that option isn’t available to us, and we have to take a chance on parents from our children’s school or family members we wouldn’t normally ask.
Before Rick and I choose someone to watch our children we always pray first! We then pay attention to how our potential babysitter acts around our children, their own children and how our kids interact with each other. We also ask the following questions to get a better sense of who they are;
1. Tell us a little about yourself. What are your hobbies and interests?
This gives you a chance to learn more about who they are, how they spend their free time, and whether you can see them watching your kids.
2. Do you have previous experience watching children? If so, please describe.
Does your potential babysitter have a history of watching children? If so, get references to verify. If you are dealing with an agency, make sure they’ve done a background check.
3. Have you ever watched multiple children at one time?
If you have more than one child, then this question is a must. Some babysitters don’t have the experience or patience to deal with more than one child.
4. Do you charge by the hour, and if so how much?
We have been blessed that friends and family don’t ask us to pay, but if we can bless them with a little something we try. But if you are dealing with a professional babysitter who works for an agency, make sure to get the payment information up front and in writing. No one like surprises — especially if it means paying more then what you were expecting.
5. How you would plan a typical day/night for our children?
Rick and I try our best to limit TV time for our children and we expect the same from our babysitter. Is your babysitter creative with crafts and activities? How would she use the resources she had on hand to keep your children occupied?
6. If one or all of our children had a tantrum or meltdown how would you respond?
You know your children better than anyone else, so you know your babysitter will be tested one way or another. Have them describe a meltdown incident on a previous job, and how they dealt with it. This will help you determine whether they have the technique and ability to calm your child.
7. Do you have any health restrictions or commitments that may interfere with babysitting?
The health of your babysitter affects the care for your children. No one wants to get a surprise call from a babysitter who has to leave on short notice because of a health emergency.
So there you have it! Straight to the point. There are plenty more questions that you can ask, but these are the obvious and important ones Rick and I always ask. And never be afraid to ask a ton of questions! Don’t stop probing until you feel confident that you can trust this person around your child.
Ladies, what would you add to this list?