Securing a really good babysitter is kind of like finding the ultimate job. You can search for years, do all your homework and still not get so lucky. When you do find one, however, it is like total bliss. As hard as it can be to leave your little ones with someone, you eventually have to do it as a single mom. (Or Dad) Babysitters are an important part of reality that you can’t take lightly.
I have developed a five question interview that I ask of all my babysitters to see if they are potentially going to watch my children. Of course they will still have to pass other parts of the interview process, but these are the questions I start out with.
Are they trained in first aid, CPR and do they know how to contact emergency services properly?
These things are a must and a no to this will quickly end the interview. They don’t have to be EMT certified here but they should certainly know some basic life saving measures. This is something I don’t compromise on…ever.
How many kids have they watched previously and what were their ages?
Experience is important and I realize that you have to start somewhere. I will work with someone that is relatively new if they can provide some really solid references and show that they can handle the job. Generally, however, I would much rather have a babysitter that has worked with similarly aged kids. There are few things better than experience.
Do they have transportation, can they drive a car, etc?
If they are transporting my kids, this is an obvious must. If they could ultimately need to transport my kids, this is a must. If they are watching the kids at my home, do they have a ride there? All of these things come into play and should be hashed out before hand.
What would be their plans for the evening if they watched my kids?
This is important and it will show what level of engagement they might have. Do they come up with age appropriate things for the kids to do? Are they coming up with things that you would not wish for your kids to be doing? Let them speak on this subject for quite some time and you will quickly get a feel for what they are like and how they will treat your kids when you are not there.
What important questions do they have for you?
This is them most telling question of all. If they have no questions at all, chances are they are not taking it very seriously. They should be asking a number of questions at this stage such as special needs for the kids, emergency contacts, what time the kids go to bed, and so on. The list goes on and on and you really need someone that will be proactive enough to ask these questions. The reason is simple. When you are gone, they will be the ones that need to remember and execute all of these things.
Securing a babysitter is a serious proposition and you should take it quite seriously as a parent. Ask plenty of questions during the interview stage, but also be sure to do plenty of listening. You will gain just as much from listening for sure.
What are your questions to ask a potential babysitter?