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How to Find and Interview a Good Babysitter

Information You Can Find in Our Guide:

Our free guide will help you understand the steps you have to take and how to obtain the benefits you are looking for.

How to Find and Interview a Good Babysitter

Finding a good babysitter for your children can be a challenge if you have never tackled the process before. There are certain criteria you must check for when choosing between potential candidates to ensure you are selecting a babysitter who is responsible and can keep your children safe. Whether you are looking for a babysitter to take care of your children once a month or you need someone to help every day, you must remain diligent in your search.

An easy way to weed out unlikely candidates is to prepare interview questions in advance, as this can help you gain an understanding of what each sitter has to offer. Working from these common questions can provide you with the answers to the most crucial questions and can help you narrow down your search in an efficient manner. Entrusting the safety of your children to a stranger is a daunting process but having a productive interview with a potential babysitter can make the process more manageable.

Information You Can Find in Our Guide:

Our free guide will help you understand the steps you have to take and how to obtain the benefits you are looking for.

How to Find a Good Babysitter in Your Area

When you need to find a good babysitter in your area, there are several ways you can approach your search to ensure you are finding the best possible candidates. Like when choosing a pediatrician, the easiest way to find a good babysitter is to ask your family, friends and other parents you converse with about the babysitter they often use. Referrals are a great way of finding a new babysitter, as you have the comfort of knowing you are hiring someone who comes with high praise from people you trust.

The process of hiring a babysitter who was referred to you by a friend or fellow parent may be easier than finding a sitter on your own, as you already have access to all the information you need regarding this person’s ability to care for children. Your friend or family member also knows your child and can make a better recommendation of whether a sitter is a good fit for him or her.

Related Article: Your Guide to Preventive Care for Your Child

If you want to seek out a babysitter on your own, you may do so through online search engines and printed advertisements in your local newspaper. There are numerous websites designed to help parents find the best babysitter in their area. You can customize the search engine to reflect the number of hours you are looking to hire a babysitter for and what requirements you may have for this person. For example, you can specify whether:

  • You want the babysitter to help with homework.
  • You want the babysitter to help before school and after school by driving your kids to band practice, soccer practice and anywhere else they may need to go.
  • You want a babysitter who can help your children learn a new language.
  • You want a babysitter who is willing to help once or twice per month when you are working late or want a date night with your spouse.

The key to using an online search engine, such as Care.com, is to provide as much information as possible about what you are looking for, so you can be matched with the best candidates. If you want to take out a printed advertisement in the local newspaper or create an online listing, it is equally important to provide key details to ensure you are gaining responses form the right applicants. Specify how often you need help, how old you would like the babysitter to be and provide a brief description of your children to help the applicants determine if they want to apply for your open position.

Questions to Ask A Teenage Babysitter

Once you have found a few potential babysitters you may want to hire, you can begin the interview process for these candidates. The questions you ask each person may alter depending upon their age and experience level.

If you are looking to hire a babysitter who is a teenager, there are certain questions you must ask him or her to ensure he or she is properly qualified for the position. One of the most important questions to ask is what he or she likes to do outside of school. Gaining an understanding of what a potential babysitter is interested in doing in his or her free time can help you determine whether this person is an appropriate fit for the type of sitter you are seeking.

Teenagers may not have as much experience as older sitters, but they can still be reliable individuals who are prepared to take care of your children after school and on the weekends. Common questions to ask a teenage babysitter include:

  • Do you play sports?
  • Do you belong to any clubs?
  • Are your parents supportive of your choice to become a babysitter?
  • What are your career aspirations?
  • Describe your previous experience of caring for children.

A teenager may have previous experience caring for younger siblings or helping to mentor younger children in the community through sports or club involvement. For instance, if a teenager has experience with a younger sibling who has mental health issues similar to your child, this may be an ideal fit. Selecting a teenage babysitter you can trust is essential if you want to prevent yourself from needing to look for a new babysitter again in a few months.

Questions to Ask A Babysitter of Any Age

The vetting process for hiring a babysitter of any age can be streamlined if you are looking to make the selection as easy as possible. Essential questions to ask a babysitter of any age include the level of experience he or she has had caring for children in the past and how many children he or she has previously cared for. Unless a potential babysitter was a full-time nanny, you may want to consider a different candidate who has more experience if he or she has only cared for one child over the last several years.

Additional questions you can ask include what activities he or she is comfortable completing, such as preparing meals, reading stories and bathing the children. Not every babysitter is going to be comfortable completing each task you are asking of them and understanding this in advance can help you avoid issues further down the line.

When interviewing potential babysitters, you may want to ask him or her if he or she has acquired CPR certification, a driver’s license or any additional certifications you may deem necessary to safely watch your children. By understanding the qualifications of your potential babysitter in advance you can address what is most important to you in terms of childcare.

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