Hiring a babysitter, especially for the first time, can be a real challenge. You're expected to trust a stranger with the health and wellbeing of your children, which isn't easy when you hardly know anything about their background and personality.
Next time you need to interview a potential babysitter, don't just stick with basic questions like "What's your rate?" and "Do you like kids?" Instead, delve a little deeper with important queries like these.
What kinds of experience do you have when it comes to working with children? Be specific.
You don't just want to know that she/he spent summers with their little cousins. You want to know if they've been camp counselors, professional caregivers, or teacher's assistants. Ask them to provide specific examples of their experience with children of various ages so that you can get an authentic feel for their knowledge and background.
What safety training do you have?
Babysitters who know First Aid, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and how to swim are much stronger candidates than those who do not. If they do claim to be certified, give them a few emergency scenarios to determine how they would respond to the situations.
Do you know how to handle this specific age?
Your child's age plays a huge role in how the babysitter interacts with and protects them. If you have an infant, make sure that the babysitter has experience with young babies. If you have a toddler, ask the candidate how they make sure they stay safe when eating and playing.
What does your educational background look like?
Although it may seem that a person's education doesn't directly impact their ability to babysit, it kind of does. Finding out how the candidate performs in school can indicate how responsible and driven they are, which can play a role in how they behave while watching your children and home.
Can you drive yourself to our home and in the event of an emergency?
Unless the babysitter lives in close proximity, it helps if they can transport themselves to and from your house. It's simply more convenient. Also, their ability to safely handle a vehicle could save your child's life in the event of an emergency.
When are you usually available?
No one wants to hire an unreliable babysitter who bails at the last minute or is constantly too busy to help out. Talk about the candidate's schedule and typical availability so that you can determine if your needs align.