Seven Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Babysitter

May 30 - Alex Longoria

It's date night and your babysitter is half an hour late and still hasn't replied back to your text. The event gala you're supposed to attend starts in thirty minutes. If you had the UrbanSitter app you would be able to find a baby sitter that's reliable, trustworthy, and available even at the last minute.

To make sure the scenario above doesn't happen, setup a time to interview potential baby sitters to get to know them. The responses to the questions you have prepared are important, but meeting them in person will allow you to evaluate their body language and how they measure their response.

Check out some questions we have prepared below to help you get started on the baby sitter interview process.

“How long have you been caring for children” and “what’s your favorite age group?”

It’s important to know how long the potential babysitter has been caring for children and whether or not they love or hate caring for children the same age as yours. While everyone needs to start somewhere, it’s probably better that if you are hiring a first-time babysitter for their first job, that they’ve at least had some experience caring for younger siblings or relatives.

“What do you like most about being a babysitter [and/or] nanny?”

If they have experience in caring for children, ask them what they like most about the job. This will help you get to know them better and see if they will get along with your child and their own unique personality.

“What are your views on disciplining a child? What role do you think the babysitter should play?”

Let’s face it, kids are going to do something they shouldn’t do. Whether intentionally or accidentally, a situation might arise where your child needs to be disciplined. Ask the babysitter what their views on discipline are and how they would approach a situation where discipline would be employed. Making sure that their style closely aligns with your own will avoid miscommunication in the future.

“How flexible is your schedule? Would you be available if we occasionally need you to arrive early or stay late?”

If you don’t have the stability of the typical nine to five job, or your job requires you to stay late or arrive early occasionally, the flexibility of your babysitter’s availability is important. Make sure they would be willing to and have the means to be flexible. Or maybe you just need a night off for some wind down time with your friends, to go on a date, or just have some alone time.

“Are you willing to cook/do light housework/take care of pets/[insert other task]? Does your salary requirement increase if so?”

If your expectations include light housework, taking out the family dog and preparing and cooking small meals, they should be stated clearly and asked during the interview. If your babysitter is preparing meals, make sure they are aware of any allergies your child might have or strict diets such as vegetarian or kosher.

“How do you feel about administering medications?”

Make sure your babysitter feels comfortable if your child requires medication regularly, occasionally, or just generic over the counter medications when your child is sick. If your child does require medication, make sure to show them correct dosage. If your child requires medication at a specific time, have them set a reminder on their phone or other devices to alert them when it is time to administer the medication. If your child has allergies to certain foods and is having an allergic reaction, make sure your babysitter knows how to correctly administer the Epi-Pen ahead of time.

“Are you trained in First Aid or CPR?”

Depending on your child, having a babysitter who can act quickly to administer life-saving treatment for your child is super important, especially if you child a child with special needs.

If this is a must, make it clear that you would like them to be First Air or CPR certified. If they are not, perhaps you could offer to pay for the certification or offer to increase their hourly rate if they become certified.

Today's Woman to Watch is the founder of UrbanSitter, Lynn Perkins. Click here to learn more.

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