5 Things to ask your future babysitter
One of the things I focused on after we moved was finding a sitter right away. I knew that I wanted to make this a priority and have someone that was a great fit for our family.
I knew what I wanted to find in a baby sitter and I had important questions to ask them to know if they would be a good match. If you are looking for care you might already have many questions but let's start with some that are a must for me:
Ask about their pay rate. Don't expect to pay the same amount everywhere you go. Not only ask about it but respect it. Everyone is allowed to charge what they believe their experience is worth. Ask how much their rate is for more than one kid or for extra time outside the time you scheduled for.
Inquire about their experience, credentials, education and references. Many sitters have a background in education, many with degrees they use daily in a classroom setting. Ask about references from previous or current families they have worked for. How long have they been babysitting for? A big question is..."Do you like working with kids?". For many babysitting is extra money, not much of a full-time job so in my opinion they have to enjoy kids and take the job outside of just the money otherwise I would not feel comfortable leaving my kids with them.
Are they CPR certified? This is something that for many is a deal breaker since safety should come first. If they are certified you can ask to see their certification card to see an expiration date. When it comes to the safety of your children this is something very important however keep in mind that if you (the parent) is not certified then asking for someone else to be certified might be something not needed. (At least that is how I see it). You can also ask how comfortable are they to tackle a possible emergency. Would they know how to deal with it? Know who to call?
Request to know about their availability. Do not go through the process of finding someone if they do not have much availability to help with your care needs. Let them know what you are looking for... either daily care, date nights, weekend nights, over night stays... be up front and ask if this is something they have availability for. Within this question you can also ask about them having reliable transportation.
Are you comfortable with...? This question is necessary. Are you comfortable with... changing diapers, feeding them, playing with the kids, a screen-free home, enforcing house rules, monitoring devices (such as cameras in the home)... This is the time to ask the questions needed. With these questions you should lay out what your expectations are to see if they are ok with this before taking the job.
During the interview process you can also pay attention to certain red flags that might be helpful in finding the right person for the job. For our family some of these include: showing up late to the interview, not returning calls or e-mails, not showing enthusiams for the job, speaking ill of other families or over sharing about their personal life. A red flag for our family that might not affect others is when sitters ask if they can bring their kids while watching ours. This is a big no for us since I expect the sitter's attention to be on our kids and not their kids and ours. This is also tough because I see this as a sort of playdate and not care.
Think of having a back-up sitter as well. This could be the 2nd best interview from the sitters you met with for the job.
I hope this helps you make informed decisions when finding the appropiate care for your children. As parents it is stressful to try and find the right care, one that makes us feel at ease and caters to our children's safety. Ask the right questions according to your needs.
I hope you find someone who truly enjoys the job and cares for your children.