What to Ask Before Hiring a Babysitter

By Kailey Walters on May 26, 2021

As a parent, you undoubtedly want to make sure that you’re getting the best babysitter for your child. After all, you need to feel secure knowing that your child is in good hands while you’re gone. When looking for a babysitter, there are a few questions you can ask prospective babysitters to choose the most appropriate one and give yourself peace of mind.

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Have you babysat before?

A key thing to know about any prospective babysitter is whether or not they have previous babysitting experience. While it’s up to you to decide how much experience is satisfactory, you will most likely feel at peace with your decision to hire a babysitter who has a good amount of experience under their belt.

Do you have reliable transportation?

If the babysitter doesn’t live near you, it’s important that they have access to reliable transportation, such as their own car. For example, if you are operating on your own schedule and need to leave for work at a certain time, but the babysitter is running late because of unreliable transportation, that’s not a good situation to be stuck in. Also, if something comes up last minute and you need the babysitter to help out at a moment’s notice, it’s definitely a plus if they are able to reach your home quickly.

Do you have any specialized training in childcare such as first aid/CPR or training from a babysitting class or other related course?

Since previous babysitting experience is very important, other aspects that demonstrate babysitting experience or proficiency are also good to know about. It’s definitely a plus if the candidate you’re interviewing has taken courses related to childcare, which may be especially helpful if you have a younger child at home. It’s also good to know if the prospective babysitter has first aid/CPR training, which can definitely be useful in case of emergencies.

Do you have any health restrictions that could affect your ability to babysit?

This is an important question to know the answer to. If the babysitter happens to have any health restrictions, such as severe allergies to pets in your home, you will need to take this into consideration. Perhaps you will decide to make accommodations for the babysitter by keeping your pets in a different area when they are over at your house, or maybe you’ll decide to pass on that candidate and move on to someone else who doesn’t have severe allergies. Either way, it’s important to know about any health restrictions so you can make smart decisions about who you hire.

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What activities do you enjoy doing with kids?

Asking this question will help you figure out the babysitter’s style of working with and being around kids. It can also help you figure out if this person is an appropriate choice to take care of your child when you’re not around. You may be looking for someone who knows how to plan out fun and engaging activities to do with children — activities that they will not only enjoy but also be educated by, such as puzzles, games, crafts, sports, and other kid-friendly activities.

What will you do if my child misbehaves?

At some point, your child is bound to misbehave around the babysitter. This could be anything from refusing to eat their vegetables to throwing a temper tantrum — which are all issues that you’re used to dealing with as a parent but that the babysitter may not have as much experience with. Asking how they will handle the misbehavior is a good way to find out how they will handle difficult situations in general and what their disciplinary style is like. If they don’t seem confident in their answer, or if they provide an answer that isn’t satisfactory or reassuring to you, that may be a red flag.

Have you ever handled an emergency while on the job? What did you do?

Similar to the above question, this one is a good way to figure out how the babysitter might handle a difficult, stressful situation. If their answer indicates that they would be confident handling an emergency and know exactly what to do, that’s definitely a good sign and can help give you peace of mind in case an emergency were to ever arise when you’re not home.

When you want the best care for your child, it’s important to ask the right questions of prospective babysitters to make sure you hire a reliable individual who works well with children. Your children will thank you, and you’ll certainly be satisfied with the choice you’ve made.

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