Top Questions to Ask Your Potential New Babysitter

By Aaron Swartz on December 13, 2022

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a babysitter. With the internet age drawing everything closer together, any parents looking to hire someone to help with childcare are spoiled for choice! There are so many candidates out there it can be hard to find the one that’s right for you. Your best tactic, once you’ve narrowed down the pool, is oftentimes an interview. Interviews are great for helping you dig into a person’s history, experience, and personality to see if they’re the right fit for your children. There’s a lot you’re going to want to ask in your interview, though, so to help you keep things straight and find out all the most important pieces of information, here are some questions you should absolutely ask your potential babysitter during their interview.

via Pexels

1. Prior Experience

Let’s start off simple, and with one of the most important things you need to know before hiring your sitter: do they know what they’re doing? Prior experience is incredibly useful to be able to draw from, but being fresh to the job doesn’t mean they’re a bad fit for your family. Either way, it’s important that during your interview you get a gauge of how much experience your candidate actually has. Some great questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been babysitting?

  • Do you have any references we can contact?

  • What ages have you cared for as part of your past experience?

2. Availability

Another simple but ever-important question, you need to know when this sitter can watch your kids and if that fits your schedule. Additionally, apart from day-to-day and week-to-week availability, it’s useful to ask your candidate what their longer-term availability is. Are they a college student only around until the semester ends? Are they planning a move in the near future? Knowing their future plans can help you plan for your own future, so give it a try. Some great questions to ask include:

  • What is your availability weekly?

  • What are your longer-term plans, and will you be available to babysit beyond the short term?

  • Can you stay late if we need you to?

 3. Safety

One of the top priorities of every parent is their child’s safety, and making sure your sitter is a safe guardian should be a big part of your questioning. If your child has any special needs — such as food allergies — checking to see if your sitter has experience navigating those unique challenges is a great question to ask. Furthermore, this can be a great time to ask about any certifications or official programs they’ve done that make them qualified to care for your children. Great questions to ask include:

  • Have you ever had to handle an emergency on the job before?

  • Do you know CPR for adults or for children?

  • Have you been certified in any emergency care ability?

  • Have you cared for a child with a food allergy before? How did you handle it?

  • Can you drive in an emergency?

4. Personal Preferences

Everyone is different, and even if they have all the qualifications and training in the world, that doesn’t mean that particular candidate is the best for your children. One great thing an interview can do is get you a sense of a candidate’s personal preferences. Do they have a favorite age to babysit? What’s their least favorite part of the job? These are all questions you should definitely ask to get a better sense of if this candidate is right for you, including:

  • What’s your favorite part of babysitting?

  • What’s your least favorite part of babysitting?

  • What has been your greatest challenge as a babysitter?

  • What’s your favorite age to babysit?

  • Why do you want to be a babysitter?

5. About You

Last, but certainly not least, you’ve learned about your potential new sitter in a professional capacity, but what about a personal one? Learning about who your sitter is as a person can be a big help for a number of reasons. Maybe they have a common interest with your child. Maybe there’s something about them that makes you uncomfortable, like a smoking habit or a significant other. Or maybe you discover you’ve known their Aunt Doris for eight years. You won’t know till you ask! Some questions you might want to try include:

  • Do you have any pets?

  • What are you doing currently for work and/or school?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Do you drive?

  • What are some of your hobbies?

There’s a lot to consider when hiring a new babysitter, and no wonder! Trusting someone to care for your child is really hard, and no one can blame you for wanting to be careful and thorough. With this list, you should have a decent starting point for interviewing potential new sitters to find the perfect fit for your needs. Good luck searching!

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