Finding a trusted and loyal babysitter can be a difficult task. It's absolutely convenient and comforting to ask a family member and/or close friend to watch your little one(s) from time to time, but the parent can not always rely on the (free) help of a loved one. As your child/children grow, it's nice to have a babysitter on hand.
It can be an intimidating process to find the 'right' fit, so we have compiled 10 questions to ask the babysitter before giving them the green light. We're here to help. Read ahead for some guidance on how to appropriately hire the help you deserve and need.
10 "WHAT'S YOUR EXPERIENCE?"
Ensuring that your baby sitter has a good amount of experience could make or break when you're hiring them for a young child. Whether you wait until your baby sleeps through the night, or you hire a sitter during their naps and day times, you may want to ask how much experience they have with child the same age as yours.
There's always a place to start, and you may be comfortable allowing them to watch your baby for their first time. But, you know your situation best. Do what you feel is right!
9 "DO YOU KNOW CPR?"
CPR is a great asset to have when you're watching a child. Children have accidents. They may choke. There are ways to prevent these accidents, but they do happen. It's an important question to ask the baby sitter you're about to hire. If they are not certified with CPR, you may request it before they begin watching your child.
If you're feeling generous, you may even suggest you pay for the course to ensure they're up to date and knowledge to make it a more comforting situation, especially if you like the sitter.
8 "HOW LONG ARE YOU COMFORTABLE FOR?"
Always consider the baby sitter's comfort level. If they are young and not comfortable putting your children to bed at night, respect their decision.
If the sitter would prefer to watch only one child rather than both, then you must respect their comfort levels. They may only feel comfortable watching your child/children for a certain amount of time. This may be feasible for you, the parent, or you may want to continue looking somewhere else.
7 "DO YOU HAVE YOUNGER SIBLINGS/FAMILY MEMBERS?"
This may come across as a personal question and may be completely invalid when it comes to asking a slew of questions to your child's potential baby sitter; however, it may reflect their nature.
If the baby sitter has been around children, they may be more natural at caring for a child. Experiencing joy around children often comes naturally to some, but it's always reassuring to know that they've either done this before or have been around a lot of children in their past/present.
6 "IS THIS YOUR ONLY JOB?"
Consider if the babysitter has other work to do. Perhaps they won't be as loyal if they do this part-time or on the side. Perhaps this is a job they enjoy and they work their other jobs to pay the bills.
You never know the baby sitter's situation, and it's ok to ask. You're inviting them into your home to care your little one. It's important to get to know their situation. This may also affect the amount they ask to be paid. So, it's ok to ask if babysitting is their only occupation.
5 "DO YOU GO TO SCHOOL?"
Most young baby sitters do attend school. Not only is it a good time to work on homework or finish a project they'd been working on, but babysitting is also a great way to get community hours if it's needed.
It's important to see if they have other commitments. Perhaps they will have to only be scheduled on weekends. If they are in school during the week, count them out. You won't want to come in between their education, and you'll want to know when you can have them watch the children.
4 "HOW MUCH WOULD YOU LIKE PER HOUR?"
Being transparent about pay from the beginning is an incredibly respectful and appropriate way to be. It's important to be on the same page about pay.
Whether they ask for minimum wage or above, it's important to be able to justify their cost depending on many things like experience, loyalty and quality. It's ok to negotiate, especially if you believe what they're asking is unfair or not enough.
3 "WOULD YOU LIKE A TRIAL SHIFT?"
Trial shifts are not just for retail jobs and internships. Trial shifts are a great way to see if the baby sitter and child are compatible. Some child, age depending, do not listen to many adults.
If the baby sitter is younger, more relatable, the parent may be surprised to see how well they co-operate. Whether this trail shift is with a parent present or only for an hour or two, a trial shift is a great idea to see if the two mesh.
2 "ARE YOU COMFORTABLE PUTTING THEM TO SLEEP?"
The last thing you want to do as the parent and/or caretaker is to leave the babysitter unintended during bedtime before it's discussed.
If you tell the sitter you'll be home at a certain time, be home at that time. Respect their time along with honoring your word. You must ensure the sitter is comfortable for your child's bedtime routine before it's sprung upon them. Every child's routine is different, so it's important to be transparent.
1 "HOW LONG WILL YOU BE AVAILABLE FOR?"
Whether you're asking this question for the duration of one hire or it's in regard to a long-term plan, it's important to know how long the sitter wants to watch your children for. Say you fall in love with this baby sitter but they're a high school student. You may be able to book her frequently all summer, but come September you lose them during the day.
It's important to know your short-term and long-term goals with your sitter in order to build a healthy and happy relationship.