Selecting the right babysitter
Ask any parent who has been through the experience, and they’ll tell you that finding the right babysitter for their child or children is no small feat. It takes a lot of research and a lot of trust to find the right person, but with the right approach and resources for research, you can feel good about the process.
Keep your search local
By “local”, the term could be many things. But ideally, you would want to primarily reach out to friends and family who have had experiences in working with babysitters. These are the opinions that you can trust, and getting this information from your most reliable sources means the most likely positive outcomes.
Ask around and see what your friends and family have to say before searching online.
Search on trusted websites
Finding a babysitter is not like trying to find your next online purchase on Craigslist. You want to keep the search filtered to only the most trusted platform. Websites such as Care.com lists hundreds of available babysitters in your area, and includes profiles on each individual.
If you use Care.com to search for a babysitter, you’ll need to create an account in order to contact prospects.
Perform background checks and interviews
Almost everyone will suggest that you perform both a background check and interview for each applicant wishing to serve as your household babysitter. Background checks can be performed by either your local police authorities, or Care.com will also do a background check for a fee (anywhere from $10-25).
If an applicant passes the background check, you’ll want to prepare an interview. Have questions prepared beforehand, and if possible, have your child or children present during the interview so that you can gauge their comfort level with the applicant.
What kind of questions should you be asking?
Apart from the obvious “What kind of experience do you have?”-type inquiries, try to expand on questions that related more to your family and what you value.
- How will you handle a situation where my child/children disobey the rules?
- Have you had to handle emergencies in the past? How did you manage it?
- Would you be alright with me coming home earlier than expected?
These are just a few examples of questions to ask, but really put some thought into this before conducting the interview.
Ask for references and be sure contact
Any decent babysitter with ample experience should be prepared to provide you with references from past jobs. Ask for these references during the selection process, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
It’s important to hear from each reference, as the lifestyles and philosophies range from family to family. You’ll want to hear the perspective that matches as close to yours, but each opinion does hold value.