Finding a good babysitter is like winning the lottery - it can be life-changing!
Everyone knows that you are supposed to ask a potential babysitter about their experience level, availability, rate and references, but how do you really find out if they are a good match for you and your child? An interview is your opportunity to form impressions about their self-esteem, maturity level and ability to handle stress. Think outside the box and ask things like:
- What is your babysitting experience and have you babysat for a child who is my child's age? What types of activities would you do with this age group?
- What was your worst experience in child care and how did you resolve it?
- What was your best experience in working with kids and why?
- Would you feel comfortable telling me if you were unhappy with anything? Tell me about a work situation where you needed to express your unhappiness and how you handled that.
- What do you think makes a happy child?
Once you have hired a sitter, make sure you can relax and have some fun by putting together a short training guide that you review with your sitter before you leave. Things to cover with your sitter are:
- Household routine: what activities does your child like, how much structure do you want to the day, what is the general routine
- Bedtime/Nap Routine: are there any sleeping rituals your child follows, do you keep a light on in the room, what should the sitter do if the child cries
- Meals and food: what is the feeding schedule, are snacks allowed, what food is allowed
- Household Rules: may your child play outside or in the front yard, can they plan an outing and transport the child, can friends come over for a play date, can they watch TV, is there anything that is off-limits. Also be sure to discuss how the babysitter should handle discipline if your child is misbehaving.
- General Guidelines: can the sitter eat any food in the house, or use the telephone or go to sleep if the children are asleep
- Contact Info: Make sure to leave all of your #'s and maybe information for a neighbor in case of emergency.