Top 5 Questions to Ask a Babysitter

HappiFamli, Senior Babysitter Correspondent

August 24, 2018

Finding a good babysitter is like winning the lottery – it can be life-changing!  Learn what to ask to see if your sitter is a good fit for you and your child.

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:

  1. 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?
  2. What was your worst experience in child care and how did you resolve it?
  3. What was your best experience in working with kids and why?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.