10 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their Sitter
Hiring a babysitter can be stressful, especially if you have infants or young toddlers. When interviewing potential babysitters, there are certain things you should always ask to ensure that your children will be safe and happy in your absence. Here are a few of the most important.
- Are You CPR Certified? – In the event of an emergency, you want to know that the sitter you’ve hired will be able to perform CPR until help arrives. Most babysitters take this course before ever applying for their first job, but it’s still wise to ask.
- Do You Have First Aid Training? – Though it’s not necessary to have field medic training, you’ll still want someone who has a basic knowledge of simple first aid.
- Can I Check Your References? – For a young sitter just starting out, this can be tricky. If you already know the potential sitter, you may feel comfortable skipping this question; if not, ask for character references in lieu of past employers.
- What Sort of Experience Do You Have? – If the person you’re interviewing is young and has no actual work experience, find out if they have younger family members that they’ve cared for, or if they’ve done volunteer work with children.
- Do You Have Someone To Contact If You Need Help? – For teens with little experience, it’s important to make sure that there is someone nearby that they can call if things get out of hand or they’re not sure how to handle a situation.
- Are You Capable of Preparing Meals? – Some sitters, especially teens, may not be comfortable preparing large or elaborate meals. Assure them that you’re not looking for a chef, just someone who can properly operate a microwave and safely use a stove. If you have infants or toddlers, make sure that they know how to properly heat a bottle and what foods can be choking hazards.
- Do You Know How to Change a Diaper? – If you have children who are not yet potty trained, it might be a good idea to make sure your potential sitter knows how to change a diaper.
- Are You Comfortable Administering Medicine? – If you have a child that regularly takes medication, be sure that the sitter is comfortable with administering it. Also, make sure that they can properly follow dosage instructions for over-the-counter medications and know which ones to use for various ailments.
- What is Your Hourly Rate? – Before you ask this question, you should know what the going rate in your area is. It may be higher than you expect, so it’s good to be prepared.
- What is Your Disciplinary Style? – You’ll want to know exactly how a potential sitter plans to discipline your children, because there will come a time when they’ll have to. Teenagers may not know how to answer this question, which will give you the opportunity to explain what’s acceptable for your family.
Though the interview process can be uncomfortable if you don’t have any experience with it, don’t hesitate to ask any questions that you need to, in order to feel comfortable with a sitter’s abilities. Schedule the interview during school hours or nap time in order to have as much time as possible to discuss your needs and expectations without interruption.