What to ask a Babysitter in an interview?

By Lynn Perkins, CEO and co-founder of UrbanSitter.com

Babysitter Checklist

1. Contact info for parents

2. Emergency contact info

3. Medical information/ allergies

4. Schedule/activity suggestions

5. Food & drink list

6. Rules

To print and customize your own babysitter checklist, visit: http://bit.ly/babysitterlist

Finding a great babysitter as much intuition as it is qualification. But whether you’re hiring a sitter for one Saturday night or a nanny for (hopefully) years to come, here are a few key questions to ask that will make everyone–you, your sitter, and your kids–feel more at ease.

Questions to ask:

1. What is your childcare background?

2. Do you have children of your own, nieces or nephews, godchildren, or young cousins?

3. Do you envision yourself doing this for a long period of time or just in the near future?

4. What do you think is the best form of discipline for a baby, toddler, grade-school child?

5. Do you believe tidying the house is part of your job?

6. How much do you charge and how does that relate to your experience?

7. Do you do overnights? How much do you charge for that?

8. Are you comfortable driving? Taking walks in the stroller? Going to the park, library, local cafe?

9. Do you have any current health issues that might prevent you from caring properly for my children?

10. Have you been formally trained in CPR?

11. Can you give me an example of an activity you might do with my children? (art project, hide and seek, board game, etc.)

12. Under what circumstances would you call me?

13. Under what circumstances would you call 911?

14. What do you expect from me as a parent?

Also, it’s important to consider the best style interview for you.

Here are the three ways I recommend to parents:

1. Phone interview – For some parents, a phone interview is all you need. You can gauge a lot from a 10-20 minute call.

2. In-person interview – This can take place in your home or public location. At home, your kids would have a chance to meet the sitter, however, you may be able to focus better without your kids around.

3. Paid, working interview – Hiring a sitter to watch your kids while you’re home can be a great way to get to know a sitter. You set the desired pay rate.

Once you hire your babysitter, keep the lines of communication open. Clearly set expectations upfront and remember to give—and accept—both positive and constructive feedback to ensure you, your kids, and your sitter maintain a happy and healthy relationship!