It’s only when you become a parent yourself that you’ll find out how challenging it is to raise a child. And one of the most difficult things that you have to do when you go back to work is to find a person you can trust to leave your child with.
According to a survey conducted by the American Red Cross, more than 50 percent of parents opt to stay at home because they cannot find a babysitter that they can trust while almost 30 percent reject potential candidates who apparently do not meet the parents’ requirements and expectations. In another poll by Care.com, it was reported that 51 percent of parents say it’s “too stressful” finding the right babysitter to hire.
There’s no need to quit your job or completely abandon the idea of hiring a babysitter if you know the right questions to ask during the interview. These questions will help you find the right person to care for your child just as much as you would.
Question # 1 – What experience and training do you have?
While it’s not necessary for a babysitter to have a child of her own to be considered “experienced”, it’s still a good idea to find someone with experience in taking care of children. It’s also very important to hire a nanny who has been trained with emergency procedures like such as CPR or the Heimlich maneuver, or at least someone who’s willing to undergo training before you hire them. You want someone who knows how to handle an emergency.
- How many years have you worked as a babysitter?
- How old are the children that you have taken care of?
- Do you have any formal training in childcare and emergency situations?
- If not, are you will to take first aid and CPR classes?
- In case of an emergency, what is the first thing that you will do?
Question # 2 – Why do you work as a babysitter?
It’s true that some nannies can sweet talk their way into convincing you that they love kids. But if you’re keen enough, you can easily detect whether person is being sincere or not. It’s essential to ask this and some other probing questions to find out if the nanny’s approach and philosophy complement yours, and if she’s in this job for the right reasons.
- What do you love most about babysitting?
- How well do you enjoy working with kids?
- What do you like least about this job?
- What are the things you don’t like about being a babysitter?
- What do kids like about you?
- What activities do you like doing with children as the age as my kid/s?
Question # 3 – How much do you charge?
Another important question to raise is regarding the salary. Of course, you can’t hire a nanny you can’t afford. A survey done by the International Nanny Association states that the average hourly rate of babysitters is $18.66. In the United States, the standard pay is $14.11 per hour, reports Payscale. It’s also wise to ask other parents how much they’re paying their sitters so you have an idea.
Question # 4 – What is your system for disciplining children?
Here’s another crucial aspect to investigate on—how the babysitter will discipline your child. While you don’t want your kid growing up spoiled and overly privileged, you certainly don’t want the sitter abusing your child in any way.
According to an article released by the U.S. Department of Justice, about 4 percent of crimes against children (physical assault and sexual abuse) are committed by babysitters. Needless to say, you’ll want a babysitter whom you can trust to care for your child and keep him/her safe while you are not around.
- What are your rules and how do you implement them?
- Do you believe in spanking?
- What punishment do you believe is suitable for children the same age as mine?
- Do you reward children for good behavior?
Question # 5 – What is your living arrangement and personal lifestyle?
Expect that some candidates won’t be comfortable disclosing their personal life with you. They’ll think that what they do on their own personal time is none of your business. But it is, if it has an effect on your children’s well-being, and the job that they’re going to do for you.
- Do you have a family of your own?
- What are you future plans? Do you plan on getting another job, getting married or studying in the university? (This is to determine how long the babysitter can stay working for you.)
- Do you drive? Have you committed any driving offense or have been involved in an accident?
- Do you smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs?
- How is your health condition?
- Are you willing to go on trips with our family during vacation or weekends?
Basically, the main questions cover most of what you need to know about your babysitter before you hire them. But you must probe further using the follow-up questions. These are especially helpful if the candidate is not talking a lot.
Here are more tips to consider when hiring a nanny for your child:
- Ask for a list of references and talk to each one of them. Ask them what they like and did not like about the babysitter.
- Allow your child to spend time with the potential babysitter and observe how well she relates with your kid. See if the two are comfortable with each other.
- Do a quick social media background check. Browse through the potential nanny’s Facebook account, and see if how well she relates with other people, what others think of her, and so on.
- If you’re going to use the internet for your search, use only reputable websites for finding babysitters. Examples are care.com, www.sittercity.com, www.babysitters4hire.com, www.enannysource.com, www.seekingsitters.com.
Finding a babysitter you and your child will be happy with is not an impossible task. Use the questions and tips mentioned in this article to help find the right person.