12 Must-Ask Questions When Hiring a New Babysitter

Hiring a New Babysitter
A babysitter plays on the floor with two children. (Stock photo)

With each move comes the new adventure of finding a babysitter. I often struggle with babysitter interview questions to ask during the meet and greet. I want to ensure my kids are safe and well taken care of with out being totally intrusive. Before meeting with our most recent babysitter, I started researching exactly what I should be asking.

Basic information. It’s easier for me to have a standard sheet of questions that I use and ask potential babysitters to fill out. I let them know it’s included in my emergency file that my husband and mother would have access to, should I be traveling.

This form includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Age
  • Rate

Beyond the formalities are the much more important issues that address experience, comfort level and skills. Without coming out and saying "can you handle this?" you have to get that “gut feeling” about someone. For me, this is the easy part as I love getting to know people.

12 Must-Ask Babysitter Interview Questions

1. Tell me about yourself and your experience with kids. This seems pretty obvious but it’s a comfortable get-to-know-you question while also learning more about their background.

2. What ages do you have experience with? If they don’t have experience with a 3-month-old you might want to rethink leaving them with your baby. Or if they don’t have experience disciplining a 7-year-old and yours is especially challenging, you might want to keep looking.

3. How many kids are you comfortable watching? One kid is much easier than four. This is an important question to ask if you have multiple children.

4. What is your availability? You want to make sure your schedules mesh. If you need someone to come over while you run errands or work, you want to make sure they are available during the day. Or, if you are taking night classes you want to make sure the babysitter isn’t taking night classes too.

5. What does your spouse do? I try and hire a fellow military spouse if at all possible. I like supporting my community and this is a tiny way to do that. While this question doesn’t give you an insight into their qualifications, it can tell you if you have any mutual friends or acquaintances that would serve as a reference.

6. Are you comfortable with a background check? Even if you don’t do the background check if they say no that’s not someone you want to hire.

7. What activities do you enjoy doing with kids? My kids are obsessed with football and they are definitely going to ask the babysitter to play with them. If he or she hates football, this is not the gig for them.

8. Are you comfortable putting kids to bed? Bedtime can be hard! If you want date nights and not just a daytime sitter, this one is important.

9. Have you received any specialized training for babysitting? There are babysitting courses on most installations and CPR certification is always nice to have. This may not be a deal-breaker for you but still nice to know.

10. Do you drive? This question is helpful if you expect them to help with taking the kids to/from school or possibly after school activities. It could also reveal whether or not the potential babysitter has a poor driving record or has a suspended license.

11. Are your immunizations current? If you have an infant the DTaP immunization is a deal-breaker for many new parents. But there are several other immunizations that might be a deal-breaker for you.

12. Will you post pictures of my kids on social media? I love getting pictures of my kids having fun with the babysitter playing games or doing crafts. Scrolling by them on social media, not so much. This may be more of a request not to post them more than it’s a question but still something to consider.

With the lack of family support for most military families, finding a trusted babysitter is a must. Make sure you go with your instincts, ask these babysitter interview questions and find someone you feel comfortable with so you can have a fun night out or even just a trip to the commissary without worrying.

Keep Up with the Ins and Outs of Military Life 

For the latest military news and tips on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military.com and have the information you need delivered directly to your inbox.

Show Full Article

Military Spouse Videos

View more