In a time when families are separated by miles, and we no longer live in the same place that we were raised, and where our parents live it is difficult to find caregivers for your children. It isn’t like it was; babysitters were your neighbors, your friend’s kids etc but babysitting has become much more sophisticated and complicated.
I’m shocked at how many people think they can BE a babysitter. Seriously. I’ve interviewed or talked to people that can’t put a sentence together let alone take care of a child. I’ve background checked people with DUI’s on their record or have literally an evil twin with an extensive criminal record that seems to always be located at the same place as the “good twin”. I’ve interviewed people that can’t hold down a job, and take a job and then blow it off (this is rare but it has happened and I don’t put up with it), I’ve even hired people that I learned had social media pages that were completely scary, and they seemed so sweet. After it was brought to my attention this person no longer worked for me, and I now perform social media checks on all my babysitters.
So, learn from me. Here are a few tips to assist in ensuring you hire babysitters that will fit with your family’s needs, discipline techniques, habits, and most important dependable.
- Before you bring them in have them email you their resume. The reason: you can see if they are literate.
- After receiving their resume make sure they have “real” experience not just babysitting brothers and sisters.
- Then call them and ask them some preliminary questions before you bring them in to meet you in person to make sure that they sound smart, literate, and enthusiastic. No reason to bring someone in that sounds like a dud over the phone and dispassionate about babysitting. You want someone that wants to babysit and doesn’t just want money and just a job.
- Once you decide to bring them in decide beforehand what is the most important part of babysitting for you. Is it important that they are willing to do extra chores like dishes, fold laundry etc., that they will prepare activities that are engaging for your kids, do you like your kids to participate in learning activities, be taken out on “field trips”? You decide, but be clear about what is the most important skill set to you and your kids.
- Perform a background and social media check (this is a must)
- Now for the in-person interview questions:
- Why did you choose to apply to my babysitting position?
- What kinds of discipline techniques do you use with children?
- Tell me a time that you were in a challenging situation with a child and how you successfully resolved the situation?
- If you had the perfect babysitting situation what would that look like?
- How do you plan on keeping my children engaged?
- (If home work assistance is something you want) Can you assist my children with homework and what skill set do you have to help them with homework?
- What is your background with children, and why do you like working with children?
- Are you a problem solver, and how have you solved problems that have arisen in your career with families?
- What do you think are age appropriate activities for my children?
- How do you plan on keeping my children safe?
Of course listen carefully to the answers and ask the questions that you decided were important to you the night before. Be relaxed so they really open up and talk about themselves and it doesn’t feel like an interview. A talkative interviewee is an interviewee that will tell you stuff you may not expect. If you introduce your children to them and they don’t immediately show signs of being comfortable; run and do not hire this person. It isn’t hard to be around children and to warm to them immediately. If they don’t do that then they don’t have experience with kids.
Of course, these are just guidelines and some tips on helping you hire a caregiver for your family. If you don’t use my service Babysitters In a Pinch, LLC then these tips will be the next best thing.