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Questions to Ask a Potential Babysitter

Whether you’re hiring a Friday night babysitter or one with a more regular schedule, there are certain questions you should ask during an interview with any potential babysitter. Here are the top 10 questions you should ask any sitter prior to hiring her.

Are you CPR certified? Every babysitter, even if she’s only going to be caring for your child for a short time with you in the home, should know how to perform CPR. Accidents happen, even when the babysitter is a responsible, careful person, and in the case of choking or drowning, seconds can be the difference between life and death.

What would you do if there were an emergency? Would the babysitter know what to do if the smoke alarm went off? How would she react if she heard a strange noise coming from the backyard? What would she do if the power went off during a storm? Emergencies can happen at any time, and you want to make sure the person in charge of your child’s safety is well-prepared to handle whatever may come up.

Do you have references I can talk to? Talking to other parents she’s worked for will give you a lot of insight into how the sitter will be with your children. Ask about her relationship with the kids, how she handles a misbehaving child or sibling fight, the type of activities she involves the kids in, and if she is reliable and responsible.

Have you ever cared for a child the same age as my child? It is always best to hire a babysitter who has had experience with similar aged children to your children. If she hasn’t, make sure she has a solid understanding of what behaviors are typical for that age group, what safety issues may come up, and what activities and food choices are appropriate.

How do you handle discipline? Although your babysitter probably won’t have to make a lot of disciplinary decisions, you still want to make sure that she’ll handle any challenging behaviors in a safe and caring way. If your child is struggling with a certain behavior, like saying NO! to every request or crying when it’s bedtime, make sure you talk with the sitter about how she’ll handle those situations. Don’t be shy about offering strategies that work with your child…

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