What questions would you ask to interview a new sitter?

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

I am interviewing a few girls to be a new sitter, Ive never had one besides my mom take care of my girl.

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Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/11/2009

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so does that mean if someone has a boyfriend they cant be a good baby sitter? that doesnt make any sense. also, the real problem here is that too many people are putting their children in the care of someone else instead of raising them themselves. YOU are the childs mother, so YOU raise them. why have children if you arent going to be there to raise them? why would you put your child in someone elses care daily? and if you are raising your child and are home with them then you dont have to worry about murderers/molesters/thieves/abusers etc  becuase YOU will be there. No one can care for your child the way you can. A mother is meant to be just that, A MOTHER. too many people put too much importance on having a career. there will be time for that later when your child is older. your child needs you and depends on you and its your job to be there for them. People dont realize the importance of being a stay at home mom and the impact is has on your childs life.





I'm sorry that you have taken offense to my statements.  I never said that someone having a boyfriend wouldn't be a good babysitter but it will allow me to know who else may be around my children at some point and time.  As for the personal attack on how I'm letting my kids down b/c someone else has to care for them, I will state only this b/c it's obvious that you are completely close-minded and didn't bother to read what the administrators posted for everyone to read: I never asked to be a work-outside-the-home mom.  My ex-husband left me and left me with no choice but to go to work to provide for them.  You don't know my life and you don't know my story.  Some of us don't have the luxury of being able to stay home with them.  He found a younger version of me and booted all of us out on the street. If I was to be a SAHM now, the state would be taking them away from me b/c we wouldn't have a home - we wouldn't have anything.  I was a SAHM the entire time I was with their dad but when he left so did my dream of being able to do exactly what you line out.  I DO know the importance of staying home with my children ... maybe before you start attacking someone in the future you could take the time to read their profile or some of their other posts ... that way you might speak with knowledge instead of hatred.

Laura - posted on 07/10/2009

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I was a sitter for years in a number of settings before I had kids of my own. Give a situation and ask what they would do (ie. Child falls off equipment at park. Baby is crying inconsoleably.) and see how they respond. A good sitter will ask questions too- like if the kids have allergies or how you would like them to discipline. Also asking about their future goals helps you figure out which ones are just looking for a buck and which ones truly enjoy children. I also think it's a great idea to have a practice run of sorts- have the sitter come over at a time that you'll be home so you can see them interact with the kids. Plus it makes it easier on the little ones when they feel comfortable with the sitter before you leave. CPR certified is always a plus too. Sometimes local churches have babysitter lists if you are having trouble finding someone you like. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Jessi - posted on 07/11/2009

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If your daughter was playing in the kitchen and the sitter came in and seen she had a white substance on her face what would they do? i got asked that and it was a curve ball for me but a good question cause what if its cleaner and not flour???

Kate CP - posted on 07/11/2009

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Oh, I forgot to mention in my reply that I think the question of "Do you have a boyfriend?" is VERY pertinent. When I was younger I knew of girls who would baby sit and invite their boyfriends over to make out or have sex while they were sitting. I think a better question might be "Do you have a significant other?" and if the answer is yes make sure the sitter knows they are not allowed to have any one over while sitting your child.

Kate CP - posted on 07/11/2009

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Quoting Samantha:

so does that mean if someone has a boyfriend they cant be a good baby sitter? that doesnt make any sense. also, the real problem here is that too many people are putting their children in the care of someone else instead of raising them themselves. YOU are the childs mother, so YOU raise them. why have children if you arent going to be there to raise them? why would you put your child in someone elses care daily? and if you are raising your child and are home with them then you dont have to worry about murderers/molesters/thieves/abusers etc  becuase YOU will be there. No one can care for your child the way you can. A mother is meant to be just that, A MOTHER. too many people put too much importance on having a career. there will be time for that later when your child is older. your child needs you and depends on you and its your job to be there for them. People dont realize the importance of being a stay at home mom and the impact is has on your childs life.





No...the real problem here is "What questions would you ask to interview a new sitter?" 



Moms do the best they can with what they've got. Sometimes that means they have to work sometimes that means they can stay home. Whatever the case no mom should be made to feel bad because she's doing right by her kids.

Natasha - posted on 07/11/2009

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Hi Lacey,
I was a baby sitter not so long ago, before I had my son and while I was pregnant (my own personal "practice" for being a mum). From reading below situation questions are good, qualifications are great (first aid etc) . Now the personal question debate, I say absolutely yes to personal questions, even if they are uncomfortable and make sure your sitter has ground rules, broken rules no pay. Although sounding extreme a little contract would be good, so you both know what is expected from the job. and I know (hate to admit it) that I had my boyfriends over to my baby sitting jobs when I as 16.

Samantha - posted on 07/11/2009

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Quoting Felicia Neikolle:



i dont think you need to ask about their boyfriend. its none of your business if they are dating someone or not. and its not relevant to being a baby sitter. also, why would you ask What's the worst thing that's happened to you so far in your life and how did you handle it?  thats a horrible question to ask because what the worst thing that ever happened to them was being raped or molested as a child???? you dont need to know every single detail of someones life for them to baby sit your kids. i would keep all questions professional and not make them uncomfortable. 





I'm sorry but at the ages of 17-21 it's extremely relevant to me if you have a boyfriend or not if I'm looking to you to watch my child.  I want to know if that will be a distraction or not.  As for the worst thing that's happened part ... I said to ask something to that effect and then immediately explained why.  When you ask the "typical" questions such as "If my 4 yr old daughter was choking on a cheeto what would you do?" you are going to get the programmed response of "Try to get it out and if I can't call 911" ... if you ask them to share a portion of their life and how they handled it then you can truly see how good/bad they will be in an emergency situation.  It doesn't have to be that specific.  And I'm sorry if you think all of this is irrelevant to caring for children ... when it comes to my kids I will DEFINITELY try to find anything and everything out about someone that I can in the interview.  In case you didn' t know it, my worst situation question is no different than the "Tell me of a problem on a prior job and how you handled it" question that is pretty standard in an interview for an out of the home job as well.  I was just offering suggestions.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions ... and I'm sorry but if being molested as a child was the worst thing that happened to them and they felt comfortable telling me about it ... that alone would tell me that they handle extreme circumstances well ... as a survivor of molestation, rape and being beaten by my ex-husband ... I know the kind of discipline and work it takes to feel comfortable talking about it with a stranger.  My kids are my greatest treasure and I'm sorry b/c I do feel like it's important for me to know as much about your life as possible to allow you into theirs ... being non-chalant about it is how we end up opening our doors to abusers/molestors/murderers/thieves in the first place.






so does that mean if someone has a boyfriend they cant be a good baby sitter? that doesnt make any sense. also, the real problem here is that too many people are putting their children in the care of someone else instead of raising them themselves. YOU are the childs mother, so YOU raise them. why have children if you arent going to be there to raise them? why would you put your child in someone elses care daily? and if you are raising your child and are home with them then you dont have to worry about murderers/molesters/thieves/abusers etc  becuase YOU will be there. No one can care for your child the way you can. A mother is meant to be just that, A MOTHER. too many people put too much importance on having a career. there will be time for that later when your child is older. your child needs you and depends on you and its your job to be there for them. People dont realize the importance of being a stay at home mom and the impact is has on your childs life.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/10/2009

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i dont think you need to ask about their boyfriend. its none of your business if they are dating someone or not. and its not relevant to being a baby sitter. also, why would you ask What's the worst thing that's happened to you so far in your life and how did you handle it?  thats a horrible question to ask because what the worst thing that ever happened to them was being raped or molested as a child???? you dont need to know every single detail of someones life for them to baby sit your kids. i would keep all questions professional and not make them uncomfortable. 


I'm sorry but at the ages of 17-21 it's extremely relevant to me if you have a boyfriend or not if I'm looking to you to watch my child.  I want to know if that will be a distraction or not.  As for the worst thing that's happened part ... I said to ask something to that effect and then immediately explained why.  When you ask the "typical" questions such as "If my 4 yr old daughter was choking on a cheeto what would you do?" you are going to get the programmed response of "Try to get it out and if I can't call 911" ... if you ask them to share a portion of their life and how they handled it then you can truly see how good/bad they will be in an emergency situation.  It doesn't have to be that specific.  And I'm sorry if you think all of this is irrelevant to caring for children ... when it comes to my kids I will DEFINITELY try to find anything and everything out about someone that I can in the interview.  In case you didn' t know it, my worst situation question is no different than the "Tell me of a problem on a prior job and how you handled it" question that is pretty standard in an interview for an out of the home job as well.  I was just offering suggestions.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions ... and I'm sorry but if being molested as a child was the worst thing that happened to them and they felt comfortable telling me about it ... that alone would tell me that they handle extreme circumstances well ... as a survivor of molestation, rape and being beaten by my ex-husband ... I know the kind of discipline and work it takes to feel comfortable talking about it with a stranger.  My kids are my greatest treasure and I'm sorry b/c I do feel like it's important for me to know as much about your life as possible to allow you into theirs ... being non-chalant about it is how we end up opening our doors to abusers/molestors/murderers/thieves in the first place.

Samantha - posted on 07/10/2009

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Quoting Felicia Neikolle:



Quoting Lacey:




Quoting Felicia Neikolle:

I would have to say that it depends on the age of the child really. There are the basics: references, do you LIKE kids, how long have you been watching kids, how many kids do you have (based on age of sitter), do you want to have kids (again based on the age of the sitter), are you in school for something related to children (age of sitter based again), etc. Then you will need to ask some specifically related to your daughter type questions (i.e., if she has a favorite book read a certain way then ask if they are opposed to animated readings, or if she only likes/is allowed certain snacks then ask how they feel about those kind of snacks etc). Hope this helps!!








Thank you Felicia,








The ages of girls I am interviewing are from 17-21...and my daughter is turning four in two weeks.  I actually know alot about them already, as I have looked them up on care.com ( a great resource by the way) and that has background checks and lots of info that they put on there themselves.  So anywho, thanks for the ideas, i think i know which direction to head to now!








Lacey









Lacey,






Based on the age of the girls you are interviewing I would ask them a lot of personal questions:






What's your favorite subject in school?  Tell me your favorite memory with your mom.  How many siblings do you have?  How long have you been with your boyfriend/do you have a boyfriend?  What kind of car do you drive and is it insured (a lot of ppl don't think to ask this but it's very important in the event there is an emergency and they need to leave the house)? I would also recommend asking them a question similar to this: "What's the worst thing that's happened to you so far in your life and how did you handle it?" This will let you know how well they can handle a crisis rather than them spitting back a programmed response. Good luck!!





i dont think you need to ask about their boyfriend. its none of your business if they are dating someone or not. and its not relevant to being a baby sitter. also, why would you ask What's the worst thing that's happened to you so far in your life and how did you handle it?  thats a horrible question to ask because what the worst thing that ever happened to them was being raped or molested as a child???? you dont need to know every single detail of someones life for them to baby sit your kids. i would keep all questions professional and not make them uncomfortable. 

Samantha - posted on 07/10/2009

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i babysit for 2 kids and when the parents interviewed me they asked me questions that i thought did not pertain to what type of person or baby sitter i am. The lady actually made me uncomfortable to the point where i wanted to turn down the job when they offered it, but since my husband lost his job i was stuck. they asked me if i rent or own my home, previous addresses, when i got married just things like that. all of which have nothing to do with being a good sitter or not. and i had already completed a background check on the website where they found me (sittercity.com) but they still wanted copies of my drivers license, social security number, etc. I think its ok to ask the person questions about themselves so you can get a feel for the person and their personality, but dont ask them things that arent relevant. i seriously felt like i was being interrogated by the government or something.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/10/2009

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Quoting Lacey:



Quoting Felicia Neikolle:

I would have to say that it depends on the age of the child really. There are the basics: references, do you LIKE kids, how long have you been watching kids, how many kids do you have (based on age of sitter), do you want to have kids (again based on the age of the sitter), are you in school for something related to children (age of sitter based again), etc. Then you will need to ask some specifically related to your daughter type questions (i.e., if she has a favorite book read a certain way then ask if they are opposed to animated readings, or if she only likes/is allowed certain snacks then ask how they feel about those kind of snacks etc). Hope this helps!!






Thank you Felicia,






The ages of girls I am interviewing are from 17-21...and my daughter is turning four in two weeks.  I actually know alot about them already, as I have looked them up on care.com ( a great resource by the way) and that has background checks and lots of info that they put on there themselves.  So anywho, thanks for the ideas, i think i know which direction to head to now!






Lacey





Lacey,



Based on the age of the girls you are interviewing I would ask them a lot of personal questions:



What's your favorite subject in school?  Tell me your favorite memory with your mom.  How many siblings do you have?  How long have you been with your boyfriend/do you have a boyfriend?  What kind of car do you drive and is it insured (a lot of ppl don't think to ask this but it's very important in the event there is an emergency and they need to leave the house)? I would also recommend asking them a question similar to this: "What's the worst thing that's happened to you so far in your life and how did you handle it?" This will let you know how well they can handle a crisis rather than them spitting back a programmed response. Good luck!!

[deleted account]

Quoting Laura:

I was a sitter for years in a number of settings before I had kids of my own. Give a situation and ask what they would do (ie. Child falls off equipment at park. Baby is crying inconsoleably.) and see how they respond. A good sitter will ask questions too- like if the kids have allergies or how you would like them to discipline. Also asking about their future goals helps you figure out which ones are just looking for a buck and which ones truly enjoy children. I also think it's a great idea to have a practice run of sorts- have the sitter come over at a time that you'll be home so you can see them interact with the kids. Plus it makes it easier on the little ones when they feel comfortable with the sitter before you leave. CPR certified is always a plus too. Sometimes local churches have babysitter lists if you are having trouble finding someone you like. Hope this helps! Good luck!


I LOVE the situation idea...thats great advice.  And i am hoping that they ask me questions too! Thank you!



Lacey

[deleted account]

Quoting Felicia Neikolle:

I would have to say that it depends on the age of the child really. There are the basics: references, do you LIKE kids, how long have you been watching kids, how many kids do you have (based on age of sitter), do you want to have kids (again based on the age of the sitter), are you in school for something related to children (age of sitter based again), etc. Then you will need to ask some specifically related to your daughter type questions (i.e., if she has a favorite book read a certain way then ask if they are opposed to animated readings, or if she only likes/is allowed certain snacks then ask how they feel about those kind of snacks etc). Hope this helps!!



Thank you Felicia,



The ages of girls I am interviewing are from 17-21...and my daughter is turning four in two weeks.  I actually know alot about them already, as I have looked them up on care.com ( a great resource by the way) and that has background checks and lots of info that they put on there themselves.  So anywho, thanks for the ideas, i think i know which direction to head to now!



Lacey

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/10/2009

488

46

87

I would have to say that it depends on the age of the child really. There are the basics: references, do you LIKE kids, how long have you been watching kids, how many kids do you have (based on age of sitter), do you want to have kids (again based on the age of the sitter), are you in school for something related to children (age of sitter based again), etc. Then you will need to ask some specifically related to your daughter type questions (i.e., if she has a favorite book read a certain way then ask if they are opposed to animated readings, or if she only likes/is allowed certain snacks then ask how they feel about those kind of snacks etc). Hope this helps!!

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