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27 Questions to Help You Find the Perfect Sitter

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Untitled Document Lara Shriftman: A couple of my mommy friends and I were having dinner in Miami, and we found ourselves talking about child care and the process of interviewing a potential new child care provider or sitter. The mother of four sitting next to me was trading stories with me, and I was telling her about the first nanny I got from a nanny agency in Los Angeles.

woman interviewing babysitter

During the interview process, I found out that my potential nanny: was not legal, didn't drive, asked me if I had a chef, if I had a full-time housekeeper, and asked if I flew private. There was no indication that any of these things existed when she came to my house. I couldn't get over the concept of interviewing someone and have them be the one interviewing me!

Needless to say, after four interviews of the same kind, I decided to create a list of questions everyone should ask when interviewing a potential new babysitter. Having the questions written out ahead of time will help you stay on track (and keep you asking the questions, rather than the other way around!).

27 Questions You Should Ask Every Potential New Sitter:

1) How many families have you worked for in the past?

2) How old were the other children you cared for?

3) Do you have children of your own?

4) What is your philosophy on discipline and education?

5) What are your beliefs about child rearing?

6) Why do you do this type of work?

7) Why do you like being a sitter (or nanny)?

8) How might you and my child spend a typical day?

9) What types of activities would you engage my child in?

10) What are some activities that you think are important to include on a daily basis?

11) Can you give me some examples of difficult situations you have encountered in the past with other children, and how you've handled them?

12) Can you swim, and if so, are you willing to go in the pool with the child?

13) What qualifications do you have?

14) Do you have any formal education in childhood development, or special training in childcare?

15) Do you have CPR and first-aid training?

16) What are three things you enjoy doing the most with children?

17) How do you approach difficulties over meals, bedtimes, or sharing with other children?

18) How would you or how do you comfort children?

19) What are some methods you've followed in other households that you think work well?

20) Would you communicate with me about the things my child said and did that I missed during the day?

21) Are you willing to do light chores while children are napping? If so, which ones?

22) Do you drive?

23) Do you have your own car?

24) Are you willing to work evenings or weekends, if need be?

25) Would you be available to travel with our family on weekend trips or vacations, if need be?

26) What is your salary range?

27) Could you recommend families I can call for references?

I hope this helps you in your search for a sitter you can trust. It has certainly helped me!

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lara shriftman Luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995. The agency specializes in public relations, marketing and events for high-profile luxury brands. In addition to serving as a correspondent for Extra with her own segment, Party Confidential, Lara and partner Elizabeth Harrison have authored four books on entertaining, Fete Accompli , Fete Accompli Workbook, Party Confidential and Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining . www.partyconfidential.com


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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Karen  June 20, 2010, 7:57 PM

Thank you so much for these interview questions! There were so many I would never think to ask that are extremely important such as requiring them to answer detailed questions regarding what exactly they would do in certain situations or even on a typical day.


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