It's all too sad but true but some parent's do not check out a babysitter's references because they consider it time consuming or simply because they are not sure what to ask. This is not a good idea because you do not want a stranger looking after your child â€“ God knows who this person is and what was in their past.
Of course it is important to look at a potential references record because that is the only way you can find out information about your babysitter's competence.
Generally it is recommended that you get a minimum of three references (unless your babysitter is quite young and you are aware that you are part of the learning curve!)
Below is the minimum amount of information that you need to get from the babysitter.
Name of Parents _______________________
Name(s)/Age(s) of Child/Children _______________________
Dates Worked _______________________
Phone number/email address _______________________
Here are the questions that you should ask each reference.
How long have you known this babysitter?
Does this babysitter currently taking care of your child?
How long did the babysitter care for your child/children?
How old were your children at the time?
How many hours did the babysitter work? If regular, what was the schedule?
Why did babysitting arrangement end?
Did the babysitting experience with this person hold any disappointments for you?
What would you say is this babysitter's greatest strength?
Was the babysitter good at interacting with your children?
Did the babysitter participate in activities with your children.
How did the babysitter discipline your children?
Did the babysitter return calls promptly?
Was the babysitter on time for babysitting gigs?
Did the babysitter handle any emergencies for you and if so what happened?
How would you compare this babysitter to other babysitters you have hired?
If you needed a babysitter tomorrow would you hire this person again? If no, why not?
Not every single one of the suggested questions above may apply to your situation but the more thorough you are about asking questions of your babysitter's references the more you will know about his or her capabilities and the quicker you will be able to build up a trusting worker/employer relationship.
Many moms skip this step thinking they just have good intuition. However the trickiest people are the most charming. If your kids are important to you I highly advise you not to make the mistake of judging a book by its cover.