Choosing a Baby Sitter You Can Count on
Choosing a Baby Sitter
Interview with a Sitter continued...
Hirschfield lists three issues parents should discuss with
- In case of emergency. What would the baby sitter do should there be a fire,
injury or trauma? Is the person skilled at/confident with administering first
- Discipline. How would the person discipline a child? Is there an
understanding about what a sitter can and cannot do with a child (e.g. a
- Backup. Does the baby sitter have parents, friends or neighbors to call for
If you feel confident that this person meets your criteria,
you can then have them meet your child so you can observe the
"connection" between the two.
Whether you do this before or after the interview, it's
critical that you check to see how much baby-sitting experience a candidate
has. Some baby sitters may have completed training courses; others might have
experience with their own brothers and sisters. Check the sitter's references
before hiring. Ask past employers if the person is dependable, what age
children were cared for and how children got along with the baby sitter.
If you have an infant, confirm that the candidate knows the
proper procedures for feeding/burping, bathing, sleeping and playing. Because
there are different qualifications needed to care for a 6-month-old versus a
6-year-old, make sure to address age-specific issues.
When You Find the Right Sitter
Once you've settled on someone you're comfortable with, you
need to iron out certain details:
- Pay -- Although there is no standard wage for baby sitters, keep in mind
that minimum wage is five dollars and seventy-five cents per hour. It is
typical to pay anywhere between five and ten dollars an hour, depending on the
area of the country you live in and the amount of experience your sitter has.
You may want to pay a sitter with a car a higher wage than one who requires a
pick-up and drop off.
- Make a list -- Before the baby sitter arrives, make a list of child care
information. The list should include routines your child relies upon, such as a
story before bedtime; pet care information; house rules; contact names and
numbers in case of an emergency; where you can be reached and what time you
will be home.
- Follow-up -- The best comments on the baby sitter's performance come from
your children. If your children are old enough to talk, ask what they did, if
they enjoyed their time with the baby sitter and if they want the sitter to