5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Choosing a Babysitter

As a mom, my children are my life.  And as a work from home mom, I am quite literally with them from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep each.and.every.day.  Aside from those few hours spent at pre-school each week, we rarely leave each other’s side…but the older that they get, the more I’m realizing that we ALL are starting to need our space.

You see – my kiddos love the sense of freedom they get when I’m not helicoptering over them 24/7, and I feel so refreshed and rejuvenated when I get to go to Target by myself…or drive solo in the car…or even go to a business meeting without kids in tow.  {Hey, it’s the little things!}  But how do I get more of that time?  What do I need to do to ensure it gets crammed into our overly busy schedule??  And most importantly, where do I find a good babysitter these days???

Thankfully, I was recently introduced to our sponsor CareBooker – a great place to find, book, and pay for services for the whole family.  They currently offer child care, pet care, and tutoring services…all of which are super important to moms like me.  Plus, they have housekeeping and personal fitness coming soon too!  {One goal at a time, right?}  Carebooker makes it easy to search for trusted providers that fit your needs and your schedule, and once you find someone who might be a good fit – you can book interviews right on the spot via phone, Skype, or in-person.  Their goal is to make YOU feel confident and comfortable before booking an appointment, and isn’t that what we all want when it comes to child care for our precious little ones?

Below is a list of my go to questions when I’m interrogating interviewing a potential babysitter, but please keep in mind that this list is FAR from all inclusive.  You will probably have oodles of questions to ask that are specific to your family as well, and rightfully so – the care in question is for YOUR children!  And if the caregiver is truly a good fit…then they should have no problems answering your questions {even the hard ones!} too.

Babysitter Questions

How much experience do you have?

Let’s start easy, shall we?  People typically love talking about themselves and how qualified they are for the position at hand.  Be sure to have a pen and paper to jot down notes as they talk about their past experiences — What ages have they worked with?  How many children have they cared for at a time?  Do they have experience with a certain personality type, particular need, or daily routine?  While a lengthy resume doesn’t always equal a perfect fit, you do want to know that this candidate is qualified for your family type and current needs.  And if you’re using CareBooker, it’s always a good idea to fact check what they tell you with the information on their profile too!

Do you have any references?

This one goes hand in hand with experience, in my opinion.  When they are telling you all about who they have worked with and what they have done, ask if you can write a few names and phone numbers down.  But here is the BIG thing…follow up by actually contacting those people!  Get creative and confirm their identity, and then ask specific details about how the experience with the potential caregiver went.  Were they pleased with them, how often did they use their services, and here’s my favorite – would they ask them to come back again???

Can I do a background check on you?

Okay, I know that this one is awkward to ask, but it is so, so, SO important.  These potential caregivers will be alone with your children, often for an extended period of time – so you need to know who you are dealing with.  Once they agree, you can contact your local law enforcement agency for steps on how to obtain a background check.  However, I love that CareBooker automatically offers all service providers a comprehensive background check for you.  Then there’s no need to have the awkward conversation, and all you need to do is just click the ‘Request Background Check’ button on your end.  Yes, please!

How much do you charge?

Is anybody else slightly shocked at the hourly rate of child care these days?  It is a far cry from my babysitting gigs back in the day, but of course – I want to have the best of the best caring for my littles, and I know that with that comes a fair price tag.  When discussing this with a potential care provider, I always try to be as transparent as possible.  I ask how much they charge and if there is an additional rate for more than one kiddo, and I also think it’s important to be open and honest about all that is expected with that cost as well.  Will they be helping to tidy up around the house, will they be preparing meals, will they be washing and folding that ginormous mountain of laundry for me?  {Wishful thinking!}  On CareBooker, each service provider’s profile includes a brief description, list of services and prices, and qualifications to cross check all of this info too!

When are you available?

So you’ve found the service provider, done thorough research, and discussed rates…now what?  Find some time for them to come babysit, of course!  Generally, I like to set up a trial run of sorts.  I ask them to babysit my two little ones while I will still be around the house {generally, in my home office getting some work done}, and I keep a watchful eye and ear on the situation to make sure that all parties involved are happy and at peace.  If your schedule is flexible, then this should be fairly easy to do.  But if you are searching for a very specific time and date, then keep in mind that you can check your potential care provider’s calendar on CareBooker to confirm availability too.  {And if you’re crazy forgetful like me, then be sure to sign up for their reminders via e-mail and text messages as the appointment nears!}

 

Are you ready to book a babysitter and go on a date night with your hubby?  Or maybe even just take some time off from being mom to take care of yourself instead??  I can’t tell you how much of a life saver even having just a few hours a week to myself has been for me!  So find a few candidates, ask them those oh-so-important questions, and book a sitter soon!  As a little incentive, CareBooker is even offering $10 off your first booking with code ‘FirstBooking10’…and at the very least, I encourage you to go poke around on their website to see what it’s all about.

CareBooker

For more information on Carebooker, visit…

Website :: CareBooker.com

Facebook :: CareBooker Page

Twitter :: @CareBooker_com

Pinterest :: CareBooker


Please Note :: While this is a sponsored post, these tips and questions are all my own – and all thoughts about CareBooker are courtesy of me too!

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Kelly is the founder of Houston Moms Blog and has lived in this beautiful city nearly all of her life. She has a degree in education from Texas State University and was honored to teach special education for eight years to some of the cutest little kiddos you could ever meet. While teaching, Kelly met Cody – a tall drink of water and country boy to the core – and together, they fell in love, got married, and decided to start a family. In March 2011, they welcomed Hayes into the world, a silly but smart little boy with a story you have to read to believe. And in April 2013, their family was complete with the addition of Hadley, a super gregarious and oh-so-cute baby girl. Now, Kelly devotes her days to caring for her own little ones…and would not trade this new job of hers for the world! In her not-so-spare time, Kelly loves meeting up with her girlfriends for margaritas, failing miserably at Pinterest projects, and exploring this big old city with her two favorite little side-kicks in tow.

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