Talk to Interview a Potential Caregiver

The other day in our office, one of my colleagues was talking about how she had to interview a potential new babysitter, but felt like she just didn’t know the right questions to ask to get a real read on compatibility. Another colleague jumped in and sent us these questions. We all thought they were pretty great–and wanted to pass them along to you. Any other thoughts/questions you ask, please tell us in the comments! (Note–these are not infant/toddler caregiver questions…much more for preschool and upward age.)

What are some of your pet peeves (or red flags) that parents do?

What are your favorite books to read to kids / games to play?

Do you have any discipline techniques? Or, conversely — how do you handle tricky personalities?

How comfortable do you feel commuting with kids/doing school pick up and street-walking routines? Do you have any good sidewalk rules?

Do you feel comfortable during bath times? Any good tips for kids who don’t love the water?

What are some go-to kid snacks that you are comfortable prepping/serving to kids?

Do you know any secret spots (clean bathrooms/favorite playgrounds/best museums) that we might not know about?


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Comments (5)


  1. Posted by: Tori

    These are great questions, but I have to admit, as the parent I can’t even answer all of these easily–granted my child is still a baby. Good to keep in mind though and I would be very impressed by a caregiver who could readily reply.

  2. Posted by: sarah

    Sheesh! Is there also word association and an essay? How much are you people paying these caregivers? You actually think they should have a mental list of “go-to kids snacks” that they can PREPARE for your little lords and ladies? Barf.

  3. Posted by: CM

    I’m a mom of toddler, and think these questions are GENIUS. If someone is sitting on my couch while my husband and I go out to dinner, maybe we don’t need to go this in-depth… but if I was to hire someone to watch my daughter on a regular basis, I’d certainly hope they know how to make some good snacks and could keep her on the sidewalk. Thanks for posting!

  4. Posted by: mandywinter

    As a caregiver for children for the past 8 years I can easily answer these questions! If I was leaving my kids with someone else I would want them to be able to answer them, it shows they’ve been in it for a long enough time to really know what they are doing because you deal with this daily! I could list off a bunch of go to snacks because again it’s your life everyday

  5. Posted by: Emily

    I have been a nanny for six years, and I think these questions are awesome! While some I have answers at the ready, others make great conversation starters with the parents for ways to grow with their particular child. After all, working with each family is different. I’d definitely structure my interview around these questions next time. Thank you!

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