Ten Tips to Help You Find the Ideal Babysitter for Your Family

Any parent will tell you that being a mom or dad is a full-time, never-ending job. Between homework, dance lessons, swimming classes, doctor’s appointments, and everything else in between, many parents feel that they are stretched so thin it’s a miracle that they have the time to do anything else. 

That’s why most parents find it handy to have a good babysitter on speed dial; somebody who can turn up at short notice when you need them, and provide you with peace of mind knowing that your precious little ones are in safe, capable hands while you get on with whatever needed to be done – or just have some well-deserved me-time. 

But finding the perfect babysitter for you can be a daunting process. How do you know that they have relevant experience? Can you be sure they’ll be the right fit for your kids? Do they agree with your parenting techniques and values? 

Here are ten tips to keep in mind to help you find the perfect babysitter. 

#1. Check Their ID

Firstly, before you trust somebody with your kids, you’ll want to be sure that they are definitely who they say they are. Make sure to ask them to bring a valid ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, along with them to your first meeting. 

#2. Run a Background Check

It’s crucial that you make sure the babysitter you hire does not have anything untoward hiding in their past. You can do this by running a background check online. Use a site such as Public Records Reviews to search for things like criminal records and ensure that your potential babysitter hasn’t been arrested or convicted of a crime in the past. These records can be found here; all you need to do is enter the information that you hold on the babysitter and see what comes up. A good babysitter will always agree to be background checked, as they know there’s nothing that will cause you concern. 

#3. Ask to See Childcare Certificates

Childcare providers who’ve worked with children regularly will usually have certificates and qualifications, including childcare qualifications, first-aid certificates or even professional training in nursing or a similar profession. Request that they bring these certificates along when you meet to help you better understand their background and experience. 

#4. Check Their Location

A babysitter who lives an hour’s drive away won’t work out in the long-term; ideally, you need somebody who lives close by and can easily get to you in a short amount of time, especially if you expect them to look after your kids until late at night sometimes. Plus, a local babysitter will know the neighborhood, including exactly which parks you take your kids to. 

#5. Ask for Their Availability

It’s important to find a babysitter who’s going to be available when you need them, so be sure to ask questions about the hours and days that they work, whether they will be available at short notice, and any vacations that they have planned that you might need to work around.


#6. Ask About Their Experience

Every babysitter has a different background. Some may have been pediatric nurses, while others may be parents themselves, with plenty of experience caring for their own kids. Some babysitters are university students training to work in a caring profession, while others are retired professionals. Ask any potential babysitter about the relevant experience that they have, to help you determine if they are a good fit for your family

#7. Find Reviews and Recommendations

Most babysitters will advertise their services online. Not only is this a great way to find out more about the type of services that they offer; you can also use the internet to search for reviews of them on third-party websites or their social media profiles. 

#8. Pick the Right Interview Location

Choose an interview location that’s neutral to the two of you. You could even opt for someplace that requires the babysitter to travel and navigate an unfamiliar area; this can help you determine whether or not they are good at following directions. 

#9. Suss Them Out During the Interview

The interview is a key time for getting to know your potential babysitter and picking up on behavioral indicators. Check for things like arriving early or on time, how well they pick up on everything that you’re saying, how they carry themselves, and how you get on with them in general. Remember that you need to be able to trust this person with your kids, so even if they’re great on paper, you need to ‘click’ with them. 

#10. Ask for References

Don’t hire a babysitter who does not have anyone who can vouch for them professionally. During the interview, you can ask them if they are able to provide references; ideally from other parents who they have provided babysitting services to in the past, or are currently working with. If this isn’t possible, then you can ask for a reference from their previous employer. Call each reference and ask some questions to determine whether they would recommend the individual for babysitting. 

Keep these tips in mind, and you’re on your way to finding a babysitter who’ll become an important part of the family.


  • Kate Sarsfield

    I was the babysitter for the whole road when I was in school, had everyone’s front door key! No police checks in those days.

  • Tamra Phelps

    I don’t have kids. I’m the ideal babysitter in my family, lol. I’m the aunt who lived right across the street when they were little, and had an endless supply of popsicles.

  • Diane K. Brimmer

    I am glad I didn’t work a lot while my kids were growing up. I did have family to step in at a moments notice. My momther always wanted the kids when she wasn’t working at the Post Office. Then there was my grandmother. She raised several children in foster care. So she was a great back up as well. After hearing all the horror stories of babysitters, I am glad I never had to get someone other than family.

  • Rosie

    These are good suggestions. I notice our area has a local private FB group for people seeking babysitters, and those who want to provide the care. They should still do all this checking, though!

  • Tamra Phelps

    I guess, as kids, we were lucky. We always had grandparents to help look after us, or if they were unavailable we had aunts or cousins.

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