Having a babysitter you can trust is essential when you need someone else to watch your children. However, it takes time and research to properly vet your babysitter. Here are some tips for checking out a sitter before you hire.

Conduct an Interview

There is nothing like actually meeting a person face-to-face to get to know them. It’s true that some people can fool anyone, but you will generally get a feeling about a person when you interview them. Prepare interview questions and make sure you receive specific answers from the candidate. You will recognize whether they are prepared and ready for any situation or simply applying for a job they aren’t passionate about doing. If you can’t meet a candidate face-to-face, plan a phone or Skype interview.

Review Their Background

Ask for references and make sure to call them. Listen to what past employers have to say about the person you are thinking of hiring and ask specific questions if you feel like answers are too vague. It’s also possible to gather background information online. You can use online tools to find records of various criminal offenses. Make sure you have the correct name of the person you are searching for to pull up accurate records. This is an excellent way to compare the story a babysitting candidate told you with facts recorded on the record. If you find discrepancies, that is a red flag.

Talk to Other Parents

Gathering recommendations online is one way to find out more about babysitting candidates. However, if you have friends who have a sitter they love, get the information about that babysitter. This does not replace performing an interview or doing a background check. You are responsible for vetting every candidate, even if your friend says she already has. However, it does help to have someone you know to tell you what a sitter is like with children and if there have been problems in the past. This is also a great technique to use if you have narrowed down your choices but are having problems deciding between two sitters. An opinion from someone you know can help tip the scales in one direction or the other.

Finding the right babysitter takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Vetting the sitter means feeling secure when you leave your child in the care of someone else. This way, you can go about your day without worrying about who is watching your kids.

Here’s a great article you and your babysitter can learn from: Car Seat Safety: What You Need to Know