How to Vet and Choose the Right Babysitter for Your Family

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 21-Jul-2017

The task of choosing a new babysitter can be daunting, to say the least. You’re about to entrust your children—your most precious treasures—into someone else’s care, possibly even someone you barely know. How do you interview/vet possible babysitters to ensure your children will be both safe and happy in their care?

First, some comforting news: Incidents of babysitters harming children are actually fewer than many people believe. According to data compiled by the Department of Justice, babysitters account for only 4.2 percent of crimes committed against children under age six, far less than offenses committed by friends or family members. This data doesn’t suggest you can’t trust your family, of course, nor does it mean you should let down your guard; but it does suggest that with proper vetting you can find a trustworthy babysitter to do right by your kids. Follow the tips below to guide the process:

  • Run a background check. Run this check on your own even if you hire from an agency that claims to vet their sitters. Don’t assume; make sure.
  • Ask for references from the babysitter, then call them. If any of the feedback makes you uncomfortable, walk away.
  • Watch the sitter with your children, as well as with any pets. During the interview, have the sitter spend 5-10 minutes getting to know the children and any pets you may have. Watch how they interact; don’t just watch the sitter’s behavior—watch your kids’ reactions to the sitter. If you see any warning signs, no matter how subtle, don’t ignore them.
  • Err on the side of caution. “Trust your gut” sounds cliché, but it’s good advice. If anything makes you uncomfortable with the sitter—even if it defies logic—keep looking.

Even when you’ve hired the best babysitter possible, accidents can happen, so check out our Babysitter Safety Inspection Checklist for even more safety tips.

If someone harmed your child due to negligence or carelessness, we can help you obtain fair compensation and justice. Call our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys to learn more.

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