Hiring A Babysitter During A Pandemic

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Photo credit © Olesia Bilkei | Dreamstime
By 98.5 KTK

Parents have had a tough time with the coronavirus pandemic.  With school cancelled months before the summer break and nervous parents and teachers cautious about sending kids back to school in the fall, we underscores that we are living in unique times. However parents need a break from the kids every now and then. Finding the right babysitter during normal times can be a challenge; finding the right babysitter during a pandemic is a whole other level. But there are some questions you can ask and procedures you can put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. Until you know the babysitter’s specific circumstances, it’s safest to conduct at least your initial screening interview over the phone or via video chat. If, after a phone call or two, everyone feels comfortable, you can then have an in-person interview (with masks on!) to see how they interact with your kids. Go ahead and start off with some pretty basic questions—ask them if they’ve had any exposure over the past two weeks to anyone who had COVID-19 or anybody who had any of the symptoms we know to be associated with the disease. You probably wouldn’t normally ask a babysitter who else lives in their home or whether they get together for barbecues with friends over the weekends. But right now, it’s a fair question. You don’t need to be completely invasive, but it’s important to know whether they live with a partner, a roommate or a parent who works in an essential job or if they’re regularly socializing in large groups of people. You should probably also ask whether this will be their only job or whether they’ll be babysitting for multiple families or working a second job in, say, a restaurant or hair salon. Set up your rules beforehand and be specific, such as wearing masks (in the beginning at least), handwashing and taking their temperature before entering your home. The COVID-related questions are obviously a big deal right now and should be a priority during your interview. But don’t forget to ask the questions you’d normally ask a potential babysitter, such as their qualifications and experience, what types of activities they like to do with kids, and how they handle behavioral issues.

SOURCE: Offspring

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