I babysit. Here is my breakdown:
Infant/date night/ 1 child under 5 – 10/hr (sleep or awake)
2 Children : 12/hr awake (10 sleeping)
3 Children: 15/hr (10 sleeping)
I’m 25, and worked this as a side “job” while finishing my Master’s thesis. I know I’m a deal around DC and could probably get more, but my rates kept me pretty busy with a group of about 5 regular families with other families using me for “drop in” hours.
I started baybsitting when I was around 12 for my cousins, and had baby siblings born when I was 14 & 17 so I have a LOT of experience with kids. Personally, I probably wouldn’t leave my kids with someone under 18, unless they were family or *extremely* close family friends and I felt really confident they were responsible enough.
I can’t tell you exactly what questions to ask, but here are modified versions of questions I ask parents… (Modified so you could ask them).
1. We use XXXX form of disciple or believe XXX (Brief Parental Philosophy), do you have experience with this/ are you comfortable with this? (It is SO IMPORTANT you find someone who is willing to take your lead and discipline your kids the way you do or it will be extremely confusing and potentially traumatic for the kid)
2. What types of games/activities do you like to do with children this age? (Also, make it very clear what your TV policy is. Is it ok? Not at all? Right before bed?)
3. Driver’s license? (If they will be driving your kid, what is their record? Insurance? Car reliability?)
4. Important for toddlers + – Discuss eating habits and how you feed the children! Do you choose food for them? Let them choose? What do you allow them to eat? Not eat? (You’d be amazed at some of the $hit people feed children. Make sure your family values are clear. )
5. Explain children’s allergies/medical conditions. Are they capable of handling baby’s allergy to ____, ____, _____, . Always leave a contact sheet with your information, hubs, emergency contacts, and even FDP, Police, Poison Control (Any good sitter should have this, but you never know!)
6. Finally, especially with infants, I think its really helpful if you have the sitter come over early the first time and go through the bedtime routine with you. That way they can see where everything is, and get a feel for how you do it. Don’t be overly detailed (babies are babies. Someone gave me really explicit instructions on how to give a baby a bath one time. I grinned along, but secretly thought “yes. You wash her. Well. Got it, thanks”) After that, it will be a breeze whenever you have them come sit.
Sorry for the book! I hope that’s really helpful!