Looking for a babysitter can be unnerving, especially the first time. You need to find a reliable sitter you can trust to care for your children while you’re away.

There are numerous mistakes to avoid while looking for a babysitter.

The five most common mistakes parents make are:

1 – They assume their neighbor or friend is trustworthy and qualified.

2 – They do not look for references, skill set or experience.

3 – They do not get a background check on the sitter.

4 – They do not take the proper time to find the right sitter.

5 – They are too intimidated to ask personal questions of the sitter in an interview.

All of these mistakes can lead to bad consequences for you and, worse still, for your children. You can avoid the above mistakes by looking for a quality babysitter early, as in before you are even ready to leave him or her alone.


The more time and effort you put into finding the right sitter, the more prepared you will be when you do need to hire someone for child care.


You can browse well-educated and motivated sitters on Smart Choice Sitters, where all candidates are verified to carry at least a 3.0 GPA in college.

Never assume that anyone is trustworthy because because they are a friend or even family. Always verify potential babysitters.


This can be the biggest mistake because it prevents parents from asking questions, doing a background check and asking for references.

Always check references – whether experience or character based – and ask the tough questions.


Don’t wait until the last minute to find a qualified sitter. Do your diligence beforehand so you are at ease when you need to leave your child in the care of a sitter.


Having ongoing dialogue with several babysitters you trust, and whose references you have checked, will alleviate this common mistake.

If you are planning long-term child care, especially for an infant, you definitely want to do a background check on the babysitter.


You can know if someone is a convicted felon for $30, which is a small price for peace of mind.

Many parents wrongly believe it is not polite to ask personal questions about the person with whom they are leaving their children.


This mistake must be avoided – you owe it to your children to ask all the questions you find relevant about the person you hire for child care. Do not feel intimidated when it comes to asking questions and getting all the answers you need in order to feel comfortable.

Keep this in mind as you navigate your search for the right babysitter for your kids.