Families are in a unique situation as our new normal of living with the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. You might be a parent who’s working from home, or you might still have to go into work. Regardless, with schools and daycares closed, you need the help of sitters and nannies now even more than ever.

The typical interview routine for child care will have to be adjusted to incorporate some important questions and details to ensure your family and the sitter are staying safe and healthy.

There’s similar preparation for digital babysitter and nanny interviews however, there will inherently be some additional considerations to keep in mind when going through this unique interview process.

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Virtual is the New In-Person

Remote interviewing is a great tool you can use in lieu of face-to-face interviews. In a very short period of time, video conferencing has become the primary form of connection in our society. Request to have the interview via a free video-conferencing platform like:

Talk Openly and Directly About COVID-19

The national Coronavirus situation will impact the nature of the questions that you have as a parent, and what the sitter may ask you during the digital interview process. Here are a few things to consider discussing:

  • Social and Physical Distancing Practices
  • Potential Exposure Outside of the Home
    e.g. Are parents leaving the home to work?
  • Daily Temperature Checks
  • Hygiene Expectations Entering and Leaving the House

We encourage everyone in the community to have open and clear communications during these times. If you or someone in your family or your sitter is displaying any signs of sickness, we recommend talking directly to each other and using your best judgment when it comes to canceling future bookings you may have. Review the CDC’s guidelines for identifying Coronavirus, though the only way to know for sure is to be tested.

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly evolves, we strongly encourage you to continue to refer to the CDC and your local municipality (city, county, and/or state) for recommendations of what’s appropriate at this time. Many municipalities have established websites specific to their area’s latest guidance on managing/working during this time.

Have the Sitter Engage with the Kids While on Video Chat

While conducting the video interview and ultimately make the hiring decision is your responsibility, don’t forget about the most important stars of the show: the kids! If the sitter and the kids don’t jive well together, this job might not be the best fit for your family.

While it may be a little more difficult to “meet” the children while interviewing remotely, it’s still an important step for the sitter to familiarize themselves with the kids, and them with the sitter. This will make for an easier transition should you hire them. This is also a great way to see if hiring digital care is an option with this sitter as well.

Green banner with text saying "When school's canceled but work isn't" and a child jumping while holding hands with a nanny.

What Isn’t New

Outside of the above, a lot of interview best practices remain the same for digital interviews.

Offer Competitive Rates

If you’re looking to attract high-quality child care candidates, offer a rate that’s fair and competitive.

Ask for References

Be sure to ask for child care references with both the phone number and email address so you can contact them easily.

Run a Background Check

Running a background check can give you extra peace of mind about your new hire.

Overall, as the situation with COVID-19 rapidly changes, it’s important to be on the same page about keeping your family and your sitter safe and healthy. Having awareness and diligence to ensure safe working conditions for a caregiver is important to protect your health and the health and safety of our communities. In general, please refer to the CDC’s current recommendations for keeping shared spaces safe from the spread of respiratory infections.

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