The first question a parent should ask a babysitter is if they have cared for children before. Plenty of people adore children and think they can do the job, but that does not necessarily mean they have the proper skills to care for someone's child. Parents should ask for proper references as a way of assessing the ability of a potential sitter.
Parents should also ask what type of activities this child care professional plans to do with their child. These activities should be relevant to their age and ability. Parents also need to assess the potential hazards, and whether these activities with engage the child and prevent him from being bored.
Parents should ask a potential babysitter about their availability. If the matching of schedules requires too much maneuvering, this particular child care professional may not be a good fit.
Most importantly, parents need to make sure their child will be safe in the presence of the care taker. Parents need to ask the potential babysitter if she has a record or previous experience working with children. Parents need to know what would they do in case of an emergency, such as a fire, natural disaster or sudden illness.