Babysitting is the perfect way for students to earn some extra money. However it comes with rules and responsibilities. Go over your expectations with the babysitter to make sure everything is clear and have an open line of communication with her.
- CPR and first aid trained : Before hiring a babysitter make sure that she is CPR trained. The basic course is one day and anyone who takes care of children should have a valid certificate.
- Written contactable references: The babysitter must provide a minimum of 2 but 3 is better
references from previous childcare jobs that are written with contactable numbers on them.
It is always better to call the numbers and verify the references for peace of mind.
- Own reliable car and license : The babysitter must have her own reliable car that is road worthy
and has back seat belts. She should have a valid license. Not only for getting to and from work
but if there is an emergency you will know that she can get to the closest hospital / doctor.
- No visitors : Nobody may visit your house when you are not there. If something needs to be delivered by a family member or you are expecting a delivery it should be cleared by both the family and babysitter as early as possible.
- Phone use to a minimum : Young students love to be on their phone. If you allow the babysitter to make use of the wifi in your house explain the rules such as she may only be on the phone once the children are asleep. Let her know she cannot be on her phone during awake time with the children as she needs to watching them.
- Rough play : Adults as well as children get carried away at times playing games. Running around
the house playing Hide and seek, Cowboys and Indians can start off harmlessly and with all the
excitement invariably someone gets hurt. You want your babysitter to have energy and entertain
the children but explain what the limits and boundaries are around this sort of playing.
- Dont take photos of the house and children : Let the babysitter know your views regarding photos of your children. Many parents don’t want their children on social media and as they are minors it is to be taken seriously. It is best to make it clear that she is not to take selfies in your house as this is showing the interior of your house.
- Bed time rules : Let the babysitter know what time you children go to bed and the normal routine that they follow, for example bathing,brushing their teeth, reading a book for 10 minutes etc.
- Television and screen time rules : Is the sitter allowed to watch TV ? If so should she be watching adult shows while the children are awake. They may not be in the room but still have good hearing and pick up bad language etc. Let her know what your acceptable guidelines are regarding the children playing on iPads, cell phones etc.
- No physical discipline : There is no excuse for any formal of physical discipline and you must make it clear that you will not tolerate it. Explain your method of discipline, be it sitting on the thinking chair or quiet corner or taking away a favourite toy etc.
- Meal time: Confirm what food and drinks you children are allowed to eat. If they have any
allergies let the babysitter know this. Also the babysitter should ask the parents if she
intends on introducing any new food just as a precaution
- Social media rules: don’t allow the babysitter to post status updates that she is at your house or
tag photos of your children on social media. People will know she is alone at your house with the
- Be alert at all times: It is not easy for anyone to be everywhere at once, however if the babysitter
has kept distractions to a minimum it should be easier for her to focus on the job at hand which is
to take care of you children first and foremost.
- Report back: When the babysitter leaves ask her a report back on the evenings activities.
If you have a book that she completes of activities run through it with her before she leaves.
Written by : Marion Smith
A mom of four boisterous boys and owner of Aupairs Exclusive where she has been placing staff for over 15 years.
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