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Information You Should Make Sure Your Babysitter Has

Wednesday, March 3rd

Information You Should Make Sure Your Babysitter Has

When leaving your child with a new babysitter for that first time, there are sure to be an onset of different emotions, ranging from anxiety to worry to relief; and the last thing you'll want to be concerned about, is whether you've given your new babysitter all the information they could need while you're away. But how do you know what all to tell your caregiver? Especially considering that when first meeting the babysitter, things can be a little awkward; and that by not acknowledging that awkwardness, you could even blank on the crucial information you planned on telling the caregiver. So how can you make sure you tell the babysitter everything they need to know? Well, the answer to that is fairly simple. Plan out from the beginning everything the babysitter will need to know. Make a list of this information, and hold onto it for future reference. The hard part, can be figuring out everything you'll think is important enough to tell the babysitter. So what exactly should you plan on telling the sitter? In general there are two sets of information that you should determine your caregiver will know. The first set deals with information that will pertain to your child, while the second set deals with the information that pertains to you, as parents.

First of all, your babysitter needs to understand the needs and expectations they'll have when caring for your child. Lay out your child's regular routine for the babysitter, leaving nothing out- and tell your caregiver how strictly you expect this routine to be followed while you are gone. Also, make sure to mention any medical needs your child may have. If they have allergies, asthma, or are currently sick with a cold, then your sitter should understand these needs and understand how you would like them to approach these needs. If your child is young enough that using the toilet regularly is still problematic, alert your caregiver to this issue and explain the methods used in your household for bathroom needs. Ultimately, the most important point is that the babysitter simply needs to understand your expectations for how the house should run while you are away, and what you foresee occurring once you arrive back home.

Next, you'll need to address the logistics of your arrangement with your babysitter. Of course, the caregiver should have all emergency contact info that you deem necessary- especially your cell phone number. They should also have the address of your home readily available, in case an emergency were to arise and your sitter needed to call for help. It could even help for your caregiver to have the names and numbers of a couple close neighbors they could also contact, in case of any accidents. It's typically courteous to tell your babysitter when they can expect you home, as being mindful and respectful of your sitter's time will help ensure they respect yours as well. Finally, it's beneficial to discuss the pay rate with your caregiver, before taking off. This will help ward off any potential awkwardness once it's time to pay, and helps get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

When you keep plans practical and expectations clear, your babysitter will know everything necessary while watching your child. As long as you have a list of the important info your caregiver needs to know, you shouldn't have any problems remembering everything to tell them. The only thing left to do, will be to enjoy your time away!

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Babysitter Agency FAQ

A babysitter takes care of your child (or children) while you're away - at work, on a date, at the gym, or for any other reason. Babysitters can be male or female, old or young, but some states have statutes regulating the age that minors can be left in charge (usually anywhere from age 12-16).
A mother's helper is usually there to help with the kids while at least one parent is still present: maybe taking care of lunch and activities while Mom works from home, or doing the laundry while Dad gets the kids to bed. Nannies work on a more fixed schedule, either part-time or full-time, and there are usually employment/tax considerations to keep in mind. Au pairs come from other countries and live with the family, watching the kids and tending to other household responsibilities in exchange for room/board and sometimes a monetary stipend. Compared with those three situations, babysitting is much less formal and more of an as-needed childcare arrangement.
Word of mouth is the most common way to vet a new babysitter. It's great to have someone that's already taken good care of your friends' children with no problems! The downside is that these sitters will be in high demand, and you might not be able to get them on your desired schedule. You can also ask for references or run a background check, if you're considering a babysitter that isn't known to you personally.
When you're new to an area or don't have any available sitter referrals from friends, you could put the word out in local groups on social media. Unfortunately, that could attract less-than-reputable individuals! Instead, consider using a babysitter referral service: these platforms allow prospective sitters to create a profile, complete with client reviews and information about their background and any certifications they have (like infant/child CPR). Some referral services make it possible to get a background check, though the sitter may have to opt in before you can access the results.
You can expect to pay a membership fee in the neighborhood of $20/month to access most babysitter referral services. That gives you unlimited access to the database and to making connections with the sitters you find. Some platforms give you limited free access to get started, or a trial period to see if there are enough potential babysitters in your area to make it worth the membership fees.
That varies widely by geographic location, the number of children you have (and their ages), the expertise level of the sitter, and what you expect your sitter to provide. You can ask other parents in your area what the going rate is: underpay your sitter and they're not likely to come back! In the past, the reported average hourly rate for babysitters in the US ranged from $15-$20, but in less urban areas it tended to be closer to $10/hour.
Yes. You can make whatever arrangements you like with your babysitter. It's not uncommon to ask a sitter to fix a light meal, take care of the dishes after the kids are in bed, or tidy up the playroom while the children are watching a movie. Just remember that their primary focus should be on keeping your little ones safe, not housekeeping.

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