Since starting ASAP Sitters in 2008, we’ve learned a lot of things about babysitting. Over the past 6 years there have been many different situations and questions that have come up from our families and babysitters. Based on our experience, we’ve compiled this short go-to list of the most important things that babysitters and parents need to know:
Agenda – Let your babysitter know your child’s regular routine and schedule. Sticking to a routine, especially at bedtime, often makes things a lot easier for everyone! You can also make a schedule for your babysitter that includes things like chores, homework time, snacks, naps, TV time, etc., to make sure everyone stays on track. We have a babysitter worksheet to help you manage time and activities.
Basic Safety – Leave a list of emergency phone #s including your pediatrician, relatives/neighbors, and poison control center. Be very clear about any allergies or medical conditions as well as medications or administration of epi pens, inhalers, etc. Make sure kids do not have access to any guns, weapons, or toxic chemicals. Have an extra key stashed outside or at a neighbor's. Inform your babysitter if he or she should expect anyone to come by the house and what to do if someone unexpected does. You can use our parent worksheet to give the babysitter your safety information.
Communication – Make sure your babysitter knows how to reach you and that you know how to reach your babysitter (home phone, cell phone, text message, etc.). Don’t be afraid to express your expectations about activities, clean-up, and rules. Agree on your babysitter’s rate and payment beforehand – it saves everyone from a possibly awkward situation at the end of the night.
Remembering these ABC’s will help you make sure the kids are happy and safe with your babysitter so you can relax while you’re away!