Babysitting is a great way to earn money, help neighbors, and gain some job experience. But it's also a big responsibility to be in charge of someone else's children in an unfamiliar home, and it can also be a bit scary. Here are some guidelines to help you be a first-rate babysitter.
Getting The Job Done
- Babysit only for people you know or who have been referred by a friend. Answering newspaper ads is not as safe as agreeing to sit for a friend of the family.
- When someone asks you to babysit, find out what time the parents expect to be back and tell them how much you charge and whether you have a curfew. Discuss how you'll get there and back safely.
- Leave the name, address and phone number of where you will be sitting with your parents or a trusted friend. Tell them what time your employer expects to be home.
On The Job
- Before the parents leave, have them write down the name, address and phone number of where they will be. You should also have phone numbers for the local police/fire/ambulance services, the poison control center, a neighbor or relative and the family doctor. Have the address of where you are sitting next to the phone.
- Be sure you know the locations of all phones in the home in case you need one quickly. If there is an emergency alarm system, learn how to use it.
- Know how to work the window and door locks in the house. Use them! Make sure the outside light is on.
- Ask about smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. If you are in an apartment, find out where the emergency exits are.
- Ask about the children's bedtimes, favorite toys and stories, and what they eat. Check on food allergies and medication. Find out what you are allowed to eat and drink.