Once you have found a reliable babysitter, its important to insure they have all the information required to handle any situation. At Sitters4U we provide our clients with an easy check list to complete and leave on their fridge. You can download it here.
Early Arrival is Key!
Asking your sitter to arrive 30 minutes before the time, especially the first time she is babysitting for you is essential, even if you have to pay her a little extra, it’s worth it. Use this time to discuss emergency procedures, telephone numbers she may need, the quickest route to the closest hospital, discipline guidelines, house rules, bed times, fees etc should all be clearly discussed.
By planning in advance you will know that your children are safe and happy and this will bring you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your time off or out.
Before leaving always ensure that your sitter is armed with the following information:
- Go through your child’s routine and the general household rules.
- Ensure the sitter knows where you will be and under what circumstances she may phone you or emergency services. Provide an emergency phone list including your own number and address.
- Ensure she knows where to find numbers for emergencies including the poison centre number.
- Demonstrate how to enable and disable your security systems and alarms. With South Africa’s high crime rates this can be imperatives.
- Let the sitter know about any allergies or special needs your child/children may have. If medication needs to given to your children right down specific directions for the administration of these, including time and amount.
- It may seem strange but it is advisable that your children are also aware of emergency numbers and how to dial them in case anything happens to your babysitter.
- Explain any guidelines and expectations you have with regard to leaving the house or use of the phone etc, clearly to your sitter.
House rules and other information
It is important that both your sitter and your children know the rules for while you are gone, and it is a good idea to have your children sit in on this explanation so that there is no arguing with the sitter from the children about instructions once you are gone. Discuss snacks, rules for TV, time for bed, and what you expect from your sitter and children.
It is a wise idea to call home at some point in time during the evening. A good time for this is just before bedtime. You can check to see everything is running smoothly and if there are any problems you can help with.
The Follow up
When you get home spend a few minutes going over the evening with your sitter. Ask about the things you think the sitter may have had problems with. Often sitters are hesitant to discuss problems they have encountered unless asked directly. The next morning chat to your children about the evening and whether they enjoyed having her there. What they ate, what activities they did and if anything happened that made them feel uncomfortable.
With all of this behind you, you can feel more at ease next time in the knowledge that all your hard work has paid off, your children are safe and happy, and you can enjoy your evenings out without worry!
For more great articles and tips, please subscribe to receive our latest articles or join our new Facebook group. Got a childcare related question? Drop us a line at sitters (@) sitters4u.co.za or visit our website: www.sitters4u.co.za