Tips for babysitters
Babysitting for the first time: what you need to know
- Add a clear description to your profile that tells parents something about your skills. Be as specific as possible.
- Select and contact your preferred parents. Schedule a telephone appointment to get to know more about them. If you are pleased with the phone conversation, why not schedule a visit with the parents so that you can meet their child? Remember to only agree to meet users that you trust, as we do not screen the parents that sign up to Babysits.
- Especially if you are under 18, try to bring someone along to the first meeting as you can never be quite sure who you’re dealing with.
- If the parent wants you to pick their child up from school, you'll need to be introduced to the child's teachers and perhaps the other parents at school first. Ask the parent to arrange any necessary introductions.
- Please keep in mind that it is not unusual for parents to ask to see your ID card at the intake but never send a copy of your official ID by email! Only show it to them in person.
- Age is important. Babysits has a minimum age requirement of 13 years old to ensure the quality and reliability of the services offered on our platform.
The greatest (part time) job
Babysitting is perhaps the most fun job that there is! You get to play with children and can relax once they've been put to bed. With Babysits in particular, the job becomes even more enjoyable as you have control over your own working hours and employers!
If you would like to make a more full-time profession out of childcare, then you should consider registering with a childminder agency and becoming a childminder/nanny! At a childcare agency you will be able to take courses and learn new things so that you can become an expert in your field. Parents in many countries are also incentivised to hire you, as they receive a subsidy from the government!
Ask the parent to fill this form out before you start babysitting for them for the first time. This will help to ensure that problems don't arise whilst you are babysitting.
- Scheduling. Check your schedule to make sure that you can actually babysit when you are being asked to babysit. Be sure to ask the parents about the time that you are expected to babysit and for how long. Plan appointments via Babysits. We’ll keep you organised with reminders. Remember that you can always negotiate specific timing and durations if you can't make the time specified by the parent. You should never agree to babysit when you need to be at school, work, or need to look after your own child (unless you are registered for the parents-for-parents service).
- Special instructions for babies. In the case that you are babysitting a baby, be sure to ask the parents to provide you with instructions for care. For example, you should know where all of the baby's care materials are located, such as diapers, pacifiers, and so on.
- Make agreements about the use of things in the house. If you are babysitting at the family's house, don't just assume that you can make use of all of their facilities (fridge, TV, telephone, etc.). Always clarify with the parents beforehand what you can use in their home so as to ensure a positive and problem-free experience.
- House rules. Always ask the parents whether they expect someone to come to the house and if you should answer the telephone. You can also ask the parents to activate their answering machine or the call-forwarding feature on their mobile phones so that you are not distracted when babysitting. You should also ask parents to clarify when, and for whom you should answer the telephone.
- Go out investigating. What do the children like to do? Children have different interests depending on their age. Learn what they enjoy and tailor how you babysit for each child.
What to do when babysitting
Babysitting children requires some training, patience, and understanding as you should always be prepared for unexpected situations like when a baby needs a diaper change or a child makes a mess.
Step by step
- Take down the following information: phone number, address, phone number of the house where you are going to babysit, the names of the children, and (in case of emergency) the phone numbers of emergency contacts and the child's allergies. Always ask where an emergency kit is located.
- Never open the door for strangers. For your own safety, only open the door for someone that you or the parents are expecting. Always be sure to first check who is at the door before opening it and always ask parents for permission to invite visitors to their home beforehand. When in doubt, always call the parents or just don't open the door.
- Know what you will be doing when babysitting. If you have a lot of time with the children, why not try some arts and crafts? You can also ask the child to come up with some fun and safe activities themselves so as to make the experience more engaging and enjoyable for them. A positive and happy attitude also goes a long way! We've provided some activity ideas at the top of this page to provide you with some inspiration.
- Keep the child in sight and in one room, so you are sure that they are safe. Safety should always be your first priority! Make sure that you keep a good eye on the children in your care. Never let the children play outdoors unless supervised and don't bring the children on outings unless the parents have approved them first!
- Put the child to bed at the time that the parents ask you to. It is important that you put the child to bed at the time that the parents tell you to so as to not disrupt their routine and sleep schedule. This is especially important for young children; if they are put to bed too early, then they will wake up earlier and will not fall asleep anymore. If the child does not want to go to sleep, you can always try giving them their favorite toy to snuggle up with or reading them a story. Remember that young children can get cranky when they are tired! Lastly, be sure to check on the children regularly.
- Play with the child! Children love to play so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! Just be yourself and have fun - if you are having fun, chances are that the child is too. Keep in mind that children will let their parents know about their time with you, so make sure that they had a good experience.
- Clean up before the parents return. Try to leave the house in the same state as when you arrived. This means cleaning up after yourself and the child. You can always ask the child to help you put their toys away but don't make them clean the dishes for you, as you are the one responsible for them!
First contact with the family
We strongly encourage babysitters to meet the parents and children in advance. For your own safety, we recommend that you ask parents to meet in a public space, and to bring someone along with you.
You should also take your time to feel comfortable with the other party, even if that means meeting each other multiple times before the first day. Parents may also ask you to first babysit their child while they are at home. In this way, they can get to know your babysitting style better and you can ask them questions. If you opt to babysit the child at your home, make sure that the parents have already visited your home at least once before you start babysitting for them.
If you had a good meeting and want to babysit for the parent, then we advise you to sort out all important details before you start babysitting so that you are better prepared. You can use our intake form as a guideline.
Babysits provides a private messaging service to facilitate communication between users. It is essential that you communicate with other users through Babysits first, until you are comfortable enough to exchange contact information with them and switch to other messaging platforms. Please keep in mind that we can't help you with complaints about messages that have been sent externally to our messaging service, as we will not have a record of the exchange. If you use another messaging platform, it is at your own risk!
Babysitting with someone else
It's always nice to have a helping hand, especially when you are babysitting multiple children. If the parents give you permission to, why not invite a friend along to help out and keep you company when the children are asleep?