Babysitter Business

Ten things your caretaker should know.

1. Inform the babysitter of the floor plan. When working with a new sitter, ask him or her to arrive early tour the house or apartment. This lets the caretaker get acquainted with the surroundings, making it easier to find things, such as bathrooms, emergency exits, fire extinguisher locations.

2. Refer to a checklist. Provide a written list of information, including the full names of both parents or guardians and children, emergency contact phone numbers, physical descriptions of the kids, medical conditions and other critical details. Enjoy this printable babysitting checklist. (“babysitting checklist” is hyperlinked to PDF Lisa and I created for readers to print out)

3. Have special instructions. Give simple instructions regarding bedtime and TV-watching guidelines, as well as more important information concerning allergies, asthma and other medical conditions. Also, it may be helpful to write down a list of where to find specific foods, toys, medications and other often relied on items.

4. Give preparation for expected visitors. Provide your childcare providers the full name, physical description and arrival time of any potential visitors. Otherwise, the door shouldn’t be opened for anyone.

5. Establish rules. If your nanny isn’t made aware of the less obvious principles of behavior you require at home, he or she may unwittingly undermine your authority. Make sure you tell the sitter about family rules like no sugary drinks after dinner or no TV before bed.

6. Get personal. Sometimes a child can only be soothed in a certain way. To make the experience easier on everyone, clue in your sitter how to best placate your kids.

7. Review what’s is expected. A babysitter’s job is to watch your children, not do your laundry. But if there is a specific chore you’d like to get done— say, washing the sippy cups when your kids are finished drinking rather than just leaving the cups in the sink— tell the sitter.

8. Provide insurance information. If the kids have to be taken to the hospital, insurance information is crucial. Leave your sitter with as much of this information as you feel comfortable with, particularly if you won’t be able to be contacted.

9. Express permission of what can be used. Make the sharing policy, or lack thereof, known in the household. This includes the consumption of food and drinks and the use of amenities, such as the TV and the computer. Even if you would be fine with providing your sitter with a bottle of water, he or she likely won’t raid your fridge without the green light.

10. Ask for proper phone numbers. Have your sitter’s mobile number with you for easy access. Also, let your the caretaker know whether or not to answer the home phone if it is rings.