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Guidelines for
Babysitters and Parents



Babysitter Safety Guide

Babysitters should not advertise their availability for babysitting jobs in supermarkets, window boards, or chemists. The best sources of good babysitters are from family, friends, or neighbors.

The concern with open advertising, besides making your phone number public, is that it is more difficult to determine the suitability of the employer. Babysitters must get to know the Family before taking a job.

Check references if it will be the first time working for a family. Ask to speak with previous babysitters. If contacted by a person unfamiliar to you, ask who recommended you and check it out before accepting the job. To protect yourself, make sure you or your parents know and trust the family for whom you will be babysitting. Let your parents or family know the address and phone number of where you will be in case of emergency.

Know how many children you will be babysitting. Get specific information about the bed times, foods, medicines and any other special instructions. Be sure that you are able to meet all of the requests before accepting the job.

Ask if there are any pets that you may be allergic to.

Know who you will be babysitting. Babysitting a 6-month-old baby is very different from babysitting an 8-year-old child. That is why you will need to know the ages of the children ahead of time. If you don't feel comfortable babysitting a very small baby, or if listening to a 2-year-old ask 9,000 questions makes you want to scream, then do not take the job. You must feel that you are in control while you are on the job, and if you're unsure, it's better to wait for the next job.


Parents: Get to Know Your Baby Sitter 

Ask for a resume or a list of references. Parents know how many children your babysitter is capable of caring for. Asking a babysitter to be responsible for more children then they are comfortable with compromises the children's safety - your babysitter can't be in those many places at once. Parents may wish to use two or more babysitters if the situation warrants it.

Personally interview several prospective babysitters and observe their interaction with your children. This meeting will let you see how the sitter works with the children and will help the children to become familiar with the sitter. After the interview, ask your children what they thought of the perspective sitter.

Parents should outline the babysitter's duties and responsibilities and discuss an imagined emergency situation and how he or she might react. Ask the sitter how they would handle misbehavior. When you decide on a babysitter who meets your high standards, discuss the hours and fees for service.

Ask to speak with the babysitters parents. Also write down his or her name, home address, and telephone number and, if an adult, the driver's license number. As a parent you want the best possible care for your children while you are away from them.

Check all references, contact the sitter's past employers, teachers, counselors, relatives, friends, or neighbors and ask about the sitter's qualifications for childcare. Before you hire anyone to watch over your children, however, make sure that he or she is a mature, experienced, and capable individual who truly cares about the welfare of children. 

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