The third part of this series is about hired jobs for clients (vs. babysitting your siblings). You can see all of the posts here.
- Ask where things go// There's nothing worse than not being able to find the plates for dinner or wipes to change a diaper. Or when you're trying to clean up the house but you cannot figure out where any of the toys go for the life of you. It stinks. So ask a few questions before they leave. You don't have to ask where every single toy goes but a few simple questions such as "do all the toys go in here?" "where is the broom?" or "do you mind showing me where the silverwear is?" can go a long way to make your night easier.
- Find out where cleaning supplies are// This will super impress who you're babysitting for and make your job a lot easier so you aren't scrambling to find things. It will also help you if a sudden spill occurs! There's nothing that makes you feel worse than a stained couch! With kids messes are bound to happen, be prepared!
- Get cell numbers and bedtimes!// Cell numbers is a no-brainer (but make sure you only call them if it is an emergency) and make sure you know when to put the kids to bed. You don't want older kids taking advantage of you or younger kids getting grumpy! Another important thing to note is the address in the rare case that there is an emergency that requires you to call 911.
- Pay// Every family is different so let them pay what they think is best. If you end up having a huge problem with what they paid you can decline the job next time, but don't bring it up then because you never know how they are doing financially.
- Bring some new toys// Kids absolutely love new toys to play with. I usually gather about 3 small toys/board games from home and bring them. It gets the kids pumped up and it makes you babysitting more of a treat because they get to play things they don't usually get to play with.
- Distraction is best// One of the hardest parts of babysitting for other families is when the parents leave. Children might be a little scared, especially if you don't know them too well. Distraction is your bff. This is a great time to pull out one of the games you brought, start a game of duck duck goose in the other room, or begin eating dinner while mom and dad slip out quietly. It works super well if the parents say their good byes before they actually leave and then slip out a few minutes later.
- Ask mom about movies// In my post about Babysitting Siblings I talked about watching movies. While this can be fun when babysitting other kids too, make sure you ask the parent. They may have certain rules about tech time and movie standards that aren't the same in your family.
These are just a few basic guidelines! Is there anything I missed?