What Should Parents Realistically Expect From A Babysitter?

In today’s world, the duties of a babysitter vary long and wide. For instance, some babysitters may be much like a nanny – required to do much of the housework. While other babysitters may simply just watch over the children. With such a wide definition for babysitters, it’s hard to determine what should be realistically expected from them. What exactly falls under a babysitters job description? To be honest, there is no standard definition of a babysitter. It all depends on the individual family and the babysitter.

Realistically, the job requirements of a babysitter typically vary by experience, age, pay rate and hours. However, in today’s society a babysitter’s responsibilities may include things like:

• Cooking and/or feeding
• Housekeeping
• Laundry
• Running Errands
• Transporting children (taking them to and from school, soccer practice, dance, etc.)
• Helping with homework
• Making snacks
• Preparing children for bed (bathing, brushing teeth, reading stories, tucking in, etc.)
• Playtime and/or lessons (reading, crafts, games, etc.)

The list is long and it can be confusing for parents. Many times they don’t know what to ask of their babysitter – and even worse, do babysitter’s know what is expected of them? Below are some useful tips when it comes to determining the responsibilities for your babysitter.

Discuss The Expectations With Your Sitters

The easiest and best way to determine what to expect, is to discuss it. Some sitters will happily oblige to extra responsibilities, while others may refuse or agree with extra pay. However, it’s important that parents express that the number one priority is caring for the children. Parents should also ensure that the babysitter will not feel weighed down, stressed or upset over additional responsibilities. If you can, negotiate with your babysitter about pay and possible duties. Of course, if you are expecting additional responsibilities it’s in good taste to offer extra pay.

Look At Qualifications of Babysitters Nationwide

Take a look at the babysitter’s qualifications and put the child’s safety first. For instance, a 17-year-old and first-time babysitters may not know first-aid or CPR, but a 30-year-old certified babysitter will. Your expectations as a parent should vary depending on how competent the babysitter is. This will ensure that all children are being cared for, regardless of additional responsibilities.

Communicate Regularly With Your Child Care Professional

Once the expectations have been set, it’s a good idea to communicate regularly. As time goes on the once set expectations may change. Encourage the babysitter to call or communicate with any comments, questions or suggestions. Regular communication allows the babysitter and parents to express concern, update agreements and add or remove responsibilities. Plus, regular communication allows for a happy and healthy relationship – for parents, sitter and children.

Hiring Warm and Experienced Babysitters Now

By being upfront with expectations, everyone can avoid embarrassment, stress and guilt. While parents should never be too demanding of a caretaker, they do have a right to ask for additional services. However, these must be discussed in an open manner for the best results. After all, no one wants to raise children in a harsh environment.


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