Your first day at work can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially because you do not know what the job would really be like. Although completing the Babysitter Training Course of workplace approved can help prepare you for this job, the actual tasks can be totally different.
On your first day, make sure that you show up early, at least 30 minutes before the parents leave. Don’t just go there and say “bye” as the parents walk out the door. Be early so that you can know more about the family’s routine and have a tour of the house.
Here are some important things you should know before the parents leave:
Location of safety equipment
- First aid kit
- Alarm system
- Fire extinguisher
- Fire escape route
List of emergency phone numbers
- Parent’s mobile phone number, office number, and the place they’ll be such as theater, restaurant, entertainment center
- Local fire station, police and poison control phone numbers
- Emergency services phone number in the area (911)
- Phone numbers of trusted relatives, friends or neighbors who live close by
- Doctor’s office number
- The home address, phone number and directions
How to care for the kids
- What foods to give the children and when to eat?
- Would you cook their foods?
- Are the kids allowed to eat sweets?
- Do they have allergies to medicines or foods?
- What are the usual hours of sleep? Are there nap times?
- Are there any bedtime routines (taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a story)?
- How to calm the kids if they cry or become angry?
- Are there any special instructions about caring for the kids?
- How to punish kids if they misbehave (taking away toys, time-outs)?
- Should you open the door? (However, it is recommended that you do not open the door for anyone while babysitting.)
- Are the kids taking any medications? (Where to find them, when to give and what is the right dose)
- Do the children have TV hours? What programs are they allowed to watch?
- Are the children allowed to play video games or use the computer?
- Can you bring the kids outside?
Dealing with special situations
- What to do if the kid gets sick?
- When to call the parents?
- If parents cannot be reached, who should you call first?
- When to call 911 and other emergency services?
Here are other important pointers to remember
- Stay off the computer or phone while babysitting. Children need constant attention and supervision. Using the telephone can divide your time and distract you. If it becomes necessary, answer only important calls and don’t stay too long on the phone.
- Don’t be afraid to say NO. If you are not comfortable at doing something, politely say no. You may be young but you are empowered.
- Stay in touch with your parents. If you are supposed to be brought home by the father but he is smelling alcohol or makes you feel uneasy, call your parents to pick you up. If anyone in the family makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, tell your parents.
- Ensure that you have taken a workplace approved babysitting first aid course. You can register for a course here.