Babysitting Tips for Teens

Babysitting is a serious job with a lot of responsibility. It can be a rewarding job especially when the children you care for develop a special bond and relationship with you and enjoy being in your care. When parents know you are a dependable, trustworthy and capable sitter, they will have you back whenever they are in need of childcare as well as possibly refer your service to other parents looking for a quality sitter. Parents understand how difficult it can be to find quality childcare and value a good sitter.

It is a good idea to first take a few babysitting courses through your local Red Cross chapter or a babysitting program through your parks and recreation department. It is also a good idea for parents to work with their pre-teen who is venturing out to obtain babysitting jobs to help them understand all aspects of caring for children. Obtaining a CPR and first aid certification is highly recommended. Parents tend to feel more confident with a sitter who has this type of training and knowledge.
Babysitting is one of the first job experiences many teenagers will have, particularly girls. Whether they are caring for younger brother’s or sister’s or children in the neighborhood, it is important they are prepared and ready to take on the responsibility. Babysitting clinics can also be found at local hospitals and offer classes on how to care for children.

Here are some helpful childcare tips and information for pre-teens and teenagers interested in providing babysitting services.

* Always make sure your parents know where you will be doing the child care at. Be sure to have access to a telephone, ideally your own cell phone. You can always use the phone at the residence where you are babysitting at for important or emergency calls.

* Know the address of the residence where you are providing the childcare at in the event you must call 911.

* Never leave a child unattended around any water such as a bathtub, swimming pool or even a small outdoor fountain since young children can drown in a small bucket of water.

* Find out from the parents if they want you to answer their home phone when they are away. Never tell anyone calling that the parents are away from the home for safety reasons.

* Ask the parents about any food allergies with their children. Ask what the house rules are in regards to snacks and meals, bedtime, playing outside, etc. and always be sure to follow them.

* Follow all house rules.

* Make sure all doors and windows are locked.

* Never unlock or answer the door to strangers.

* Make sure you know where the children are and what they are doing at all times. Always supervise young children. Never leave them unattended or allow them to get out of your sight.
* The parents of a child you will be taking care of have a responsibility to prepare the sitter. Be sure they take some time to go over the house rules and any possible special care instructions. Have them walk you through the home so you get an idea for the lay-out and where important things are at that you might need. Be sure they leave a list of contact numbers such as their cell phone numbers, a relatives name and telephone number, the pediatrician and so on. 

* Know the numbers to poison control, police and local fire dept. You can always dial 911.

* You could carry a small first aid kit with you in your babysitting bag. Some households might not have a kit and this can come in handy should you need to use it.

* Follow the instructions parents leave you regarding feeding schedules, bedtimes and nap time and any other information.

* Never sit on your cell phone or laptop when doing childcare. Your full attention must be on the children you are caring for at all times.

* Never have your friends over to the home where you are babysitting.

* Never put yourself in jeopardy regarding your own safety.

* If you do not have any experience caring for newborns and do not feel comfortable caring for them, do not take on the responsibility.

* Children learn by interacting and playing. Be sure you spend time playing games, having conversations and other fun activities with them.  Plan ahead and include some small activities in your babysitting bag. Be creative when thinking of interesting and fun things to do. Parents value a sitter who spends time doing learning activities and playing with their children.

* Always be on-time. If an emergency arises, notify the parents as soon as possible.

* Never sleep on the job.

* It is a good idea for your parents to meet the parents of the children you will be caring for.

* Assemble a babysitting bag. Use a mid sized tote bag for the items. Include a binder with an information sheet about each family you work with. Include special instructions, if any, about each child. The bag can also include small toys, crayons, coloring books and other small things that children enjoy doing.

* Remember to tidy up after yourself and the children. Parents love to come home to a house that is organized and in order.