Babysitting can be a great way for teens to earn extra money, but it’s also an important job that should be taken very seriously. By hiring you, the parents trust you to do a good job and to keep their children safe until they return. Put safety first by following these tips:
Write it down!
Before you accept the job...
- Know who’s hiring you. Never accept a job from someone you don’t know. If you were recommended for the job, find out who recommended you.
- Check with your parents and other sources to see if they know the family offering the job.
- Remember that babysitting is a job and professionalism is expected at all times.
- Follow the rules of the house.
- Communicate with your employer about expectations. Be specific about your duties and your fee.
- If you cannot drive, discuss transportation needs before accepting the job.
Write it down!
Make a note of:
- Parent’s name(s), all phone numbers and their home address
- Number of children, and their names and ages
- The time you should arrive at the job and an estimated length of stay
- Leave a copy of this information with your parents.
When you arrive
- Write down the names of all possible places the parents will be visiting, as well as their cell phone numbers and, if possible, a cell phone number of a close relative or neighbor.
- Make a note that local Poison Control is at KU Med Center, 913.588.6633.
- Ask for instructions concerning incoming phone calls, possible visitors and lighting to be left on after dark.
- Ask about bedtime, children’s use of electronics such as TV, gaming systems, radios and CD players, meals, snacks, diapers, medicines, visits from friends and homework.
While you’re there
- Be sure all doors and windows are locked.
- Have an emergency plan and two exits (primary and secondary) in case of a fire.
- NEVER open the door to strangers or unexpected visitors.
- If you take the children outside, don’t talk to strangers and be careful around swimming pools, roads and strange animals.
- Never go outside if you suspect someone is out there.
- If you hear suspicious noises, turn on outside lights and check by looking out the window. Do not go outside.
- Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Call 9-1-1 before you call the parents.
- Never let a caller or someone at the door know you are alone with children.
- Remember you’re a guest. Obey all rules, eat only what is offered to you and stay out of personal areas.
In case of a fire
- Get the children out immediately. Their safety is your primary responsibility.
- Stay close to the floor to avoid deadly smoke and fumes.
- Feel doors. If they’re hot, there might be a fire on the other side.
- After everyone is out of the house, call 9-1-1.
When parents return
- Inform them of any problems during your stay.
- Give them any phone messages taken and inform them of any occurrences you think they need to know about.
- If you are uncomfortable accepting a ride home from one of the parents, then insist that you call your own parents.