10 Items on Every Babysitter’s Checklist
There are few things that a veteran babysitter always has on their checklist. Your list will keep you from fumbling for information when you’re in a bind, and help prevent problems while you’re working. Here are a few of the things you should have on your checklist before your charges’ parents walk out the door.
- Emergency Contact Information – In the event of an emergency, you should know the numbers for the local police department, poison control center, and fire department. These are the numbers that you’ll only be calling when seconds count, so they should be somewhere you can find them easily.
- Family Contact Information – Cell phone numbers for parents, the address of the house in the event of an emergency requiring police or fire department assistance, and where the parents work are also information you should always have on hand.
- House Rules – It’s important to talk about the house rules with the parents, because sneakier charges will try to get away with things they know that they shouldn’t be doing. Having a written list of things that are definitely not allowed or must be done will help you stay on top of things.
- Allergy Information – You should always know about food or drug allergies your charges may have. Allergic reactions can be very serious, and should always be carefully avoided.
- Schedule – Bedtimes, snack times and acceptable times for watching television or using the internet are all things that you should know. Routines are very important for children, and you should make an effort to know the one specific to your charges.
- Likes and Dislikes – Some children are very picky about what they eat, others have a favorite toy that will always make them feel better if they’re sad. A basic idea of what works and what doesn’t will help the shift go smoothly.
- Medical Conditions – If one of your charges has a medical condition, you should know about it. If the condition has the potential to create a serious situation, you’ll want to be prepared and know how to handle it.
- Special Instructions – Always ask if there are special instructions for you to follow that aren’t covered by other areas of your checklist. With so much information to share, some can fall through the cracks. Asking this question can remind busy parents of something they would have otherwise forgotten.
- Details for Each Child – Take a bit of time to jot down details about each child that you’ll be caring for. Their names, ages and other information specific to them can help you to be prepared for certain behaviors or needs.
- Alternate Contact – Just in case the parents of your charges aren’t available to answer cell phone calls, it’s a good idea to have an alternate contact. If you have a question or a non-emergency situation arises, this person should be someone who can help.
It’s a good idea to arrive at least thirty minutes before your shift begins, so that you’ll have plenty of time to discuss each item on your list with the parents.