Good babysitters can be hard to come by, as evidenced by our fab childminder and sometimes babysitter who tells me that she was booked for New Years’ Eve in January.
Yes, that is this New Years’ Eve coming, January just gone. She is a woman in demand.
And while we pay our babysitter the going or agreed rate, there is still something to be said for treating your babysitter really well too.
First of all, if they’re good – reliable, punctual, brilliant with your kids, trustworthy – then you want to keep them on side in case you ever need them again.
And secondly, you want a happy babysitter who thinks so much of you that they are also really on the ball with your kids.
A babysitter, paid or not, has a job to do in your home while you are absent and so therefore, you are chief CEO of your company, Family.Inc; and need to manage the whole thing accordingly.
Here are 10 things you can do to keep your babysitter happy:
1. Agree A Rate
Rates should be agreed in advance of your babysitter’s arrival so there are no problems at the end of the night. A fee is a fee and shouldn’t be negotiated at one in the morning when you’ve had a couple of drinks and your babysitter is tired. Pay up promptly on returning home with a big huge ‘thank you!’
2. Don’t Mess With The Schedule
Try not to re-schedule a night out last minute unless the situation is unavoidable – your babysitter has made themselves available to you and so you could be preventing them from booking in other work. This also applies to the time you say you’ll be home at – be as close to your expected home time as possible (this point is also known as ‘Don’t take the piss)
3. Provide Transport
Especially home. Most babysitters are young women and so it is your responsibility to make sure they get home from your house to theirs safely. If you’re getting a taxi back from your night out, why not arrange for your taxi driver to run the babysitter home too? #sound
4. Leave A List
This doesn’t have to be a PowerPoint presentation or typed out on laminated paper, but it is handy for a babysitter to refer to a couple of notes jotted down on paper while you’re not there. It could be the name of the place you are going to, contact phone numbers, baby feed information if there is a small baby to mind, how to turn on and off the heat etc.
5. Sort Out The Munchies
There is nothing worse than sitting in a stranger’s house for an extended period of time and feeling like you can’t help yourself to the fridge. Stock up on some refreshments and munchies for your babysitter, point to where they are at and tell them you expect them to help themselves! You might even leave some money for a takeaway if you are heading out early, or pop a plate of dinner for them into the fridge.
6. Be Clear
Make sure your babysitter knows exactly what’s expected of them while they are in your house and minding your kids. If you don’t want them to have an alcoholic drink or invite any friends over, be straight up with them. There’s no point in having the argument later.
7. Be Available
Keep your phone handy and check in with your babysitter when you can – once during the early part of the evening and once to say you are on the way home should be fine. Don’t just disappear! Let them know they can text or call with any questions too if they’re worried about anything.
8. Do The Hard Work First
Feed the kids dinner, get them into the bath and at least in pyjamas before the babysitter comes really helps them out. The dream would be to have the kids in bed by the time the babysitter comes but if your house if like mine, my kids usually don’t go to bed BECAUSE I’m trying to go out. So let them stay up for a bit for a ‘party’ with popcorn, colouring books and instructions for bedtime.
9. Set Them Free
Do not talk drunken shite at your babysitter when you come home. They do not care, they are tired, they want to go home. Scarlet for you.
10. Be Grateful
I like to let our babysitter know that I appreciate her as best I can. Sometimes, that’s with an extra couple of quid, sometimes, it’s with a nice text or a message from us or the kids. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so don’t forget to say thanks.
Got any to add to this list? Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page!