Parents who employ a babysitter expect that the individual will have the knowledge, experience and abilities to perform the basic tasks that will allow the parents to confidently leave their child in the babysitter's care. Programs to certify babysitters provide instruction in a babysitter's duties and responsibilities. These programs offer training which gives babysitters the practical knowledge necessary to provide quality care for a child.
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Keep safety at the top of your list of priorities when you babysit. Parents expect that their babysitter will, above all, keep their child safe. If you work as a babysitter you must have the knowledge to identify potentially dangerous situations and avoid them. You must never leave a child unattended near a stairway, in a high chair, near a doorway, near a hot oven or lit stove or in a pool or bathtub. You must have familiarity with first-aid techniques and, if possible, complete a first-aid course. The Red Cross offers first-aid courses, as well as courses that teach babysitters health and safety techniques. The Red Cross offers these courses at Red Cross branch locations throughout the country.
Don't rely on the parents to provide you with a list of emergency phone numbers when you babysit. Make your own list of phone numbers that you carry with you at all times. Ask each family to provide you with personal numbers, including cell phone numbers, neighbour's numbers and numbers of family members whom you can call in case of an emergency. Maintain your own list with contact numbers for the local police, fire, ambulance service and poison control.
Spend quality time with the children whom you babysit and facilitate activities which develop the childrens' physical skills and provide exercise and fresh air for the children. Babysitters should prepare to take the children outside on walks or to parks to give them an opportunity to play and interact with other youngsters. Parents want their children to enjoy the time that they spend in the company of their babysitter and expect that the babysitter will initiate activities to maximise the time that he spends with the child.
Create a bond with the children when you babysit. Create or participate in activities that are age-appropriate for the children and which the children enjoy. Play games, chat, read books aloud and engage the children in enjoyable interactions. As you build your relationship with the children you will develop your position as an authority figure that the children know, trust and will listen to when you need to give them directions.
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- University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; Benefits of Employing Certified Babysitters; Marguerite Clark, et al.
- Red Cross: Babysitter's Handbook
- National Network For Child Care: Babysitter's Program
- University of Michigan Medical School: What Parents and Sitters Need to Know
- Red Cross: Babysitting