Article by Amy van Weelderen of Lullaby League, telling you how to keep your babysitter coming back.
Finding a great babysitter is hard enough. Keeping a great babysitter is a whole other story, and it can be somewhat of a challenge. When you find that “special someone” who is great with the kids, take note of the following five ways to keep then coming back.
1. Pay Your Babysitter a Decent Wage
You get what you pay for, and that includes babysitters. The going rate for a qualified babysitter is $10-$15
per hour, depending on how many kids you have. Don’t be stingy now. If your sitter does crafts, plays games and entertains your little ones without the use of electronics (i.e. dumps them in front of the TV while she texts her friends), than compensate her for her hard work. If you babysitter engages and entertains your kids then let her know you appreciate her hard work.
2. Leave Food in the House
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard sitters tell me that parents don’t leave enough food in the house. If your little darlings get hungry, make sure you leave designated snacks available and clearly review with the babysitter who is allowed to eat what. Also, if the babysitter is feeding your kids at mealtime make sure there is enough food for her as well. Let her know what she is welcome to munch on and make her feel comfortable and invited into your home.
3. Make Sure Your Sitter Knows how to Reach You
Leaving cell phone numbers is a no brainer. Letting the babysitter know where you will actually be is another must. In the off chance that she does need to reach you for an emergency and you aren’t answering your cell, it is important for her to know where you physically are so she can call the manager, maître d’ or yoga instructor should she need to.
4. Be Honest About Your Kids
Our little angels are not always angels. If you know your son or daughter typically has a massive freak out at dinner or bed time just let the babysitter know what to expect. Give some suggestions as to what has helped in the past and be clear as to what she might have to endure. Knowing what to expect will help ease everyone’s tension and odds are your little angel won’t go into full tantrum mode with a babysitter (they like to save that for us moms).
5. Come Home on Time
Sure, we are a little old for curfews, but it’s always nice to be respectful of your babysitter’s time, too. If you planned on being home by midnight but find yourself in the middle of a highly charged karaoke competition, call the sitter and see if extending the time home another hour or so is okay with her. You expect her to be respectful of your time, so have the same courtesy for her.
Never at a loss for sitters, Amy van Weelderen hosts Lullaby League mixers, a service that connects busy Vancouver parents in need of part time babysitting with high quality university students.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.