Boys and girls often try babysitting as a way of earning extra money. But as a parent, how can you be sure your local pre-teen or teenager is a good babysitter?
What responsibilities do you have as an employer?
What Makes a Good Babysitter?
You hire a babysitter so that your children will be safe when you are away from home. You want someone with maturity and good judgment, who likes children and will do fun things with them. The babysitter should know something about child behavior, be able to handle basic needs such as meals and putting the child to bed, and have the training to deal with any problems or emergencies that may arise.
Your Responsibilities as the Employer
Introduce the babysitter to your children and pets.
Give a tour of your home and indicate areas, which are off-limits or dangerous.
Leave emergency telephone numbers including neighbors who can provide assistance and the number at which you can be reached.
Make sure the babysitter knows when to use 9-1-1, if it applies in your area.
Show where first-aid supplies are kept and ensure the babysitter knows how to use them.
Brief the babysitter about allergies, medications or other medical information.
Indicate what TV programs, music or computer games are allowed.
CSC recommends making the Internet off limits especially if you connect through a telephone modem.
Establish rules regarding visitors whether it is the babysitter's or the children's friends.
If required, explain how to use certain appliances.
Overall, you should ensure the babysitter understands the routines of your home. Some examples of this can include bedtimes, snacks, chores, activities and homework.
Arrange transportation to and from home for the babysitter.
Let the babysitter know what time to expect you home and you should phone if that time changes.
Call the babysitter at least once while you are out to make sure all is well.
The Canada Safety Council has been a leader in babysitter training since 1970. The Canada Safety Council Babysitters' Training Course provides the knowledge and skills needed to become a responsible babysitter, skills that will serve the students well into adulthood.
The program is designed for students at least 12 years old who are willing to dedicate ten hours of their time to receive certification as a trained babysitter.
By taking this course, young people show their commitment to gaining knowledge and skills to handle the many challenges of babysitting. If your child is 12 years of age or older, encourage him or her to take babysitter training.
For more information please contact Sarah Therien, Program Coordinator at (613) 736-1535 ext. 230.