babysitting checklist

Babysitting Checklist: Questions to Ask Parents Before Watching Their Kids

If you’re new to babysitting, it’s normal to feel nervous about caring for someone else’s children. After all, these kids are somebody’s whole world, and it’s your responsibility to keep them safe and sound while their parents are away. The best way to set your mind at ease and be the best babysitter possible is to ask the parents plenty of questions before they head out for the night. That way, you’ll know exactly what they expect of you and their kids’ routines. Here’s a helpful babysitting checklist of questions to ask parents before you start a childcare business.

Babysitting Checklist Questions

What time should I arrive? Do the parents want you to arrive 15 minutes ahead of time to go over any last-minute instructions?  
What time will the parents be home?
How will I be paid (cash, e-transfer, Venmo)?
My hourly/nightly rate is (enter rate). Are you good with that rate?
Who do I contact if there’s an emergency? Where are the emergency numbers located? 
What is their preferred method of communication? Text, email, or phone call. What phone numbers to use?
Do they have a first aid kit? Where is it located? 
What is the bedtime routine? What is the napping routine?
Would the parents like me to send them a photo of their sleeping child at some point during the night? If so, which form of communication should I use (text, email)?
Would the parents like me to put their child on Facetime/Skype so they can say goodnight before bedtime (if they’re going to be away for an extended period of time)?
What should I do if the child wakes up during the night? Does the parent have any tips for getting the child back to sleep?
What are the child’s favorite foods/meals?
What are the child’s allergies/dietary restrictions?
Does the child have any medical conditions or special needs I need to be aware of?
Does the child take any medication? If so, how often and how much should I give them?
Are there any particular discipline techniques that the parents use?
What activities does the child like to do for fun?
What is their policy on screen time?
Is there anything I need to know about the child’s behavior?
Are there any house rules or family rules I need to be aware of?
Is there any other information I should know to help care for the child?
Would the parents like me to text them updates throughout the night? If so, how often should I text them?
Would it be okay if I called the parents if I had any questions or concerns during their absence (or would they prefer me just to text/email them?).”

Babysitting Tips

Arrive Early

Arriving on time for a babysitting job is essential for a few reasons:

  1. It shows the parents that you are reliable and trustworthy.
  2. It allows you to review any last-minute instructions with the parents. They may want to show you where the first-aid kit is or tell you about their bedtime routine.
  3. Arriving early will help you to feel more relaxed when the parents leave.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask the parents before they leave. Generally, arriving 15 minutes early for a babysitting job is best. Arriving early will give you ample time to settle in and ensure you understand the parents’ expectations.

Negotiate Your Rate In Advance

As a general rule of thumb, you should charge around $5-$12 per hour for babysitting services. However, rates can vary depending on the number of children being cared for, the age of the children, the length of the job, and other factors. If you’re unsure about what to charge, it’s always best to negotiate your rate before starting the job. Negotiation beforehand will eliminate confusion and help ensure that both parties are satisfied with the arrangement.

Payment Options for Babysitters

When it comes to payment for babysitting services, there are a few different options. Perhaps the most common is simply to be paid in cash at the end of the job. Cash can be convenient for babysitters and parents, as it eliminates the need to worry about other payment methods. Another option is to arrange for an e-transfer before the start of the job. This ensures that the babysitter will be paid promptly and can be a good option for parents who prefer not to carry cash. Finally, some people opt to use Venmo or another similar service. Venmo can be a good option if you already have an account set up. However, it is important to remember that fees may be associated with this type of payment. Ultimately, the best method of payment will vary depending on the preferences of both the babysitter and the parents.

Explore: The Importance of a Babysitting Receipt

Receipt Book

Asking lots of questions may seem like common sense. Still, you’d be surprised how many sitters forget to do it—and then both they and the parents end up feeling stressed out and frustrated because expectations weren’t properly communicated from the start. So next time you have a babysitting gig, make sure to go over this babysitting checklist with the parents beforehand so that everyone knows what to expect and you can feel confident about providing top-notch care for their kiddos.

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We hope you find this babysitting checklist helpful. Let us know in the comments below.

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