What Should You Expect From Your Babysitter


The ideal babysitter knows and understands parental expectations, follows your rules, and also wows your child whilst caring for them. Understanding expectations, and being sure yours are in line with the mainstream, is central to a working babysitter arrangement. Knowing what to expect allows you to gauge whether you are getting excellent care for your children, as well as value for money. However, the term ‘babysitter’ can sometimes seem like a poorly-defined role which varies from post to post, and home to home. So, what can you expect from your babysitter?

Expecting the Basics

Every single babysitter who comes in to your home to look after your children should meet some fundamental criteria. In short they should be professional, and act with professionalism at all times. On paper this means that they have been reference-checked, vetted and operate within the Sitters framework of expectations.

You should expect a babysitter who is genuinely passionate about working with children, and understanding their needs and requirements. This will likely present as babysitters who have plenty of childcare experience either as nursery workers, teachers, or nannies, and possibly have children of their own.

Expecting Care

Once the fundamental expectations are in place, and can be taken for granted, your attention should turn to the care for your child. Babysitting, unlike many other forms of childcare, is purely and simply about caring for the child or children in the home setting, and meeting their immediate needs in that time window.

This is where the waters of expectation can get a little murky. Real-life babysitters are never Mary Poppins, and they aren’t there to take the role of the parent or primary caregiver. They are, however, there to provide for the safety, assurance, and needs of the children in their care.

In practical terms this means that you can expect your babysitter to make a sandwich or light meal, or serve up something ready prepared, but not create a three-course meal from scratch. It means following your nightly routine to get your little one(s) off in to the land of nod, but not embarking sleep training for you. It means tidying up the toys that they’ve been playing with, but not clearing up the mess in their clothes drawers your little whirlwind caused yesterday. Understanding these expectations is paramount to ensuring that you’re happy with the professional service provided.

Babysitting – The Job Description

The reality is that there is no absolutely clear job description for babysitters. Knowing what is reasonable to expect can leave you confused. Some of this will need to be worked out explicitly and directly between the babysitter and the family. At Sitters, we’re fortunate that many of our babysitters are known for voluntarily going ‘above and beyond’ what is expected. However, in all elements of babysitting, the babysitter should remain professional and focused on the needs of the children in their care.

Sitters babysitters are happy to provide babysitting services during daytime hours, as well as once your child is tucked up in bed in the evening. Therefore there are inevitably different expectations between these two different roles. However, this doesn’t mean that an evening babysitter should suddenly therefore be tasked with non-immediate childcare jobs such as cleaning, laundry or cooking. Whilst the nature of the beast is that babysitting during your child’s waking hours will require more hands-on focused care, and you can expect this in terms of playing, feeding, and caring, these tasks can’t be replicated once your child is asleep.

Babysitting – Meeting Your Expectations

As a result, what you can expect from a babysitter comes down to three central tenets: professionalism; basic childcare; and engagement. This is what you can expect from your babysitter allowing you to enter the relationship with clear understanding. You can expect to be put at ease that your children are in safe, capable, and caring hands.

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