Getting the Job
- Know your employer. Babysit only for people you or your parents know, or those for whom you have a personal reference. Answering newspaper ads may not be safe.
- Before accepting the job, get specific instructions about the number and ages of children, bed times, foods, medications, and other information about personal habits and what is expected of you.
- Get directions to the job location.
- Be sure to find out from your employers what time they expect to be back. Be sure they know how much you charge and when you must be home.
- Learning First-Aid procedures before you take on babysitting jobs will help prepare you for emergencies and may save a life.
Preparing for the Job
- Leave the name, address, and phone number of where you will be babysitting with your parents, and tell them what time your employers expect to be home.
- When you accept a job, arrive early to confirm all of this information and to get any additional instructions.
- Make sure you have transportation both to and from the job.
On the Job
- Take your babysitting responsibility seriously. Part of that responsibility is protecting yourself as well as the children for whom you are caring.
- Make sure there is pencil and paper near the telephone.
- Know how to work the door and window locks.
- Leave at least one outside light turned on.
- Locate fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and smoke alarms.
- Locate the First-Aid supplies.
- Don’t open the door to strangers. Don’t tell anyone who comes to the door that you are alone. Say you are visiting and will deliver a message.
- Don’t go out to investigate suspicious noises or activities. Instead, turn on outside lights, and call the police. Be sure all windows and doors are locked.
- If the phone rings, don’t tell the caller that you are alone. Say you are visiting and the residents can’t come to the phone. Offer to take a message. If the caller persists or gets rude, hang up.
If you leave the house during the day:
- If you are in the back yard with the children, make sure the front door is locked. If you are in the front yard with the children, make sure the back door is locked.
- If you take the children anywhere, make sure you have a house key with you when you leave. Double-check to be certain all doors and windows are locked before leaving.
- Have the children go to the bathroom before you leave to help avoid having to use public restrooms.
- When you are out with the children, don’t talk to strangers. If you suspect you are being followed at any time, go to a nearby home, store, or gas station and call the police.
- When you get back to the children’s home, if anything seems unusual—a broken window, an open door, a strange car parked outside—don’t go in. Go to a neighbor’s house, and call the police.
In Case Of Emergency
- If you suspect a fire, get the children and yourself out. Go to a neighbor's house, and call the fire department. Refer to your checklist for your employers emergency phone number. Call them and let them know where you and the children are.
- Stay calm! The most important thing to remember is that young children won't panic if you don't.
When The Job Is Over
- When your employers return home, report on what happened, especially if you considered anything unusual.
- Call home and let someone know you're on your way.
- Be sure to have an escort home; this should be one of the conditions under which you accept any babysitting job.
- If for some reason your employers won't drive or walk you home—or seem intoxicated—ask someone at your home to come and get you.