A babysitter is someone who temporarily cares for a child/children on behalf of the children's parents or guardian. A babysitter takes care of children of all ages in need of supervision.
Looking for a suitable babysitter is a challenging task for every parent. A parent wants to employ a babysitter who is experienced and dependable to confidently leave her child/children under the babysitter's care. For some people this term refers to caring for a child/children only for a few hours, while for others, it entails caring for children most hours of the day.
It is the duty of the babysitter to ensure the safety of the child/children as long as they are in her care, no matter the circumstance.
ROLE OF A BABYSITTER
- A babysitter is generally responsible for planning activities (games, sports, art) or supervising playdates. But some babysitters will have other responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning, driving to and from scheduled activities, and helping with homework.
- Plan and prepare meals for the children. The babysitter must possess basic cooking skills and have the knowledge to deal with different eating habits. She should also know basic food safety procedures such as how to avert choking.
- Bath the children and dress them up.
- Organise play activities for the children and accompany them to activities outside the home environment or at home that will stimulate children's creativity and enhance their physical wellness. These interactions will help to build a bond between her and the children.
- Discipline children using methods approved by the parents.
- Basic housekeeping/light house work. A babysitter should expect to do light household duties. Taking care of children can be messy, and babysitters need to regularly clean up. As a babysitter it is your responsibility to keep a clean child, clean up utensils, keep clean children's bedding and their play area. Keep the kitchen and its environment neat and in good condition during work hours.
- Responsible for taking children to school and back.
- Emergency preparedness. A parent feels safe knowing that the babysitter is well prepared in case of an emergency. Every baby sitter should under go emergency training such as paediatric first aid, she should also inquire about the medical history of the child/children under her care for preparation of an emergency. A babysitter should keep a record of important phone numbers and emergency contacts such as local ambulance service, fire brigade and the police.
QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS AND QUALITIES OF A BABYSITTER
- A good level of English speaking.
- A substantial period of experience in the field.
- Exceptional bathing skill, coupled with planning, dressing, and arranging the home environment.
- Exceptionally skilled in care giving; always conscious of personal hygiene.
- Ability to efficiently perform simple household activities without supervision.
- Ability to teach the children, especially subjects having to do with personal cleanliness and hygiene.
- Skilled in entertaining kids and keeping them company by playing with them, couple with proven ability to engage children in creative and learning activities.
- Demonstrated ability to care for newborns, infants, and toddlers.
- Ability to keep records of daily activities and possibly health information of children.
- Should be fairly intelligent to help the children with their homework.
- Ability to act calm in situations of medical emergencies.
- Ability to handle kids; patience is a virtue for childcare workers.
- Ability to maintain a clean and healthy environment inside the home.
- A good sense of humour.
- A positive person, it brings positive attitude towards the children.
- Warm and friendly.
- Dedication towards the job.
- Have an interest in children.
- Most babysitting jobs are part-time jobs, paid by the hour, either by specific occasion or regularly scheduled (everyday from 3-6 p.m. or every Saturday night, for example).
- Finally, you should be prepared to discuss babysitting schedules and rates, as well as the family's expectations of their babysitter.
COST OF A BABYSITTER
£7.60 to 9.20 an hour
To keep within the law, for anyone 25 and over, the national minimum age is £7.20 an hour. Those aged 18 to 20 £5.30 an hour, while those aged 21 to 24 need a minimum wage of £6.70 an hour.