What do you need to know before babysitting?

Questions you should ask parents before babysitting their children. Download our free parent questions printable pdf.

Babysitter or nanny holding a child and laughing together outside.
Babysitter or Nanny smiling holding a little boy in a backyard.

Whether it’s your first time watching a child or you’ve been babysitting for years, Tandem has put together 11 tips for how to be the best child care provider you can be.

  1. Know your limitations- Download our free parent question sheet to help you know what specific questions you should ask parents before they leave. Be sure to ask questions about their expectations and what they want from a babysitter.
  2. Keep an open line of communication- Don’t feel like you have to figure everything out on your own. Communicate with the parents when you have a question and make them aware of any concerns you may have. This helps build trust with the family and shows that you want their child to stay safe and healthy.
  3. Be prepared for everything- Your number one priority as a babysitter is to keep the child you’re watching safe. That means being prepared for any and every issue or emergency that could happen. The best way to be prepared is to avoid distractions- limit time on your phone!
  4. Be well-informed- Talk to experienced babysitters and take a child safety or babysitter training course to get a handle on all of the possible situations during a job.
  5. Be organized- Kids do well with structure and routine. As the babysitter, it’s your job to maintain the schedule a parent has set.
  6. Be entertaining and have fun- First, learn the parent’s house rules about playtime. Ask if their kid can go to a playground, what their favorite toys are, and which games and electronics are off-limits. Then plan out which activities are best to keep their child active and having fun.
  7. Reinforce rules and limits- Kids will test you and push limits. You may be tempted to allow them to break all their parent’s rules so they see you as the “cool” babysitter. You shouldn’t give in, though. You’ll earn the respect of the parent and the child if you’re responsible and trustworthy.
  8. Be alert- There are dangers inside and outside of the home. Put away any distractions, keep your eyes on the kid, stay in close proximity to them at all times.
  9. Take criticism well- There’s a chance you may do something that upsets or worries a parent. Be open to their concerns. Ask how you can do a better job and reassure them that you won’t make those same mistakes next time.
  10. Be empathetic and caring- Be understanding of their mistakes. Lend a sympathetic ear when they’re upset. Be caring and let the child know that you’re their confidante.
  11. Go above and beyond- Get there early and be flexible if parents are running late. Do some extra chores around the house such as light cleaning. It will show parents that you’re more than just a good babysitter, you’re also dependable.

Babysitting can be a challenging but rewarding job. Remember to be prepared for everything but still have fun. You got this!

Read through Tandem’s Sitters FAQ’s, Tandem’s COVID-19 Protocol

Other related Blog topics: Tandem pays their babysitters 100% of their earnings here’s how, Top 3 reasons to become a child care provider

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Find after school jobs: https://www.join-tandem.com/sitters

Is your employer bulking up employee benefits in 2021? Read our most recent blog on how Tandem is assisting local businesses: https://join-tandem.medium.com/childcare-in-the-era-of-covid-19-a-guide-for-businesses-a7390cee143d

Child care isn’t just for date nights. Many parents use our services while they are working from home. Read our blog on how child care can assist you even if you never leave the house: https://join-tandem.medium.com/can-you-still-use-childcare-help-even-if-youre-not-leaving-the-house-efb587dfa235

Here are 5 tips for working from home parents: https://join-tandem.medium.com/5-tips-for-working-from-home-parents-c3eefb44cf36

6 tips for learning from home: https://join-tandem.medium.com/6-tips-for-learning-from-home-4f6b4df58baf

Here are helpful articles around COVID-19:

Your coronavirus questions answered: What families and caregivers need to know: https://www.join-tandem.com/covid19Policy

Many parents are finding their kids home from school again: https://join-tandem.medium.com/childcare-home-based-providers-are-the-future-c7d025080ffb

Listen to Tandem’s story in Salem Communication’s Local Business Spotlight Interview: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7uicmqpkq5pgx9c/LBS%20Tandem%20Childcare%2010%2003%2604%20%231.mp3?dl=0

Tandem CEO, Olivia Weinstock on Mid Ohio Breakfast Club: https://audiomack.com/wdlrnews/song/tandem?fbclid=IwAR3QMumVASuAjCoDsHqHCPP0FWShpqxllGYYnAWdVwgFwowbnKSECm5BW0s

Do you need a date night but not exactly sure what to do with the kids? 610 WTVN What Matters Podcast, Mindy and Mikaela have you covered: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/960-what-matters-with-m-29090968/episode/hr-1-need-a-date-72218445/?cmp=web_share&embed=true&pname=fb&campid=s&keyid=3577031463&fbclid=IwAR2rMzRfDnXjZ1UX_2zGOpd9dftH3fcchFIm6pVwJVFjjVy9jKdEo8GRCX8

See how Tandem helped these families in central Ohio find the perfect child care:


Check out The Work From Home Mindset For Parents by 614Mom: http://www.614mom.com/blog/2020/11/17/the-working-from-home-mindset-for-parents

Tandem Co-Founders made the Midwest’s Top Female Founders to Watch in 2021: https://www.purpose.jobs/blog/the-midwests-top-female-founders-to-watch-in-2021

About Tandem:

join-tandem.com is a completely free platform for parents to find sitters, nannies, and tutors in central Ohio. Tandem connects parents with reliably vetted child care providers near Columbus, Ohio. The Tandem Babysitting App provides flexibility for both parents and providers. Open, easy communication connecting trusting parties based on matched needs. There is an efficient payment system that allows parents to pay their child care provider through their online portal and providers receive 100% of their pay immediately.

Tandem is a free marketplace for childcare connecting families with reliably-vetted providers, and offering quality jobs to users for long lasting relationships