I’d like to give Retha Koekemoer, a big warm welcome to our team. She’ll be assisting in checking references, assisting candidates through our application process, checking documentation, setting up interviews and working closely with all of you going forward! Welcome Retha! we look forward to having you on the team for years to come!
Another wonderful update for our staff and clients. We are adding candidate’s photo’s to profiles on our website. If you are listed with us, check out your profile in the next few days. We are uploading these manually so it may take some time before yours shows up. If you don’t like your current photo please send a new one to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please ensure that your photo is in an ID style but includes a lovely smile.
What we like:
What we don’t like:
Please do not send us photos including
- other people (or any part of another person either around you or next to you)
- Your friends
- Other people’s children
Sitters4U has just launched its updated website. The first thing you will notice is that Sitters4U no longer includes the frailcare section which is now available at www.frailcare 4u.co.za.
There are 3 places in which you can operate the sitters4u website, either using the quicklink section on the top right hand side of the page, or breadcrumb section under the main photo of each page or from the navigation bar at the top of the site.
In the first section ‘Au pairs’ you’ll find everything you need to know about using our service, including our new salary calculator. Using the calculator simply enter the number of hours you require per week, the minimum rate and maximum rate, you can use the guidelines provided to establish what hourly rate you should be offering, once you have entered this information this calculator establishes the salary you should be offering an au pair.
The au pair section also features a number of useful articles for parents to review, including interview guidelines, maintaining a good relationship with your au pair and everything you may need or want to know about the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Next up on our service list is our babysitting club service. This service caters to long term babysitting clients looking for a reliable babysittiing service for occasional evening and weekend babysitting services. Most of our babysitters are teachers or au pairs by day and quality of staff and service, our number one priority. You can sign up for the club by clicking here.
Once signed up and registered, you can easily login at the top right hand corner of the site and make your bookings online. Select your chosen candidate , or leave it blank and complete the booking date and time. Its that simple. We then ensure that even if your regular sitter is not available, you have a number of babysitting options to choose from.
Our other services include frailcare services through the Frailcare4u website, housesitting, driver placements and the placement of tutors, facilitators, homeschool teachers, and trainers.
Moving on to our Apply section, you will notice the new news section displayed through out most pages of the website and throughout the entirety of the apply section. This feed makes it simple for candidates to see and receive new notifications about what new positions are available, i.e. Get an instant message via email everytime we have a new position available. You can subscribe to this feed by clicking the RSS button or filling in your email address for email notices on the website in the space provided below the feed. You can then respond immediately to positions as they become available. Please note only candidates that have been interviewed and approved for listing may respond to available positions.
We’d love to know how many of our candidates are using smart phones, or receive their email via their cellphones. Take the poll:
In our articles section you will find articles of interest such as , our positive discipline guide and information about the duties of au pairs and child carers. We also feature ‘How to’ guides for applying for listing with us, and a new section for updating your references and contact details for our already listed staff.
Au pairs, night nurses, babysitters, infant care specialists and drivers must all complete this form to apply. Tutors, home school teachers, facilitators and trainers can use this form, while house and pet sitters make use of this one.
Our application forms are all online making applications a simple 2 step process in order to be considered for positions. Complete the form and send your documentation as specified in the guide provided in order to be considered for interview.
We are looking for candidates for au pairing, babysitting, night nursing, infant care specialists, tutors, drivers, home school teachers and instructors. Listing and applying with Sitters4U is 100% free. Click here to recommend your friends to join our team. Please do remember that we require candidates to have professional experience with references, their own vehicle, a minimum of matric ( preferably higher) and a willingness to do a first aid course if not yet completed.
Over here you can find recommended childcare course providers.We highly recommend checking out the national first aid academy’s website if you are looking for a SETA approved coure provider at an excellent price.
For any other queries or questions, contact us by using the form on our contact page, or using one of the various methods provided on the contact page.
Sitters4U, putting you first, always.
The NFAA ( National First Aid Academy) is a SETA approved first aid course provider. Their services range from basic to Level 3 courses. As an au pair or child carer you are responsible for the children you care for and it is imperative that you are trained to handle any and every medical situation that may arise while you are caring for a child. Doing a simple safety course will not cut it. In order to care for a child you need at least a SETA approved level 1 course.
The NFAA’s level 1 course covers all of the following topics:
- Principals of first aid and safety
- Emergency Management
- Artificial Respiration
- One rescuer C.P.R
- Wounds and Bleeding
- Head and Spinal Column injuries
The duration of the course is generally 16 Hours or 2 days and it is one of the most reasonably priced courses in South Africa at only R400.00 per student, whereas most level 1 courses run for around R 600.00 per student. The certificate is also valid for 3 years.
Up and coming level 1 first aid course dates with the NFAA in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria are:
- Vereeniging/vanderbijlpark: 7-8 September 2010
- Bellville: 13-14 September 2010
- Protea Hotel, Victoria Junction: 21-22 September
- Elsiesriver: 31 august – 1 September 2010
For Further information or to book contact the NFAA on 086 163 2200
I just want to tell you, you guys are the best au-pair agency in Cape Town!I am registered at 2 other agencies,and they never keep me updated on au-pair positions like you do,and not at all helpfull!!Sitters4u are really the best agency,and all my friends and family agree.Thank you!
Its receiving email like this from our staff and clients that keep us giving the best service we can give, not only to our clients but our candidates too!
Up until just recently Sitters4U was sending out a monthly newsletter, ‘The Mom’s Gig Guide’ . This newsletter featured events that would be of interest to both parents, children and staff. However after much debate, revision and review of our newsletter we tested a few different formats to determine what information the receivers of our newsletters prefer. After watching the statistics, we decided it was about time for a revamp! Sitters4U is about placing top quality au pairs, babysitters, drivers and more, while adding value to the service our clients receive from us.
Thus far we have achieved this through adding free services such as comprehensive guidelines on interviews processes for both clients and au pair staff, articles of interest, The Mom’s Gig Guide, the Mom’s Link Directory and a number of other services. The core function of Sitters4U though, is and always will be our placement services. We have found that while it is regrettably impossible to please all of our clients, all of the time we are in fact pleased about this. We prefer quality over quantity, it has always been the a golden rule I have held close to my heart through any endeavour I have undertook. If you are going to do something, do it properly or not at all. We cannot have a large number of perfect choices for any client, in any place, at any required time, if we did, we would need to accept 100% of the applying applicants and 90% of the candidates we would be promoting would not best possible au pairs or staff we could find. Considering the fact that only about 10% of applicants ever make it through the initial applications, interviews, reference and background checks, to join the Sitters4U team, and we are proud of each and every one of those that do make it all the way.
In our new newsletter we will still feature a calendar where you can link to the The Mom’s Gig Guide to keep up to date with what activities are happening in your city. However we will be focusing mainly on our newly listed au pairs, tutors, house sitters and drivers, who they are, what they have achieved thus far, details on their experience and what they are looking for in a family, their current times of availability, areas of availability, and salary requirements. We feel that this is a great way for clients to also become a little more informed as to new staff that may be of interest to them and be the first to request interviews with them.
We hope that our clients and candidates alike, will join us in welcoming our new staff to the Sitters4U team! We will be sending out the first newsletter on 28th of April 2010.
We had a great night and the boys as well ! They were really positive about Madeleine and even the littlest one asked in the morning where she was, he wanted her around ! We’ll definitely be in touch when we need a sitter again,
Its only a pleasure Chantal! As a new family just arrived in South Africa, we certainly understand how a good support system can be difficult to build and vital at the same time, and we will be there to assist you with your child care requirements for as long as required. Thank you for using our babysitting services and we look forward to assisting you in the future.
You know, our website has always been a source of immense pride for me. Every word, page, article and piece of information has been created with love, thought and of course always keeping in mind that it should be easy for our clients to use.
I have just been using sitters4u. What a well-designed website! Usually these database-driven sites are slow, confusing and cumbersome. This site is a breeze.
All the best
Thank you Louise! You made my day.
Today I have to admit I have been feeling a little under the weather. Both my daughter and I have been at home, sick , and of course hubby isn’t feeling a thing, yet. I think I pulled through the day in fine form though.First there was coaxing my daughter to stay in bed, which was difficult but we survived with a few books, some drawing and more coaxing. Work was another story altogether… and I feel its my duty to tell you why, even though my head was throbbing and my temperature a little above normal, it was a great day!
What made it such a great day? Well normally its happy clients and candidates that make my work rewarding but let me bring your attention for a moment, and my praise, to a company that worked wonders with a smile for one of our clients this morning. About 2 days ago the client contacted me and told me she would be flying to Cape Town and would require a babysitter over the weekend. We sorted out for her booking for her quite quickly and then early this morning, she called. She had just landed at the airport and had to hire a vehicle but then she had a bit of a shock. She realised she did not have a car seat for her 14 month old son.
Frankly, I’m a little surprised to find that vehicle rental companies do not have car seats available for rent, apparently they don’t ( I know shocker right!). She called to ask me to find out if perhaps I knew of a place she could hire one from. Right off the bat I knew who to call…. Babylite , I found them a while ago and they are listed on our “Mom’s Link Directory”. They hire out a massive array of child related products including prams, car seats, baby monitors, toys , walkers, chairs, safety gates and more. Better yet is that they are everywhere from Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Plett, to George, Durban and a long list of others.
To take some pressure off the client though, I called on her behalf. I got through to Shawn from their northern suburbs branch. Now just so that you can understand the magnitude here, the client is staying in town centre which is quite a distance in Friday traffic from the northern suburbs ( at least an hour and a half, both ways). I asked Shawn to give her a call and assist. Shawn called her right away, took her requirements down and Babylite then delivered the car seat to her at her guest house. A little while later she called me to say thank you. What superb service! Shawn and Babylite, on behalf of our client and myself, a big thank you! You and your company really made my day!
Just an email we received recently that I thought too lovely to not share with you:
Hi Nicole, I just want to say thanks for the interview yesterday. I found your agency much more interested and helpful than previous agencies I have been to. You guys are really great. I look forward to joining your team. Have a great weekend. Siann
Thank you Siann, Welcome to the team and have a fantastic weekend!
Received this morning from one of our babysitting clients, a big thank you to Vanessa for trying our service and putting a smile on my dial!
We were very happy with Karen. Davrin took to her immediately and I had a lovely evening while they played, it was wonderful!
We will definitely ask for Karen again next time we need help with babysitting, she is great!
Thank you so much for the service you provide to all us exhausted mums!
Au pair, au pairs, baby sitters, babysitter, child, children, clients, consistent, discuss, economy, enjoy, find, flourish, frail care, give, Goals, good relationship, Maintain, motivation, night out, parenting, relax mom, rewarding, safety children, share, Sitters4U, South Africa, stay positive
I am ecstatic! Finally, months of work, sleepless nights and barely any social activity finally bears fruit…I am watching as I am typing this, our new website go live. Features include forms for every service, navigation that ensures you know where you are always, and some other wonderful features on our Content Management. Over 200 pages all neatly tucked into their individual spaces and all fully, easily navigable!
Like I said I am ecstatic. Check it out www.sitters4u.co.za
This weekend we will be hosting the Pediatric First Aid course in Midrand, we still have space available, so if you are keen to join sign up by clicking here now.
Water safety is of extreme importance at this time of the year. More children die from drowning in South Africa than vehicle accidents, statistics report approximately 3 children die daily from drowning and more than 2 per week in pools at home. So this should make it severely obvious as to how important water safety is. Water is the silent killer and it can happen in front of your eyes in as little as 30 seconds, children playing underwater games in the pool, or running around the pool, swimming in a river or ocean after lunch, a strong current, that’s as little as it can take, I personally drowned at age 2 and had to be given CPR by my mother ( this is one of the reasons I am so vigilant about first aid) So what can you do to protect your child?
Well to start off with no child under the age of 14 should be alone or even with peers in and around a pool, river, ocean or any body of water for that matter, not even children who are thoroughly competent swimmers. A small child can drown in only 4 cms of water so even the bathroom or a bucket can be fatal for our little ones. I urge parents, make sure that your child knows the dangers and never goes near water without you.
At home ensure to limit access to the pool and bathrooms, install a pool net and make sure that you have a pool alarm ( visit www.kindersafe.co.za or www.4akid.co.za , both pages are also accessible from our moms link directory on Sitters4U.co.za). Another thing one should be aware of , which a lot of parents do not think about, is warm water, I call it “warn water” and it is the most dangerous, drowning area, a jacuzzi, a bath, anywhere with hot water. Think about it, the hotter the water, the faster your heart rate and the greater the need for oxygen to the brain. In warm water it is easy to pass out, and drowning is far more damaging, you will be less likely to perform a successful Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR ( even if you are able to do CPR, the child will have irreparable brain trama and damage not to mention the rest of body). So always be with your children near water. Don’t swim after eating, and teach your children the dangers, talking to your child could save his or her life, even if they are the strongest swimmers they are not safe if you are not watching them.
Have a happy, safe, water fun filled summer folks! Till next time..
What makes us Different?
- We don’t deduct money from our candidates wages
- We can help you at the touch of a few buttons
- We know that no matter who you leave your child with you want your child to have a great time even when you aren’t there, we concentrate on matching our candidates experience to your requirements, whether you just need a babysitter or a full time au pair
- We concentrate on local placement only!
So how are we doing all this?
Well we have taken the nitty gritty out of seeking candidates and yes we are extremely strict with the ladies that get onto our listing, so we may not have 1000’s available, however the ones we list all have:
- Have at least 1 years child care experience as an au pair or babysitter with contactable references
- Have their own reliable child safe vehicle and a valid South African driving license.
- hold a valid first aid certificate or apply to do one with Sitters4U.
- No criminal record.
- Are in good health!
- Have a friendly, outgoing and caring personality.
- Are relatively active and enjoy being outdoors.
- Love being around children and enjoy doing creative activities with them.
- Most hold a child care related tertiary education
- range between age 20 and age 50
- Are able to take the initiative in situations, from creating fun things to do, to handling an emergency situation.
- Look as child care as more than a job, see it as a commitment to the children they care for, and gain joy from the responsibilities of doing so.
So don’t expect a million candidates, expect only the best!
This is actually an article I wrote a while ago for our website. You see I have found that no matter how good the au pair is , if the parents aren’t making the time to maintain the relationship with the au pair there is honestly no way its going to work in the end. Most of us often feel guilty for not having as much time as we would like to have with our kids, its easy to then live without rules and boundaries ( read our article about positive discipline). The au pair is not a replacement for you, she is instead a helper and needs your help and co operation to provide your children with the help you need. SO…
You have been through the interviews, you have asked the questions and found the au pair you have been looking for. Your children love her, she does a starling job. Maintaining this good relationship and a harmonious living space is of the utmost importance. There are always going to be moments when it is difficult to remember tact and compassion when emotions are in control. The question raised then, is how do you tackle difficult situations, how do you give feedback and communicate problems to your au pair whilst maintaining a good relationship with your au pair?
Tackling the issues:
- Take into account how your au pair usually reacts to feedback. Most au pairs tend to view all feedback as criticism and in most cases this is exactly what it has been. Changing this perception is up to you. If she seems to be defensive the minute you start talking, be careful. Don’t abandon dealing with the problem, however, do try to be gentle. It is best not to create an entire list of problems and then try to approach them all in one go. Try to approach one problem at a time, while remembering that any feedback should always be accompanied by constructive praise. Focus on the facts. They are easier to act on and less open to disagreement than vague assumptions. Keep your comments to focusing on behavior rather than personality traits. By explaining the problem and then discussing solutions you can work on together, rather than launching a straight forward attack without offering solutions, doing this will achieve results you desire.
- Is the anguish you are experiencing over an issue really worth it? There is a very easy answer to this question. If you find yourself feeling more concerned about the problem, than the concern you have about talking to her, then it is probably a good idea to speak to her. If not, let it go.
- Always consider your motive for approaching your au pair about a problem. If it is because you are wanting to get something off your chest, you feel like giving her a piece of your mind, or just feel that telling her off once in a while reasserts your authority, then the best reaction is no reaction! On the other hand, if your motives are centered around the welfare of your children, an genuine wish to help your au pair improve in her job or a chance to put right a misunderstanding, are all commendable reasons for giving feedback or bringing up a problem.
- Keep your feedback positive and action based. Once you have made your point and heard her side, move forward and enjoy the improvements. This will allow you to share in the action and monitor what happens next.
- If the problem is a serious one give your nanny a chance to state her case, especially when the problem was brought to your attention by a third party. You have a right bring up these concerns with your au pair and a right to expect progress. It is how you do it that makes the difference!
- There are also some things you can do to maintain a good relationship and you will find that keeping these things in mind will be appreciated and reflected back to you by your au pair:
- If you know you are going to be home late, call your au pair in advance to let her know.
- Always pay your au pairs wages or money owed on time. Your au pair will not be happy if she has to chase after you.
- Try to ensure that your home is clean when the au pair arrives.
- Do not view babysitting as automatic, this is an extra service and the au pair may have her own plans. Inform her as early as possible if you will need someone and ask if she is available.
- Be consistent with both your children and your au pair. She will know she has your support and will feel more confident in dealing with the children.
- Do not expect extra duties not in the contract unless thoroughly discussed and agreed to before dishing out demands.
- Do not talk to your friends about the au pair in front of children, they understand and repeat.
- Try to be sympathetic when your au pair is ill, unfortunately this does happen to everyone on occasion.
- Don’t let your friends and relatives boss her around.
- Ensure that should your au pair work over time, you remember to pay her.
- Give feedback.
- Once again consistency is key, do not expect your au pair to ensure a balanced diet for the children and then you feed them Junk food and Coke. Work together to provide your child or children with the best care possible.
Any relationship takes nurturing and caring, whether with your friends, work colleges and especially your family. The relationship with your au pair deserves the same treatment, if not more so. She is there too help your children reach their full potential in life. You will find that by following these simple guidelines not only will your behavior be reciprocated, but you will never be disappointed, you and your family will reap the rewards she offers.
Welcome to Sitters4U’s Blog!A spot where you will find information about us, what we do, why we are unique and why we are the best local placement agency in Cape Town Johannesburg and Pretoria for private child, home and frail care placements.
Its here you will find our articles, host discussions and bring the fun back into being a parent! The best paid and rewarding job in the world. We aim to add value to the lives we touch through consistent and dependable service…
Welcome to our Blog…read and enjoy!
Choosing a Baby sitter
Choosing a reliable babysitter whom you can trust with your children can be tedious and down right scary, especially if your children are still very young. Knowing what to ask, what to check and what instructions and information to give this person is of critical importance. Although it’s scary, being cautious and doing your homework will give you peace of mind and that’s worth its weight in gold.
…So what is the first step? How do you begin your search? What options are there?
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is probably one of the best ways of finding a babysitter, as long as the people you are asking are people you know well and trust. This is especially true if your children are the same age. You are trusting the lives of your children to this person, so if they come highly recommended by someone who has used their services, then it’s probably a safe option.
If you don’t have good friends that know of an excellent sitter then an agency is another safe route to take as long as they are a reputable company which has very high standards for their staff. It is of great importance that, when contacting the agency, you make them are aware of the age of your children and your needs for the evening that you will be away. You should also ensure that the sitter suggested has experience, has been reference checked and has her own transport. It is also important that the agency sends you a sitter whose age, experience and training is suitable to your children’s needs. An agency, if they do ensure these factors, you may just solve your babysitting requirements for all time! Reputable agencies definitely do take the pressure off you to find what you are looking for.
….If you are doing it yourself though there are many factors to take into account:
Consider the age of your children and that of the sitter:
Younger teenagers do not posses the emotional or physical maturity to deal with the many problems that could arise; in fact some of the situations that could arise may even be caused by this. A good general rule to apply: the younger the children, the older the babysitter should be and the more experience they should have. The sitters level of maturity is of vital importance to your children’s care and your own peace of mind. If you are comfortable with just anyone then that’s your choice. However considering the babysitters own behaviour and maturity is a major consideration before leaving your children with her or him. Another consideration you should take into account is that; should you leave your children with anyone under the age of 16, you are legally responsible for anything that occurs in your absence.
Interview the potential candidates
Again if you are doing the research yourself, it’s important to hold interviews with any potential sitters, to ensure that they are appropriate for your children. Arrange to interview the candidates. Invite them to your home; find a good interview guide that will help you in knowing what questions to ask. Keep it casual so that you get to know what they like on a professional and personal level. If you interview a candidate that you feel may be “the one”, introduce her/him to your children and observe their interaction. Let the children lead the interaction, from showing her their room, or favorite toys etc. Do they interact well? Is the sitter genuinely interested in your children and do they like her as well? Your children will be a great indicator of the sitters sincerity and suitability. After she leaves chat to the children and value their opinion of sitter. The combination of your and their instincts will give you the impression you need.
Check potential sitters references
References are of the utmost importance! References can be an excellent indication of the sitters capabilities, skills and personality. Ask about the reference about their children, how old they were when the sitter cared for them, did they ever experience problems with reliability, time keeping or otherwise? What was their children’s opinion of the sitter? What was the sitters interaction with the children and what responsibilities did she have?
Quality and Personality
Some of the qualities and personality traits you should ascertain in your ideal candidate include:
- Is she in good health? She should preferably not smoke, be experiencing any illness at the time of the babysitting and have no contagious diseases/viruses.
- Is she dependable and responsible? She must be dependable in the sense that if she experiences any problems whatsoever, she feels confident enough to contact you about it. It should be clear that she is willing to this and that if she cant make it to the job for any reason she gives you enough time to find a suitable replacement. She needs to realize that she is responsible for your children’s health and welfare whilst they are in her care.
- Does she have a genuine interest in child care? She should be understanding and love being around your children and this can be shown through her experience, training and as mentioned previously, your children will automatically know whether her interest is genuine or not.
- Self confidence is also very important. Your children will respond better to a sitter who can remain calm in all situations. She should be self confident and present herself in a respectable manner. She should be respectful of the children in the same way that you are. She should have good manners, and respect for the privacy of your family; both for your personal space, possessions and information. Cross questioning her about the previous babysitting jobs and families she has worked for and her attitude towards them is another great indication.
- She should show a basic understanding of the different stages of a child’s development. For example she should know that whilst removing privileges from an 8 year old may work for discipline, a 2 minute time out for a 2 year old will work better than taking away his toys, if she knows how to implement it properly or that for example, while a child of 10 years old goes to bed at 9pm and 4 year old may need to be in bed at 7pm.
- She should be adaptable to your pattern and routines and have a responsible outlook towards working with you. This can be evaluated by the information she requests from you, emergency numbers, the route to the closest hospital, what the children are allowed to eat and what they are not etc.
- Above all trust your instincts!
Emergencies and Medical Training
Accidental injuries in the home are one of the highest causes of death in children under the age of 14 in South Africa today and in fact the world over. Scary, right? The importance of proper first aid training should be obvious and cannot be stressed enough.
Ideally your sitter should have first aid training and know the Heimlich manoeuvre and the appropriate way to use this technique age appropriately. Knowledge of CPR techniques for children and infants is also vital. You should have a first aid kit which is accessible to them and they should know where this kit is located. Sitters need to be alert at all times, if they suspect that a child requires professional medical assistance for any reason what so ever, they need to feel secure to do it even if it ends up to be unnecessary. If they do not have proper training they should at the very least be able to think logically and rationally in the case of an emergency.
In the case of an immediately life threatening emergency, a medical professional is allowed to treat your child, however if the situation does not immediately threaten the child’s life, the doctor will not be able to help without your consent. Ensuring that you leave a “consent to treat” letter with your sitter is a good option if you are very worried about this.
Remember that nothing is more important than the safety and well being of your children. Be prepared and responsible. Never cut costs when it comes to the safety measures you put in place! Your sitters ability to remain calm in the event of an emergency can mean the difference between the life and death of your child. Cutting corners and not doing proper research on your sitter can be fatal.
Make sure your sitter knows the following basic safety guidelines:
- Never give a child any medication without written consent from you.
- Never leave the children alone outside or even inside, not even for a minute.
- Children must never be left alone near water. Infants and small children under 5 years of age can drown in a matter of minutes in only a few centimetres of water.
- Do not give children under the age of 5 hard sweets, popcorn, nuts or other foods that may cause blockage. Large pieces of food, particularly meat, should always be chopped into edible portions before being given to younger children.
- Keep children away from small objects, plastic bags and balloons. Children should also not be permitted to play in the kitchen, near the stairs, windows and should be monitored to ensure they do not go near electrical power points.
…Now you have now found a sitter you are happy with, and tonight is the first time she will be looking after your children by herself. What’s next?
Early Arrival is Key!
Asking your sitter to arrive 30 minutes before the time, especially the first time she is babysitting for you is essential, even if you have to pay her a little extra, it’s worth it. Use this time to discuss emergency procedures, telephone numbers she may need, the quickest route to the closest hospital, discipline guidelines, house rules, bed times, fees etc should all be clearly discussed.
By planning in advance you will know that your children are safe and happy and this will bring you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your time off or out.
Before leaving always ensure that your sitter is armed with the following information:
- Go through your child’s routine and the general household rules.
- Ensure the sitter knows where you will be and under what circumstances she may phone you or emergency services. Provide an emergency phone list including your own number and address.
- Ensure she knows where to find numbers for emergencies including the poison centre number.
- Demonstrate how to enable and disable your security systems and alarms. With South Africa’s high crime rates this can be imperatives.
- Let the sitter know about any allergies or special needs your child/children may have. If medication needs to given to your children right down specific directions for the administration of these, including time and amount.
- It may seem strange but it is advisable that your children are also aware of emergency numbers and how to dial them in case anything happens to your babysitter.
- Explain any guidelines and expectations you have with regard to leaving the house or use of the phone etc, clearly to your sitter.
House rules and other information
It is important that both your sitter and your children know the rules for while you are gone, and it is a good idea to have your children sit in on this explanation so that there is no arguing with the sitter from the children about instructions once you are gone. Discuss snacks, rules for TV, time for bed, and what you expect from your sitter and children.
It is a wise idea to call home at some point in time during the evening. A good time for this is just before bedtime. You can check to see everything is running smoothly and if there are any problems you can help with.
The Follow up
When you get home spend a few minutes going over the evening with your sitter. Ask about the things you think the sitter may have had problems with. Often sitters are hesitant to discuss problems they have encountered unless asked directly. The next morning chat to your children about the evening and whether they enjoyed having her there. What they ate, what activities they did and if anything happened that made them feel uncomfortable.
With all of this behind you, you can feel more at ease next time in the knowledge that all your hard work has paid off, your children are safe and happy, and you can enjoy your evenings out without much worry!
Written by Bianca Wagener of Sitters4U