Leaving Kids With Babysitters or at Daycare? Precautions That Will Make Your Life Easy

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Moolah matters and to earn the same, we all have to throw ourselves into work, irrespective of being a mother or father. With the increasing number of working parents, the demand for babysitters and daycares has also increased. Parents go through a challenging time to zero in on the right daycare or babysitter for their kids. Trust me, I really had to sweat it out myself in finding a good babysitter, and the one that I got had to leave for personal reasons. Imagine the feeling of helplessness. It was then that I decided to put them in a daycare, and thankfully my kids have settled down pretty well in it.

Given a choice, you would want to be with your kids always, but work beckons you, and you have to leave them behind. And, as long as they are in safe hands you don’t have to worry.

However, before you go for either options, you need to take a few precautions. Below are some tips and precautions you might want to take while leaving your kid with a babysitter.

Keep the following things in mind before you choose a babysitter:

  • Get references from friends about the babysitter
  • Don’t hire a teenager to babysit – they may be able to gel well, but may not be able to handle temper tantrums.
  • Prepare your child for a babysitter – your child should know that someone would take care of them for a part of the day and that he should tell you if he is not comfortable with the babysitter.
  • Do a background check on the babysitter
  • Meet her or him before you hire
  • Ensure she or he knows how to give basic first-aid
  • Let the babysitter spend time with your kids, and observe the interaction between them

Be clear with any instructions that you give to your babysitter, and leave no room for ambiguity. These instructions for the babysitter could be helpful before you leave the kids with her or him:

  • Give the babysitter your full names (of both parents) and contact numbers
  • Make sure she knows the kid’s names, age, date of birth, height, weight, hair, and eye color
  • Give her an emergency contact number (in case the parents’ numbers are not reachable) and home contact numbers
  • Give your home address and directions to home to able to guide any visitors such as your friends or your kid’s friends
  • Tell her about any allergies that the kid has and any medical condition such as breathing problems, eczema, etc.
  • Give her a time-table for the kid’s meal time, play time, and bedtime routines
  • Tell her the type of food and health drinks to be given
  • Keep her on the same page as you with regards to medications: in the case of cough, cold, fever. Mention the dose to be given as well
  • Tell her how to handle temper tantrums and constant crying
  • Give her special instructions if any

Keep your babysitter’s number to reach out at all times.

If you haven’t found any good babysitter to your liking, then you could consider a daycare for your child. While choosing a daycare, consider these points:

  • Make sure you have good recommendations about the daycare from friends, acquaintances, and others in general.
  • Talk to the daycare head and get all your queries answered such as the number of kids, the ratio of caretaker to children, safety precautions, and so on.
  • Check out the place to make sure it is hygienic and safe for your kid. Also, check if the caretakers are paying attention to the kids and there is enough supervision.
  • Talk to the caretakers and check if they are experienced enough to handle kids.
  • Take your kids to the day to familiarize them with the daycare environment, before you enroll them there.
  • Ask if they have safety rules and first-aid kits in case of emergencies.
  • Check if they provide daycare services during public holidays.
  • If they provide snacks, check their kitchen, and ask them what kind of snacks they prepare, and what hygienic steps they follow while cooking.
  • Check if the daycare helps kids with their homework.

Other things to bear in mind:

  • Take the contact numbers of the daycare and center head
  • Instruct them on the food to be given, health drinks, etc.
  • Instruct them on medicines and their dosage (in case of illness)
  • Send them frequent reminders in case of giving them any medicines
  • Inform them about the activity classes that your kids have to attend
  • Keep them informed about any allergies that the kids have
  • Any other information you feel should be shared relating to the kid

Your job is not done once you have a babysitter or day care in place. Make those frequent surprise visits to check on your kids and how the daycare or babysitters are managing the show.

Having a loving and caring babysitter or a daycare, which is like a second home to kids, comes as a blessing in disguise. A working mother couldn’t be happier if she has found the right one for her children.

So, all mothers who are working or stay-at-home mums, and have availed the service of day care or babysitters let us know your experience by commenting below.

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Kalpana M

Kalpana Nadimpalli graduated in English Literature and Psychology. Her fascination for the corporate world made her do a Masters in Business Administration from Andhra University. Being a mother of two boys, she could naturally fit into the shoes of a writer at MomJunction. She wrote articles on new parenting and relationships. Previously, Kalpana worked as a product information specialist and... more