Leaving your children with a new babysitter can be unsettling. Even if they have rave reviews and they’ve been suggested by trusted friends or family, you’ve yet to build your own rapport with the new babysitter. All of the information you have heard is conjecture.
Even if the babysitter is qualified, the home itself still needs protecting. The same accidents, disasters, emergencies, or break-ins can occur whether you or a babysitter are present at the home. So how can you make sure the home is protected while the babysitter is watching over your kids?
Have the Security Alarm Armed and Installed
The first place to start is to be equipped with monitored home security equipment. A monitored system is capable of reporting any dangerous event in the home, ranging from fire to carbon monoxide poisoning to inclement weather to a break-in.
Once you have home security equipment, it’s common for homeowners to disarm their systems when people are in the home. But since primary homeowners are not present, it’s important to equip and arm the home security system. This ensures that if a dangerous event presents itself, your child and babysitter will remain safe.
Communicate with the Babysitter
If you have security cameras inside of the home and the system is armed, it’s likely that these cameras will be live-streaming. Some babysitters may not be ok with this taking place, but many will understand. Many will understand that you simply want to keep an eye on things and have back-up safety measures.
What’s most important is to work out a relationship with the babysitter where they trust you, and also know what’s taking place in the home. Together you can determine what both parties are comfortable with.
Give the Babysitter a Safety Rundown
Without you, the homeowners, present in the home, a babysitter is the first line of defense. They should be familiar with how your family approaches home security, how to use equipment that may be necessary, and most importantly, they should know how to call emergency personnel.
A safety rundown should include what not to do, and how babysitters should interact with your children to ensure the kids don’t get involved in any mischief or cause any accidents. Other useful safety tips may include first aid knowledge, and other practical medical and situational know-how.
Stay Connected with Your Home
Just because you’re away does not mean you should disconnect from the home. Check in with the babysitter often to make sure everything is going well. See if anything is needed, or give the babysitter and your kids updates on your whereabouts and schedule.
Keeping everyone in the home in the know will place your mind at ease, as well as the mind of your children and the babysitter. If for some reason no one responds at your home, ask a neighbor you trust to stop by and check on things for you.
How to Find the Right Babysitter and Other Logistics
Your babysitter should be a trusted aid in keeping your children protected. A relationship and rapport should be built with a babysitter so both parties are comfortable in the process.
Only use a babysitter with trusted references. Don’t choose a babysitter that you have no knowledge about.
Consider these steps when working with your babysitter:
- Brief them on all of the rules in your home
- Write down the rules of the home for reference
- Give the babysitter details regarding diet, sleep times, and other child logistics
- A list of personal emergency numbers should be visible (doctors, poison control, relatives, et cetera)
Remember that you and the babysitter are teammates in the same goal: protecting your children. Work together with them and build a relationship. The more they trust you, the more you can trust them.