So now you’ve chosen a new babysitter on Juggle Street, what can you do to make the handover as smooth as possible for both your family and the babysitter?
Showing your children a photo of who is going to look after them is a great way to help familiarise them with the new sitter. You can even print it out and put it up on the fridge leading up to the job. This is especially comforting for younger children.
Some Juggle Street babysitters will also stop by to meet you before their first job, so just reach out to them and see if they can meet the kids before the job. This can also make them feel more comfortable before their first job with you.
Be ready both physically and emotionally and tell your kids before the day so there's no surprises when you go to leave. Reassure your kids so they feel safe. Don't linger - sometimes kids can think you're going to stay and play too, so a quick transition is often a lot easier on everyone. Choose a handover time that fits well within your child's schedule and make sure they're not tired or hungry during transition will also help.
When using a sitter for the first time make sure to allow some extra time to run through where everything is and answer any questions they may have.
It’s easy to forget all the little things that are part of your child’s routine when you’re in a hurry to get out the door, so leaving a few notes and handy tips is reassuring for both of you. Include routines around bedtime, mealtimes and homework, favourite toys, books or songs and any rules around TV and screen time.
Leave a list of contact numbers, including any neighbours they could call in the unlikely event that they needed someone close by.
Many houses no longer have a landline, so consider getting a mobile phone that you keep at the house for emergencies. This eliminates the risk of the babysitters phone running out of battery or having no credit on their phone to text or call.
Lastly, let your babysitter know your expectations. If you would like them to load dirty dishes into the dishwasher, or tidy the toys away, it pays to make this clear. We assume that they would have some initiative to just do this, but many years of hiring babysitters has taught us this is not the case & a little hint doesn’t go amiss!