Jaime is an experienced childcare provider with more than 3 years on the job as a sitter, pre-K teacher, and household manager.
First Impressions Are Everything
When a client hires you as a babysitter, you are asking them to trust you with the most precious thing in the world: their child. Unfortunately, you typically only have a small window to make the impression that you are trustworthy and responsible before the parents leave the home.
It is critical to make a great first impression so parents can feel that their child is in good hands and can relax on their night out. Relaxed parents mean repeat business.
1. Arrive 5 Minutes Early
Being late to a job makes a bad first impression, making it appear that you can’t manage time appropriately. By making sure you are 5 minutes early, you can put the parents’ minds at ease that their charges will be well-cared for by a responsible sitter. Punctuality is also extremely important in the babysitting industry, as your clients likely have a scheduled obligation such as a party, performance, or family event to go to.
2. Ask to Wash Your Hands Right Away
Especially if you are working with infants, home-to-home hygiene is crucial. When a parent sees that you are being fastidious about hygiene to avoid spreading illness to their family, they can see that you are the type of sitter to go the extra mile to be considerate.
3. Ask Questions
Asking questions shows that you understand and respect the responsibility of caring for someone else's child. Some questions that I usually ask can be found below.
These questions are not one-size-fits-all. For example, if you are taking care of an infant you would want to ask about milk, diapers, burping, and sleeping routines. For older children, only a few questions may be necessary.
|Health and Safety||Rules||Preferences|
Does your child have any allergies?
Are any places in the house off-limits?
What does your child like to eat for meals and snacks?
Does your child require any medications or have any special needs?
Are there any activities that aren't allowed today?
What are your child's favorite activities?
In the event of an emergency, are you okay with me providing the care which I am certified to give? (CPR or First Aid)
Can we go outside?
What is your child's bedtime routine?
4. Take Notes
Actively listening and taking notes while the parents tell you about their child’s schedule is an important part of being a good caretaker. Write down what the children will eat, what time they will go to bed, and any other details that you need to make the assignment go smoothly.
Taking notes is a good failsafe against forgetfulness; I know I’m guilty of getting bedtimes wrong if I don’t write them down. Particularly with infant care, scheduling is extremely important and an overlong nap or missed feeding time can make you look like a neglectful or irresponsible sitter.
5. Keep Your Phone Out of Sight
I always keep my phone out of sight except to confirm that I have the parent’s contact information correct during the initial client interview. My recommendation is to keep your phone in your pocket but not to take it out at all during the assignment if possible.
A Good First Impression Is a Wonderful Business Tool
Making a good first impression on your clients will ensure that they want you to come back to look after their children again and again. Because childcare is such a personally involved profession, word of mouth is the best advertisement. If you conduct yourself professionally and do your job with enthusiasm, you can count on getting callbacks!