Don’t assume your sitter knows everything you or your family knows.
Do your children have special bedtime routines? Do they sleep with a special stuffed animal, but it was left in the play area – and they don’t talk yet? You may know exactly what your kids need, or want, and when. But if your kids can’t quite clearly communicate yet, your sitter will be in the dark. Even if your child can communicate with the sitter, they can be pretty crafty, and will try to push the boundaries with the sitter, make sure your sitter is well prepared to handle things with the children.
Discuss important details before you leave.
Is your youngest allergic to peanut butter? Is your neighbor going to be stopping by to drop off a pan they borrowed? The more information about the sit that the sitter knows, the better. It is always good to have an informational list for the sitter that has emergency contact information, any special info about the children, the house, etc.
Have the house in order for the sitter.
It may sound obvious, but always try to leave the house the way you expect it be when you come home. This always sets a good example and a baseline for the sitter. It is also important to make sure there are no embarrassing or dangerous items that the sitter may stumble upon.
Stock the fridge
Make it easy for the sitter to provide food for the kids. You don’t need a fridge full of junkfood, but it is good to have some simple snacks, meals, etc. for the sitter to provide for the kids. It is not required that you have food for the sitter, but it is always a bonus if you can offer them something (food, drinks, etc.) – a simple way to keep them happy.
Schedules are important!
It is always a good idea to keep the sitter in the loop on the timing of the sit. If you are scheduled to be gone for 3 hours, but know there is a good chance it could be an extra 1-2 hours, make sure the sitter knows this well in advance, and that you update them while you are gone. Obviously, sometimes this is completely out of your control, but try to be as open as possible to respect their schedule too.
Don’t overload the sitter!
Be mindful of what you are asking the sitter to do – they may not be able to manage as much as you are able to handle. For example, let’s say you have some rambunctious kids, and you are expecting a sitter to make dinner for them – this may be a bit overwhelming. Maybe have the dinner pre-prepared so the sitter isn’t overcome by more than just keeping an eye on the kids.
Rules, Rules, Rules
Do you have specific rules that you would like your sitter to abide by? Can they use their phone? Are they allowed to watch TV when the kids are down, and if so, a specific TV to watch? Is there something in the fridge that is prepared for something else that shouldn’t be touched? It is always a good idea to cover important rules with the sitter before you leave, it can also be really helpful if you make a list for them.
At ZipSit, we’re on a mission to ensure that the sitting process is made easier for both families and sitters. We’re doing just that by constantly innovating our mobile app to improve the global sitting industry for the better, so we can change the way families and sitters find, connect, schedule and transact with each other – all for free. For more information about our app, please visit http://zipsit.com.