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Babysitting class notes:

Things to think about: Why babysit? Why are teenagers in demand?

What do parents look for in a babysitter? Answer: friendliness, interest in children, honesty, experience, age, punctuality, respect for privacy and possessions, common sense. Always be in good health, dependable and responsible, love children, mature, show good manners, have a business-like atittude, be adaptable and be safety conscious.

How to be business-like: don't spend a lot of time on the phone, be on time, be reliable, leave the house neat, take a good telephone message, don't have friends drop by, don't eat a lot, make financial arrangements in advance. Be prepared to tell them how much they owe you. You charge from the time you arrive to the time you leave.

Keep your own parents informed. Let them know where you will be going and for how long. Let them know what transportation arrangements have been made. Let them know if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable.

Every family is different. Everyone has their own traditions, rituals, routines, etc. Some parents permit or don't permit their children to watch particular television shows, or limit video game use, etc. Be clear about rules before the parents leave.

Safety of the children: Keep doors locked at all times. Never answer the door for any reason. Keep television volume turned low so that you can hear the children. Always keep the children in sight. Check on them even when they're sleeping. Don't tell a telephone caller that you're home alone. Cut food into bite size pieces for small children. Don't bathe children unless told to by the parents. Don't feed children hard candies, grapes, popcorn, etc.

Most important babysitting goals - safety and entertainment. Always keep these two goals in mind while babysitting.

Babysitting is a job -- is it okay with your parents? Do you have the time? How about weeknights? Do you like children?

How to find a job? Answer: family, friends, neighbors, babysitting list.

How much to charge? Charge "going rate." Do you charge more for holidays or after midnight? Do younger teens charge less? Do you charge more for more children? Think about your answers before you accept a job.

What are your responsibilities? Answers: Straightening up, putting away toys, dishes, etc. Distracting the children when the parents leave. Entertaining them and keeping them safe. Reliability in terms of cancellations. Tell parents of any accident/incident. Getting kids to bed. In terms of discipline - don't spank, punish or threaten to do so.

What are your privileges? Check with every family because each family will have different rules. Snacking, TV, phone, etc.

Decide in advance if you will babysit for sick children. Will you babysit when you are sick?

Do not accept a job from total strangers. If you get a call from someone who has gotten the babysitting list, make an appointment to go over to their house with your parent. Spend some time with the parents and children to be sure that you feel comfortable there. Always make sure that your parents know where you are (including address and phone number), and what time you'll be home.

Questions to ask Parents Recommended Books for Babysitters
The Babysitter's Handbook by K.D. Kuch

The New Complete Babysitter's Handbook by Carol Barkin and Elizabeth James

The Franklin Watts Concise Guide to Babysitting, illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Things to Know about Babysitting by Lisa Marsoli

Babysitting by Frances Dayee

Books to help you think of activities:
I'll Tell You a Story, I'll Sing You a Song by Christing Allison

Smart Toys for Babies from Birth to Two by Kent Burtt

I Saw a Purple Cow and 100 Other Recipes for Learning by Ann Cole

Play with Purpose: Learning Games for Children Six Weeks to Ten Years by Dorothy Einon

First Fun by Julie Hagstrom

More Games Babies Play by Julie Hagstrom

For Reading Out Loud! A Guide to Sharing Books with Children by Margaret Kimmel

Child's Play by Lynda Madaras

Things to do with Toddlers and Twos by Karen Miller