What to Tell Your Babysitter Before You Leave for Date Night
It’s Friday night and you need to get out of the house and spend some quality time with your spouse, but your go-to daycare closes at 6:00 p.m every day. You call up your neighborhood teen’s parents to ask if they’d be interested in babysitting this weekend. They accept and you hang up the phone, excited for an evening away from the house.
Date night comes and you’re ready to go! Hold on, don’t rush out of the house quite yet. It’s important to provide detailed instructions and direction for your babysitter so that everyone can feel like the night was a success.
Let’s start with the basics. These are those “Oh, duh!” things that you realize you forgot to go over before you ran out the door. They tend to be extremely important—especially in the event of an emergency—so it’s probably worth writing them down for your sitter:
Your Contact Info
It’s likely that your babysitter will have questions once you leave the house. Things will come up, and they’ll need to have a way to contact you on the fly. Make sure to leave your cell phone numbers in an easily accessible place like the kitchen counter or on the fridge.
It’s also important to leave emergency contact information available such as the local police, fire department, and other trusted adults just in case. Leaving the contact info for where you are headed on your night out is also a good idea.
Having a date itinerary can make your night go smoothly for you and your babysitter. Write out your plans for your sitter with details such as where you’re going and when you expect to be back. This information will help your babysitter feel more secure knowing where to find you in an emergency and when their shift is expected to end.
Hourly Rates & Travel Plans
Avoid unrealistic expectations for everyone by discussing payment terms ahead of time. This will also allow your babysitter a chance to engage with you and help them practice having adult conversations.
Your babysitter may or may not be old enough to drive or have a car of their own. You may have to pick them up or drop them off after the date. Make sure everyone knows the plan in advance.
Rules differ from house to house, so it’s important to lay everything out clearly from the get-go. Without rules, you could come home to hyped-up kids watching television way after their supposed bedtime—every parent’s nightmare. Make sure you outline the expectations for:
- Meals and snacks
- Screen time
- Having friends over
- Rewards and punishments
- Cleaning expectations
- Anything else you have particular feelings about!
It’s always better to over-communicate your expectations than to have to deal with a stressful situation after your relaxing night out.
You know those little things that you forgot to mention that pop into your head after you’re already halfway to the restaurant? The little details add up and can lead to some major frustrations for you and your babysitter if not addressed upfront.
Take time to think step by step through a typical night and write down everything that you do during the window you’re asking your babysitter to be there. Ask yourself some questions that you think are obvious and then write down the answers. For example:
- Where is the first aid kit?
- Do your children have any food allergies?
- Where are the dishes, silverware, and cups actually located?
- Where is the TV remote and how does the sound system work?
- Where are each child’s PJs? Diapers? Toothbrush and toothpaste?
Walking through the logistics of running your household with your babysitter will go a long way in making sure that they are prepared to do whatever is expected of them.
We each get into our own groove and forget about the minute details that make the biggest differences to our families. Thinking through your family’s dynamics will help your babysitter understand how to handle certain situations that may arise while you’re gone. Think of the details you wouldn’t explain to people at work, but you might tell your spouse at the end of a long day with the kids. Things like…
- Common arguments or triggers for your children
- Your children’s likes and dislikes
- How to calm your children down
- How to put your kids to bed
- Other helpful tips
What About Pets?
Don’t forget that your pets are also part of the family. It’s usually an unwritten expectation that the babysitter is responsible for handling pets during their time on the job as well. Make sure that you explain your pet’s needs and temperaments and if treats are acceptable.
Making date night a priority is important. Ensure that your teen babysitter is confidently prepared to handle the responsibilities of taking over for the night by giving them the lowdown on what a typical night with your kids really looks like. Give them all the ins and outs, and you’ll be able to enjoy your night out with less worry.
A Childcare That Truly Cares
At My Childcare Academy, we care about your children not only when they are in our facility but when they’re at home as well. We know that as a parent, you’re going to need some time away from the kids during the evenings sometimes, and that is why we’ve provided you with the tips above. Click the button below to download our babysitter information template.MyChildcareAcademy_Downloadable_BabysitterQuestionaire_2019_12dec_color
If your child isn’t currently enrolled with us during the day and you find yourself more consistently needing babysitting services during the daytime, consider our facility. Its modern, homely interior and inviting culture is a great place for any child to learn and grow! If you have any questions about our programs, please give us a call at (801) 679-0627 or check out our FAQs for quick answers to common questions.