Top Tips for Tipping a Babysitter

holiday-tippingIt can sometimes be hard to find the right babysitter for your child or children, so when you finally do find a reliable person you can trust and depend on, you’ll most likely want to keep them around. Babysitters today generally charge around ten dollars an hour. If you are dealing with an individual and not someone from a child care agency, the rates may vary depending upon the person. Here are some of the top tips for tipping a babysitter.

There are no hard and fast rules about exact amount a babysitter should earn per hour, so you will need to discuss that with your child’s caregiver. After establishing their hourly or daily rate, you may then wonder about whether or not you should tip the babysitter for babysitting, and if so, how to handle that. Again, there are no set rules when it comes tipping the sitter, this is something you need to make the decision on, generally based upon circumstances.

If you have someone who does babysitting for you on a regular basis, for example, every Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 3pm, and you pay them $10 per hour, this is somewhat like their salary, similar to what they would receive if they were working a regular part time job. In these cases, it is generally not necessary to provide a tip. However, if your regular babysitter has gone above and beyond the call of duty by doing something special or extra for you, such as picking a sick child up from school, or cleaning up after an ill child, you may wish to give them a little something extra to show your appreciation.

If you only hire a babysitter on occasion, you may wish to round out their payment to the full hour.For example, if you were gone three hours and forty five minutes, just pay them for the extra fifteen minutes by rounding it out to four hours even pay. This basically serves as a tip.

Another factor to consider is what you are already providing for the babysitter. If you are providing meals for the sitter, or allowing them access to your food, snacks, and drinks, then you generally should not be expected to give them a tip. Also , consider the degree of difficulty of the job. If you have a toddler who will sleep three of the four hours while with the sitter, chances are the babysitter is watching television or chatting on the phone or computer the rest of the time. Earning ten bucks an hour to watch television is decent money, and no tip should be required. Obviously, this person is there to care for the child during the waking hours and to be there to make sure all is well while they sleep, but they really have little work to do.

In other instances, if you have multiple children, a special needs child, or an extremely difficult to handle child, a tip may be in order. Consider the amount of work the babysitter will be required to do , and take into consideration other factors such as if you were gone two hours later than expected, or if you contacted them on very short notice and they saved the day for you. These special situations are definitely tip worthy. it is also nice to provide a tip on holidays and perhaps on the sitter’s birthday if they worked for you that day.
When you give your sitter a tip, simply handing it to them along with their regular pay works nicely. You may want to mention the amount you owe them and state that there is a little something extra with it so the sitter is clear that you have tipped them and not simply counted the money incorrectly.

Top 10 Ways to Babyproof Your Home

babyproofIf you are expecting a new baby, or are babysitting a young baby or toddler in your home, then you will need to make sure that it is safe for them. Here is the list of the top ten things that you should do to babyproof your home and prevent accidents.
1) Use a fireguard and radiator covers. Babies and toddlers don’t know about the dangers of heat. You will need to teach them this, but in the meantime they will need to be kept safe. Cover any fires with guards. Even gas or electric fires can burn them if they touch them. Radiators can get hot too, so either put furniture in front of them or get radiator covers.
2) Stair gates need to be used at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent toddlers falling down the stairs if they try to climb them when they are unsupervised. They can also be used in doorways to prevent children going into rooms that have too many unsafe items in them.
3) Use safety glass on internal windows and doors, then if they break they won’t shatter and injure the children.
4) Move items higher so they are out of reach. You should take special care to move sharp items like knives and scissors. Glass ornaments and vases that can cut if broken. Heavy items could be knocked over and injure the toddler. Also make sure you keep cups of tea or other hot drinks well out of the way of toddlers who can easily knock them over.
5) Stop doors banging and catching their fingers by putting a doorstop on them.
6) Sharp corners can cause nasty injuries if a toddler falls onto them, so put a plastic corner protector on anything pointed to prevent injury. A piece of sponge will work just as well.
7) Move unsafe liquids like bleach and other poisons into high cupboards, or lock them up. Even dishwasher tablets can cause serious injuiries if eaten so make sure they are well out of the way.
8) Keep doors and windows locked so your toddler can’t wander out of the house or fall out of the window. Even when you have a baby you will want to be secure so that no one can just walk into your house and put you in danger.
9) Cover ponds in the garden so your child can’t drown. Make sure you never leave the unattended in the bath as it takes just a small amount of water for them to drown and you only need to leave them for a few minutes and it could be fatal.
10) Dangling cords need to be tied up. Check all your blinds and curtains, as these can be a strangulation risk to babies and toddlers. Also make sure that small items that they can choke on are put away, and there are no plastic bags nearby that they could suffocate with if they put them over their head.
Babyproofing your home doesn’t take much time or effort, you just need to always be aware of any risks to your child and minimise them as much as you can.

Ten Reasons To Fire a Babysitter

bad_babysitter83b731Babysitters are often indispensable to busy families. However, finding a good babysitter is not always easy and there are times your babysitter may not turn out right. Of course, like everyone else, your babysitter may have a few flaws that can be ignored if they pose no potential danger to your child. Some flaws however, are serious and can simply not be ignored. Here are some valid reasons for firing a babysitter:

Dishonesty
When you entrust your child to another person, you want to be sure that you can trust the person completely. Any act of dishonesty, including lying or engaging in any dishonest dealing puts the integrity of the babysitter in question and this hardly inspires trust or confidence in them. No matter how good the babysitter may be in other areas, firing a dishonest babysitter may be the best move.
Compromising on safety
Your child’s safety should always be a priority. This means that the sitter should know how to protect the child from harm by ensuring the environment is safe. Otherwise the sitter is responsible for any incident that may cause harm to your child and this is a good enough reason to fire him or her.
Stealing
Not only should your babysitter care for your child while you are away, but a good sitter should also be a person you can trust with your belongings. If you notice that your items disappear when you hire a babysitter, it is a good idea to investigate. A sitter who steals from you cannot be trusted and there is no knowing what else he or she is capable of when left alone with a child.
Being irresponsible
A responsible sitter is an asset to any parent. Irresponsible behavior is unacceptable and includes spending long hours chatting on the telephone, bringing friends along on duty, watching too much TV or engaging in any other activity while the children are unattended. Additionally, exposing children to inappropriate content such as pornographic material are also good reasons to warrant dismissing your babysitter.
Drunkenness
Alcohol or drugs impair a person’s judgement and function. Under no circumstances should your sitter be drunk while babysitting.
Neglect
The reason you hire a sitter is to provide the best possible care to the child in your absence. You are as good as leaving your children on their own when you have a sitter who cannot be bothered to mind the children. If you find out that your sitter has been neglecting his or her duties, let them go for your peace of mind.
Abuse
The work of a babysitter is to care for children, not to harm them in any way. Any sitter who abuses a child be it emotional or physical abuse should be dismissed.
No control over child
It is one thing to care for children and another to let them do whatever they want and generally be uncontrollable. A sitter who is unable to reign in on children or lets them break rules as they wish is not suited to raising well-behaved, disciplined children.
Disorganized
Your babysitter should show up to work in time and make the effort to keep your home neat and organized. A sitter who cannot keep time is an inconvenience and may not be reliable.
No respect for rules
Every home has rules that govern the people in it. If you expect these rules to apply to your sitter, let him or her know about them from the beginning.

Out with the old, in with the new…  need to find a new babysitter?

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Top 8 Things To look For While Hiring A Responsible Babysitter

It is a gift to have kids at home. Life would be a package of boredom and dullness without little ones. They are bundles of joy, but is it possible to remain at home with your kids all 7 days and 24 hours? The answer is certainly NO. You need to take a break. When you take a break you need someone to look after your little ones.

There are some fortunate parents who have grandparents, uncles and aunts nearby. Not everyone is lucky. If you don’t have any family members nearby, you have to find a baby sitter to take care of your kids. You can enjoy your outing only if you are able to find a responsible babysitter.

Hiring a babysitter can be a daunting task. You should look into many things before hiring a responsible babysitter. Your job could be made easy if you have an idea about the things to look for while hiring a babysitter.

Qualities of a good babysitter

A responsible baby sitter should possess some qualities like patience, warmth, friendliness, entertaining and punctuality. You should look for these important qualities in your babysitter. Kids are always curious. They ask a lot of questions. They can be very mischievous. Your baby sitter should have the patience to answer all questions and to tolerate their mischief. They should be friendly to your kids. Kids need to be engaged with craft or puzzles or books or DVDs. Your baby sitter should know how to keep your kids entertained. Punctuality is an important quality for a babysitter. Late arrivals can affect your plans. Look for these important qualities before hiring a babysitter.

Knowledge of first-aid

You can never know when an emergency would arise with little kids around. It is better to find a babysitter with CPR certification. If not, make sure that the babysitter has some basic knowledge of first aid. Prompt first-aid could be life saving at times. So first aid knowledge and experience is a must.

Driver’s license

Sometimes first-aid may not be sufficient. The child may need immediate medical attention. In such an emergency situation, babysitter with a driver’s license is beneficial. You need not worry about emergencies if the babysitter is licensed to drive.

References

How can you know if the babysitter has all qualities that you are looking for? You have to look for references. Ask your friends and neighbors who have previous experience. Ask them all necessary questions about the baby sitter. If they give positive answers, you can hire her without any second thoughts.

Age

The right age of the babysitter depends upon the age of your kids. Kids below the age of 5 can be full of pranks. They need older baby sitters with lots of patience. Toddlers keep on running. They need young babysitters with lots of energy. Infants need timely and motherly care. They need someone who has the experience of taking care of infants.

Comfortable with kids of all ages

Do you have 2 or more kids? Then you should find a babysitter who is comfortable with kids of all ages. How can you know that the babysitter is comfortable with all your children? Observe her interacting with your children. If you feel that your little ones are comfortable with her and she is comfortable with them you can hire her.

Discipline

It is difficult to lay rules for disciplining a child. It is wrong to spank a child. It is also wrong to let the children to behave however they wish. They should be disciplined with a stern voice. You should make sure that the babysitter is able to keep your child disciplined in the right way without crossing the boundary.

Suit the needs and atmosphere of your family

The way of handling kids vary from one parent to another. The family atmosphere varies from one home to another. Your babysitter should be able to adapt herself to suit the needs and atmosphere of your home.

Experience

It is better to look for experienced babysitters. It is not necessary that they should have professional experience. It is enough if they have the experience of looking after their little brothers and sisters at home. They know how to take care of children and how to handle an emergency. Experience is important to become a responsible babysitter.

Hiring a babysitter should be done with great care, especially the first time. Once you are satisfied with a babysitter, you can continue to hire the same one.

Tips on Finding Childcare While on Vacation

113232749-niña-vacaciones-300x200Planning a family vacationis always a pleasure for most people however bringing children along can be limiting especially for parents who want to enjoy an exclusive evening for adults. During such moments getting an appropriate childcare service in unfamiliar location can be quite a challenge. The following tips will assist you on how to find the best babysitter while enjoying your holiday:

Make social networking do the work for you
Social networks have become a favorite method of obtaining information from people around the globe. Letting your followers know that you looking for childcare services in a specific area is likely to get a great number of responses within a very short time.

Virtual interviews
The internet allows parents to comb local job posting and classified in their destination. Such parents can perform virtual interviews from the luxury of their homes using video chat to simulate in-person interviews. This allows them to have a personal interaction with the prospective nanny which inspires confidence unlike hiring a sitter on sight in the course of your planned excursion.

Travel with companions
Making travel plans with your companions offer the potential for parental date nights where adults take turns to watch all the children in the group. This approach keeps children under the watchful eye of adults who are familiar thus eliminating the need for trusting an unknown caregiver.

Resort childcare
Some high-end holiday destinations offer on-site childcare for their guests although such services are not necessarily advertised. It is important to contact the resort or check your brochure before arrival date so as to ensure that such services are guaranteed while visiting.

Check with the hotel guest services
Placing a call to guest services or concierge is likely to have you pointed in the right direction thus fulfilling a variety of needs including childcare. Most concierge services have a list of nanny services that have met patrons’ approval in the past. It might be important to enquire whether the list you have been offered is an accumulation of recommendations or they are highly reputable babysitting services.

Ask friends and family for recommendations
If you do not hesitate to ask family members or friends about their opinion on certain restaurants then you can also do the same with caregiver services.

Finding appropriate babysitting services away from home can be scary sometimes since you are not sure if your children will be well taken care of. Although numerous facilities offer such services parents should check them out before leaving their kids at unknown facilities. Before dropping off your tots consider the following:

Training, qualification and certification of babysitting services
Various countries have different qualifications certifications and training for baby sitting services. You should never assume that they use the same standards as those used back in your home town, state or country. Find out if they have first aid or CPR knowledge as well as how they manage out- of -control children.

Conduct a safety check
It is important to conduct some basic research in to the procedures about how children are signed in and how they leave .Some babysitter services have lax security that require nothing more than an adult signing a sheet of paper when they leave with the child which can be quite risky. Find out if the facility has high safety standards such as covered plugs,heavy television sets or secured exit to prevent kids from sneaking out.