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6 Essential Preparations For A Caregiver

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6 Essential Preparations For A Caregiver

As an adolescent seeking to earn some additional income, I commenced caring for children during high school and have continued to do so. Now, in my early twenties, I can affirm with certainty that while many aspects have evolved in the childcare field, certain anticipations will perpetually persist. Take it from a seasoned caregiver: Excelling in the responsibilities of nannying/babysitting is, indeed, a collaborative endeavor alongside the parents.

Childcare responsibilities may differ from one family to another, yet there are specific insights I’ve acquired along the way that I earnestly wish I could impart to parents regarding caregiver readiness (without expressly articulating it to them). That’s why I have assembled a compilation of actions you can take in advance to ensure caregiving is a harmonious experience for all involved. Thus, whether you are refreshing your knowledge of caregiver expectations or are a novice parent to childcare, here are six pointers for caregiver preparedness that they will appreciate later on!

Establish Clear Expectations With Your Little Ones

Make it a priority to discuss common etiquettes, good manners, and expectations with your children. This will establish a framework and reduce some burdens on the caregiver—no one desires resorting to the ‘I will inform your parents’ tactic. Engaging in this when the caregiver is present can also be advantageous, as it will communicate your limits to both parties.

There’s nothing more challenging than being caught off guard when children claim they are permitted to engage in questionable activities, yet refrain from inundating parents with numerous inquiries. Defining expectations and guidelines provides the caregiver with a clear understanding of boundaries and aids in fostering a rapport between your children and the caregiver. Here are some areas to cover while outlining expectations:

  • Designated bedtime/nap periods, including a buffer duration in case they exceed the usual time.
  • What to anticipate regarding meals (particularly if your child is selective with food), permissible foods, and items to avoid.
  • What constitutes playtime (e.g., permissions for interaction with neighbors, visits to the park, use of specific toys, etc.)? Additionally, specify if there is a timeframe for electronic devices and identify any prohibited shows or films.
  • If you are working from home, inform them of when they can or cannot approach you and emphasize that despite your presence—the caregiver holds authority!

Craft a Detailed Schedule

Although it might necessitate additional effort on your part to devise an intricate layout of their routine, formulating one can be advantageous—and indeed, the more comprehensive, the better! Occasionally, parents may opt to grant the caregiver significant autonomy, but it is always prudent to err on the side of caution. This can encompass a step-by-step breakdown of their nightly regimen, essential items for bedtime (adored item, sound machine, etc.), estimated timings of their agenda, and the designated locations of items (this aspect is crucial). If you have a consistent caregiver, providing them with a foundation will only pave the way for their success, empowering them to establish a routine with your child.

Ensure Vital Information for Emergencies is Accessible

While contemplating worst-case scenarios is undesirable, furnishing them with emergency details is beneficial nonetheless. It would be invaluable to furnish them with emergency contacts and trusted neighbors, acquainting them with the whereabouts of the first-aid supplies, and highlighting the nearest medical facility and police station. Though hopefully these details will never be essential, possessing this knowledge can instill peace of mind for both you and your caregiver in unforeseen circumstances.

Foster an Open Channel of Communication

It is normal for unforeseen circumstances to arise, hence it is imperative that both you and your caregiver feel at ease exchanging queries or apprehensions with each other. Do not hesitate to articulate your anticipations when they are at the helm, and reciprocally, present yourself as approachable should they require clarification. I often encounter scenarios where a parent is delayed or necessitates an extended presence (which is acceptable); prompt communication is key to aligning with their timetable. If you are unavailable to address queries, stipulate this in advance and provide them with a reachable contact or a comprehensive manual.

Transparently communicate any concerns and notify your caregiver of any surveillance cameras in your residence. This may appear as a peculiar delineation, but you would be surprised at the number of caregivers who feel surveilled! Admittedly, surveillance cameras are a legitimate asset to have, but ensure they are disclosed to your caregiver.

For parents working from home, it can be challenging to resist intervening in your child’s affairs given the proximity, but entrust your caregiver to perform their duties! If your objective is to carve out space for your child while working remotely, be clear about these boundaries. Additionally, specify when it is suitable for your child to spend time with you or whether you prefer them to be elsewhere.

Prepare Activities in Advance

While it is part of the role to think swiftly on our feet and devise engaging and enjoyable activities to keep the little ones occupied, having a selection of tried-and-tested games or toys readily available can be advantageous. This could involve showcasing their current favorites, supplying do-it-yourself crafts, or directing the caregiver to a nearby park or playground. If transportation is viable, furnish them with a range of endorsed locations they can access.

Particularly for parents working from home, designate areas within and outside the residence from which your caregiver can choose if you are engaged in a meeting or necessitate solitude.

Similarly, communicate what is restricted and if there are any educational activities you would like the caregiver to integrate during their time with your child. We have even included a select few activities and games that have consistently delivered favorable outcomes and are always prudent to have readily available!

Amusement Items and Playthings for Children

To foster a positive rapport with your caregiver, empathize with their position. This principle should be heeded in all aspects. When requesting additional tasks like light chores, cooking, or organizing, exercise considerateness. While these duties are part of their role, if you wouldn’t tackle a task beyond your scope without fair compensation, it’s likely they wouldn’t either. Hence, before assuming mutual understanding on expectations, discuss these facets beforehand to avoid surprises.

On the matter of compensation, agree on a wage in advance to prevent confusion post-shift. Furthermore, inform them of your preferred payment method, particularly for digital platforms like Zelle or Venmo that necessitate personal details. And, of utmost importance, do not overlook remuneration! To preempt any potential awkwardness, strive to settle the payment promptly after their departure.

Ultimately, aim for your caregiver to evolve into a trustworthy companion for your family, one eager to return. The objective is to ensure your babysitter feels embraced and comfortable while caring for your little ones. Gestures such as sharing Wi-Fi access, offering snacks occasionally, and granting appropriate amenities (like TV access or pantry privileges) contribute to this atmosphere. Even if they resist or demur from partaking, these gestures demonstrate consideration and are genuinely valued!

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