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How to Be the Best Babysitter

It's easier than you think to keep kiddies entertained, and as long as you follow basic principles, you can be the best babysitter ever.


  • TIP: If something went wrong or got broken, you shouldn't wait and let the parents find out after you've left.
  • Step 1: Leave the door open for further business with the family. That is, unless you end up tied to a chair covered in finger paint.
  • FACT: As of 2010, about 33 percent of child-care workers were self-employed, and most of them provided child care in their own homes.
  • Step 2: Clean up any mess you and the kids make. It's not necessary to clean the whole house, but the parents shouldn't come home to a disaster area.
  • Step 3: Don't be too playful, though. Don't break house rules or let the kids rule the time you are there. Kids push boundaries, but you have to stand strong. These are someone else's kids, not yours.
  • Step 4: Be prepared by asking a lot of questions. Ask about food allergies, medications, rooms that are off-limits, and anything else you can think of.
  • TIP: If the parents haven't written notes for you, write some of your own.
  • Step 5: Be playful! Part of a babysitter's job is to have fun with the kids and play together. If you are fun, the kids will want to have you back -- and so will the parents.
  • Step 6: Know the family. That means ages of the kids, their routines, and household rules.

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