What is a Babysitter Contract?

A babysitter contract is a legal document between a parent and a babysitter, a person responsible for watching over and take care of children for a period. This document details the babysitter’s duties and responsibilities, terms and services, methods of payment, as well as other requirements to avail of its services.

Reasons Why Parents Need a Babysitter

The purpose of babysitting is to give parents the time off from parenting to either enjoy a few days trip vacation or perhaps to finish an essential activity at work while ensuring the security of their children. Although some parents are still hesitant to leave their children at the hands of babysitters, there are still benefits one can have by hiring a babysitter, and here are some reasons why parents need to have a babysitter.

Parents can balance their responsibilities at home and work: Parenting can be stressful for first-timers. With bills to be paid and kids to be taken care of, there is a higher risk of bursting their anger with their spouse or worse their children. However, by acquiring the services of a babysitter from time to time, this gives parents a chance to relax and to catch up with work with undivided attention. By then, once they arrive home, they can provide more of their care and time for their children.Babysitters teach children to bond with other people: Babysitters are not only employees who are tasked to watch over children, but they also act as a friend to them. A companion who is ready to watch their back, giving them a sense of security and belongingness when parents are not around. They form a healthy relationship with children, which, in return, helps them build bonds and trust with them and other people, especially when the children reach preschool or kindergarten.Helps parents take care of themselves: Becoming a parent requires a significant amount of time and commitment to take care of the family while keeping up with work. However, at some point, balancing work and family can be stressful. By hiring a babysitter to handle the kids, give parents some time to relax and take care of their relationship with each member, and provide a sense of stability for the family.Children are taught to be independent: It is advisable to teach children independence at an early age as this is beneficial for their personal and social development. By leaving children at the hands of a trusted babysitter, they are gradually taught that being left under the care of a sitter is alright and that it’s okay for their parents to be away for a short period, just like how they are taught in school.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Babysitter

Babysitters, in general, are responsible for taking care of children, planning suitable activities for them, and supervising their playdates while their parents are away for some time. Usually, babysitters are paid at an hourly rate to watch over the children either at a regular schedule or for occasional events when the parents need to attend an appointment or a vacation. But before one may acquire the services of a babysitter, how well does one know the scope of work a babysitter has? At the same time, what traits does one need to check before signing a contract with them? Find out more about a babysitter’s duties and responsibilities with this list below.

Watching Over and Playing with the Children

Watching over the children and taking care of them is the primary responsibility of a babysitter. It is essential that the babysitter knows how to entertain the kid and has fully understood the child’s personality, likes, and dislikes to get along with them. Once the child builds rapport with the babysitter, it makes it easier for both of them to enjoy each other’s company. 

Preparing Healthy Meals and Snacks for the Children

It may be convenient to buy ready-made food from the convenience store, but keeping the child healthy is one of the responsibilities of a babysitter. Preparing a healthy snack or meal for the child is essential to stabilize its energy, improve its minds, help maintain a healthy weight, as well as to even out its mood. As much as possible, babysitters should avoid or at least lessen the amount of junk foods and sweets given to kids, especially during the evening.  

Cleaning Up Play Areas

Germs are always lurking in the area, and children, specifically babies, are susceptible to bacteria and dirty places. Chances are they may place the first thing they grab inside their mouth, and that is a bad thing. Aside from intaking germs, a report from ScienceDaily shows that “choking is one of the leading causes of injury and death among children from ages four and below.” Thus, babysitters should be responsible for cleaning up and disinfecting the children’s play area.

Helping Babies with Potty Training

For some babysitters, changing the baby’s diaper is part of their duties, while some of them help children with their potty training, especially when the child is from the ages of 18 to 24 months. Learning how to use the toilet is a developmental milestone for children and babysitters should be there to help them achieve their goals, in case their parents are not around to help them with it. As a tip for babysitters, communication, and having the right potty training equipment is the key to potty training.

Getting Kids Ready for Bed or Nap Time

As hard as it is to get some children to take their nap time, getting the kids ready for bed is also part of the sitter’s role. Sleep, according to studies, allows children to develop their physical and mental growth during their early childhood while keeping them in a good mood when they’re awake. Plus, when they are asleep, parents, as well as the babysitter, have the time to relax or perform other household tasks related to his or her duties.

Transporting Children To and From School and Other Places

Parents may not have enough time to send and pick up their children from school, which is why they seek the help of babysitters to do it for them. When parents are comfortable with their babysitters and believe that they are trustworthy to handle their kids, asking their babysitter to pick their children from school wouldn’t be a problem.

Tutoring Children With Homework and Other Schoolwork

Sometimes, babysitters are assigned to watch over the children after school. When that happens, there are chances when the children require assistance with some of their homework and other schoolwork. As the babysitter, it is also their responsibility to remind the children to do their homework before they start playing video games. At the same time, if they need some help in understanding their activities, the sitter, although it is not strictly required, should have the initiative to act as their guide.

Keeping Children Safe from Potential Hazards

The sitter should be very responsible for keeping the children safe from harm. One can never be so sure one of the potential hazards one may encounter when they take a stroll outside the house or when they are at home. During incidents, such as fire, earthquakes, and other medical issues, the babysitter should have the proper training and should always be alert on what to do and how to respond to the situation to secure the welfare of the children.

How to Create a Babysitter Contract?

As stated earlier, babysitters temporarily take care of children on behalf of the absence of their parents or guardians for a short period. Depending on the urgency, the state, or the skills of the babysitter, their hourly rate may vary. However, their average rate reaches an estimate of $15.83 per hour. Set the terms of services of the babysitter and create a contract with the aid of these tips below.

Step 1: State the Name of the Child and the Babysitter

It’s best to make things clear between the babysitter and the parent. Start by stating the name of the child for babysitting and the babysitter’s name as well. Provide the necessary contact details and personal information of both parties, such as their home address, email address, or telephone number. At the same time, indicate the name and contact details of the parent or the guardian who can be easily contacted in case of emergencies in the contract.

Step 2: Outline the Effective Date of the Service

Set the effective date of the babysitter’s services and its estimated end of contract if applicable. Then, outline the sitter’s working schedule. Specify the dates (from Monday to Sunday) and the number of hours the sitter shall visit the employer’s house to watch over the children. 

Step 3: Detail the Babysitter’s Compensation and Terms of Service

List down the specific duties and responsibilities of the babysitter, its terms of compensation, the parent’s emergency procedures, as well as its termination process in case the babysitter fails to perform its tasks. For any possible transportation services required from the babysitter, specify the vehicle to be used and other essential information for the security of the child and the babysitter.

Step 4: Indicate Other Information Necessary

House rules vary from household to household. Specify the privacy of the family’s information, indicate the family’s social media policy, as well as the skills, training, and health expectations of the sitter. Lastly, make sure to note the child’s food and medication allergies to avoid complications in the future.


What is the difference between a babysitter and a nanny?

A babysitter and a nanny both provide child care services and support to babies and children alike while parents are away. However, they differ on the wage rate and their scope of work. A babysitter is short-term caretakers who focus their task in watching over the children when the parents are both away for a few hours or so, while nannies are in-home childcare providers who perform housework duties aside from taking care of the children. At the same time, they are more involved in the children’s lives as they have a closer relationship with the children.

When do you need a babysitter?

Depending on the situation or the need, especially when a family member has a necessary appointment to attend to before and after school, one may hire a babysitter occasionally (at least once a week or twice per month). If both parents are working and no one is available to watch over their kids, hiring a babysitter to watch over their kids during the day is a preferable decision. Stay-at-home parents, on the other hand, are unlikely to hire the services of a babysitter.

How much should a babysitter charge per hour?

The rate of a babysitter varies from one state to another. According to a survey made by Care last 2017, “a babysitter receives an average hourly rate of $13.97, with parents increasingly paying more for the services of a babysitter, especially during chaotic hours before and after school.” Furthermore, parents are willing to pay more for babysitters who have additional skills, education, and training.

How many kids can you babysit?

Upon following the child care rule and standards of the Child Care and Early Years Act of 2014 (CCEYA), a babysitter can handle the following number of children following their age grouping:

  • Infants – a ratio of 3 to 10 children per babysitter.
  • Toddlers – a ratio of 1 to 5 children per babysitter.
  • Preschool – a ratio of 1 to 8 children per babysitter.
  • Kindergarten – a ratio of 1 to 13 children per babysitter.
  • Primary/Junior School Age – a ratio of 1 to 15 children per babysitter.
  • Junior School Age – a ratio of 1 to 20 children per babysitter.

When should you stop babysitting?

Child experts believe that children at the age of 10 to 11 years old can be left alone by their parents and babysitters for a short period (not more than an hour) during the day. Once they reach the ages of 12 or 13 years old, they can be left alone after dark only if they’ve tried it before during the day. Still, it’s not advisable to leave them alone all through the night. However, if the parent feels that their child is mature and responsible enough, then it is alright to stop acquiring the services of a babysitter.

Babysitting has its pros and cons. On the bright side, when babysitters are trustworthy and competent to watch over their clients’ children, kids can develop their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills as they grow independent from the presence of their parents over time. At the same time, parents are given a chance to balance their work, life, and family management with the aid of babysitters to watch over their kids. Overall, acquiring the services of a babysitter isn’t bad, what’s important is to set things clearly with them by documenting both party’s terms and conditions as well as their scope of work and compensation rate in a babysitter contract.