BABYSITTING/NANNYING CHILDREN OUTSIDE OF WORK After a family has been attending a child care facility for awhile, the parents may become interested in employing you to babysit or nanny after hours.  To the parents, this makes perfect sense: you clearly have experience working with children, their kids know and feel comfortable around you, and they feel like they can trust you to do a good job.  If a parent ever approaches you with this type of opportunity, keep these tips in mind:

1.  Know your employer's policies: 

Some employer's have written policies prohibiting employees from working for any of the child care facility's clients.  If this is the case, tell the parents you appreciate their offer, but company policy prohibits you from accepting the position/job.  If this is the case, the policy is probably also included in a parent's handbook or policy book as well for them to review.  If there is no written policy, you may want to check with your employer anyway and make sure they approve of the arrangement.  Don't ever accept a position that would require you to quit your job at the daycare and cause your employer to lose a client. 

2.  Don't be offended:

You may consider yourself to be a child care professional and not a teen-aged "babysitter" who can be paid $5.00/hr. to watch someone's children while they spend a night on the town.  Or you may be a 35-year old mother of four who has her own children to take care of after hours.  Even if you find the offer insulting, politely thank the parents and tell them you are not available.  Remember that they may not see a difference between what you do for your job during the week and babysitting on a weekend. 

3.  Don't play favorites

If you do decide to watch someone's children after hours, you will probably develop a stronger relationship with them than the rest of the children in your class.  When you are working, remember not to play favorites and give extra attention to the children you watch after hours.

4.  Set clear expectation ahead of time

If you are going to watch children after hours, make sure you sit down with the parents and set clear expectations.  Discuss how much you expect to be paid, what the parents expect of you when you babysit, how this will affect your relationship when you see them at daycare, etc.

5.  Know when it's time to quit babysitting/nannying

If the arrangement places a strain on your daytime job, you may need to quit.  This may happen if:

  • the parents are constantly asking you to watch their kids and you become exhausted
  • the parents or children have difficulty maintaining separation between your daytime job and your babysitting job (the kids always want you to hold them when you are supposed to be running an entire classroom or the parents want to talk with you for an extended period of time when they drop off/pick up their kids at daycare, etc.)