Babysitters have several responsibilities from the moment they enter a home. Their major responsibility will be to watch the children, which includes:

• Playing with the children

• Preventing accidents

• Selecting safe and appropriate toys and games for each child

• Giving the children their undivided attention

• Changing diapers of infants and toddlers

• Bathing and dressing infants and young children

• Feeding babies

• Fixing meals or snacks for the children

• Cleaning up messes • Handling the household

If a babysitting job is going to be long-term, the babysitter must meet with families ahead of time to establish their guidelines and expectations. On first-time assignments as well as subsequent jobs, babysitters need to secure five vital pieces of information before the parents leave:

1. General behavior guidelines

2. Rules on television viewing and snacking

3. The children’s official bedtime

4. Special duties to be performed, such as bathing or feeding the children, doing dishes, etc.

5. A telephone number or information on how to reach the parents in case of an emergency