Babysit only for people you know or who have been referred to you. Don't place advertisements in newsletters or on bulletin boards.
Leave the name, address, phone number, and expected duration of where you'll be sitting information with your parents.
Discuss curfew and payment rates, as well as travel arrangements, prior to accepting a job.
On The Job
Before parents leave, have them write down where they will be, along with the phone number.
Know all telephone locations, and know how to operate the alarm system if there is one.
Check on food allergies and medications.
Don't tie up the phone, as parents may be trying to reach you.
Don't have friends visit unless parents agree in advance.
Stay out of closets, desk drawers, and personal papers.
If the house is suddenly quiet check immediately, as the children may be up to something.
In An Emergency
In case of a fire, get you and the children out of the house. Go to a neighbor's house and call 911, then the parents.
Try to stay calm. Children probably won't panic if you don't.
When The Job Is Done
Inform employer if anything strange occurred (strange phone calls, etc.).
Always be escorted home. If your employer cannot walk or drive you home, or if he/she seems intoxicated, call home and have someone pick you up.
Daytime Babysitting Tips
If children are in the backyard, make sure the front door is locked, and vice versa.
If you take the children for a walk or to the park, etc., make sure you lock all doors and windows. Remember to take keys and a cellular phone, if you have one, with you.
Never take the children out after dark.
If you notice anything unusual when you return to the house (broken window, ripped screen, or door ajar) don't go inside. Take the children with you to a neighbor's house or to a public telephone and dial 911.