A babysitter contract defines the working arrangement between parents and the person they have selected to care for their child in their absence. A written agreement is helpful for babysitters who tend to a child regularly and want more security and clarity than an informal verbal agreement. Parents may also use the form to detail house rules, emergency contact numbers, and any other specified instructions they wish the babysitter to carry out.
A properly executed document describes the babysitter’s responsibilities regarding the child’s care and how they will be compensated for their time.
Parents will generally want to consider using a babysitter contract when they have chosen a sitter to care for their child on an ongoing basis. The contract may also be helpful in situations where the parents will be away for an extended period of time. The agreement will help ensure that both parties understand their responsibilities and that no details are left to assumption.
A babysitter contract can be customized to suit the needs of both parties, and the contents will vary greatly depending on the nature of the job. That said, the following provisions are considered essential clauses to include:
The parents and sitter should provide their cellphone numbers and other contact information. Each party should always be reachable by phone in case of an emergency, if plans change, or for general questions.
Emergency contact information should also be included, such as a close relative or neighbor, in case the parents are unavailable. The babysitter should also be provided with the phone numbers of the fire and police departments, as well as the poison center hotline.
The name of each child the sitter will be responsible for, their age, and their known allergies (if any) should be detailed in the document. The caregiver should be instructed on how to handle an allergic reaction, should one occur.
If the child is taking any medication, the sitter should be provided detailed instructions, including the name of the medication, dosage, frequency, and time it should be taken.
The contract should indicate whether the babysitter will have a recurring schedule and, if so, what that schedule is. The document should also state when the contract will come into effect and how either party may terminate it.
Both parties should agree to the babysitter’s duties while caring for the child and describe them in detail in the document.
Often these duties include:
- Preparing meals and feeding the children.
- Keeping the children safe and handling any emergencies that occur.
- Performing basic housework.
- Ensuring the children adhere to their bedtime routines.
- Helping with homework.
- Entertaining the children with play.
- Changing diapers.
The wage and frequency of pay to the babysitter should be outlined in the agreement. Often this individual is paid by the hour, but a babysitter with a more frequent schedule may be paid daily or weekly.
Though the terms “nanny” and “babysitter” are often used interchangeably because their duties overlap, they have some fundamental differences.
A babysitter is an as-needed child caregiver. They may work with multiple families and are often on call, caring for a child for several hours, and the job may be recurring or intermittent. A babysitter is often a teenager or young adult looking to earn extra money.
A nanny is a professional child caregiver and often works with a single family on a full or part-time basis. In some instances, a nanny will even live with the family. A nanny acts much more like a parent and is often responsible for the child’s needs while the parents are absent, which may include meals, education, socializing, transportation to school, and other activities.
No certification or license is required to become a nanny, but many parents require that their nanny has up-to-date CPR and First Aid training.