Anne is a certified pedagogue and works at a specialist childcare centre. She also has lots of babysitting experience and is a fixed babysitter via Charly Cares. In this blog, we ask her all about childcare during corona and the precautions she is taking. Read on now.
What do you pay extra attention to when you babysit?
“During a babysitting service, I always take into account the current RIVM guidelines. For example, I keep my distance from the parents, I regularly check my own health (I take my temperature shortly before babysitting), and I pay extra attention to hygiene. In addition, I keep my circle small by only babysitting for my fixed families. I also keep my private social circle as small as possible. Openness and clear communication to and from the family about our current health is a true must!”
You babysit for a lot of the same families, what kind of things do you do?
“I babysit both at night as well as during the day. What I do with the kids depends entirely upon their interests! For example, I often like to be creative with the kids, we'll sing and dance to music, play fantasy games for hours on end (led by the children themselves), we go outside, read picture books or watch a video about something that interests the kids, so that they can learn about the world around them.”
“I want to unburden the parents as much as possible for the time that I am there”
“In addition, I try to help out in the household wherever I can. First of all, I always make sure the things we used are cleaned and put away before the parents return. I take care of this together with the children, so that they learn that this is also part of playing/the activity. When the children are asleep and I have my hands free, I tidy up the living room or kitchen and, for example, load the dishwasher. That way, the parents will not only have had some time to themselves to recharge, but they also don't have to immediately get to work putting the household to order when they come home; after all, a tidy home means a tidy mind. I also think it's important for parents to take time for themselves, since taking good care of others starts with you. That is why I would like to take as much off their hands as possible for the time that I am there and thereby encourage the parents to plan more time for themselves!”
Do you like often babysitting for the same families?
“I often babysit for the same families. I used to babysit for a lot more different families, but nowadays I stick to my fixed 'circle'. These families have invested in one familiar face for their child(ren) by regularly booking me. They have taken the time to allow the kids to get used to me. For example, some parents stayed home for the first few times and did something else around the house. Other parents had me come by a bit earlier, so they could start to get ready and the children could get used to my while their parents were still around. That way, I can really bond with the children. I choose to only come to these familiar families, which is best for the parent, child, and me! They have invested in me and it pays off!”
Do the parents sometimes work from home while you are babysitting? And how do you deal with that?
“Especially when I was new to a family, the parents sometimes stayed home. But also when the schools were closed, parents often worked from home while I was there. At first, I found this quite difficult, because where is the line between the parents being available for the children and you as a babysitter? I gradually found my way and I now try to keep the children from 'disturbing' their parents as much as possible. However, when I do see that the children really need their parent, and if I know that the parents are able to give them that attention, I'll allow it; nobody can replace your parents after all, not even the greatest Angels! ;)
“I try not to do very active, noisy activities in the room next to where the parent is working”
I also take into account the activities I do with the kids and the places where we will go. For example, I try not to do very active, noisy activities in the room next to where the parent is working, or we deliberately play somewhere further away from the parent.”
Want to know more about how our Babysitting Angels babysit during corona?
In this blog on safely booking a babysitter you can read everything you need to keep in mind if you need a babysitter during corona times. And in this blog Babysitting Angels Madelon and Irena talk about the precautions they take regarding babysitting services and the activities they do with the kids.