Make Everyone’s Day Easier

Become a Super Favorite Family

Want to become a favorite family but aren’t sure how, or even what that means?

We get asked all the time if a family can request the same sitter with each booking. We always try to get repeat sitters for our families, but sitters can take OR turn down jobs at their discretion. Doing a little prep can go a long way to being a Super Favorite Family with our Super Sitters.

Through sitter feedback, we have discovered that some families don’t offer as much incentive to return as others and sitters sometimes decline return requests. We thought we should give you, our families, a heads up on some of these things. Read below for some tips on how to become a favorite family! Remember, these are ideas, not rules!

Be a Super Favorite Family!

We asked our sitters

What little things make a family a favorite? What makes them want to return to a home? What overall family practices make them feel appreciated? Click through some of their answers below to get more details.

Being offered a car/ride home is always so awesome and appreciated!
Variations of this answer were by FAR the most mentioned. For those sitters that don’t drive, if it is snowing or rainy, or cold, or just late, spending an hour’s worth of what they just made to get home can be a bummer. We get that this isn’t in everyone’s budget, but if you can swing it, your sitter will definitely notice. At the very least, please make sure your sitter is safe when leaving your home.
The money stuff can be awkward…

The hourly rate is sent to both the sitter and family so that everyone knows what it is before the gig starts. Please don’t haggle with your sitter (yes, it happens). Also, please have cash, checkbook, etc., ready to go at the end of the night. If you want to pay electronically please mention this BEFORE you go out so that you know for sure that the sitter is set up to accept it when you get back. Please remember that a lot of our sitters budget tightly and depend heavily on this money they are making while babysitting and guesstimate based on the hours for which they were confirmed.

ALSO, TIPPING? This is not expected (like you might in a restaurant) and you certainly don’t need to be just throwing handfuls of money at them to get them to return, but rounding up, paying for the time you booked even though you came home early, or ordering a rideshare as mentioned above — are all very appreciated. Also, paying your sitter in coins or including a cent amount on a check is highly frowned upon.

It's great when they welcome me into their home.
Seems simple enough but answering the door and actually seeming like you want your sitter to be there is major. They are not expecting a perfect home or perfect children — chaos and kid-life is definitely part of the job — just let them know you are happy they are there. Extra points if you ask them about their life outside of sitting and show an interest in who they are as a person, not just as your babysitter.
I love when families have the little information sheet really handy.
We have created a form that you can download, fill out, and leave for each sitter you book. Lots of basic info, but also some things that might get forgotten in a quick hand off. You can find the form HERE and you can leave the same form (with small updates) for each of your sitters!
Having them set expectations in front of the kids sets a good tone for the night.
Having the kids hear you lay out the rules of the night (bedtime, TV rules, etc.) to your sitter, ensures that everyone is on the same page, and shows the kids that you are officially putting the sitter in charge. Sounds small, but goes a long way.
For night gigs, I love when they show me how to work the TV.
Some of you have crazy remotes and entertainment systems. If you have something that warrants instructions, please leave them the instructions. You can add these instructions on this handy Favorite Family Form too.
Having the Wi-Fi and password handy is great.
This can sometimes be an awkward one for the sitters to ask about as they don’t want to seem like they are asking to be on their phones all night. But, especially for night or napping gigs, having access to your internet is helpful for those needing to work or study.
Showing me around the house is always appreciated.
Showing your sitter around your home seems like an obvious suggestion, but it often gets overlooked. They will be in your home with your kid(s) — make sure they know where they are going and where to find things (kid bathroom vs. guest bathroom, etc.).
I love knowing about the food rules/setup ahead of time.
This is a big one. It’s sort of an unspoken rule that if a sitter is serving a kid meal or is at your house over a general meal time, he/she will probably need to eat too. If you are open to the sitter eating food in your house, great. If not, that’s okay too – just make sure they know! You can let CSS know so that we can tell them to bring their own stuff, or you can let them know yourself in a text or call ahead of time. “Hey ___, we haven’t had a chance to shop in a bit so best to eat before you come or bring something with you.” Or even just a “feel free to help yourself to whatever” once they are in your house, is great — otherwise they might feel awkward going into your cupboard.
I love when I know the special little tricks that help the night go smoothly.
Do you know your kids need a few time warnings before changing activities? Do they have a very specific order to things before bed? Do you have specific screen-time rules? Do they have a cuddle item that might need to be found before heading to sleep? Nightlights, snack rules, etc? Giving the sitter these extra tips (another great thing for the Favorite Family Form) will really set them up to have most successful exchange with the kids.
Being on time, or letting me know they are running late — that’s huge!
Please be respectful of your sitter’s time. If you are running later than you booked, even if just by a few minutes, let them know. If you want to stay out later than originally booked, ask your sitter before you order that last drink and be sure they hadn’t planned on leaving right at the scheduled time. It’s rarely a problem for them to stay, but don’t assume anything. Also, if they DO stay, make sure they know how much you appreciate it.
It’s always nice to have small chit-chat at the end of the night.
This does not mean you need to hang out with your sitter and solve the world’s problems at midnight — just a quick conversation about how things went, how the kids did, and if there was anything to report. This is just one more small way to let them know you appreciate them.