Five myths about babysitting

Babysitters can be a real relief for many families and they are often essential in the family’s everyday life. Even though babysitters can play a huge role in Irish families, there are some myths about babysitting that need to be dispelled, and fast. Here are five of the biggest misconceptions about babysitters, according to Irish website Babysits.ie.

Parents with regular babysitters neglect their children

Let’s start with the biggest myth of all: parents who are looking for a babysitter to support themselves don’t want to spend a lot of time with their children. These parents are said to neglect their children as they would rather go out with friends than stay at home and play with their children. This is absolutely not true! Babysitters are there to support families when needed. Especially for single parents, a babysitter can be indispensable. Likewise, for working parents, babysitters are a great after-hour option when childcare centres are closed.

Babysitters have no influence on children

A common myth is that babysitters only spend a little bit of time with your children when you’re away and therefore have little impact on the kids they are minding. However, a loving babysitter offers the opportunity for children to socialise with strangers in a familiar environment, presenting children with the possibility of developing varied social skills and opportunities. For this reason, babysitters should not only be seen as simply a carer for your child, but also a teacher.

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Babysitters are less qualified than childminders

It is true that the requirements for becoming a childminder are significantly higher than for babysitters. Childminders need certain childcare qualifications and trainings, like passing a basic first aid course, and safety and/or training in food hygiene. Nevertheless, we have noticed that a lot of babysitters are often highly qualified educators. Many babysitters are often teachers, early childhood educators or they certified in childhood education and care. Therefore, the title of babysitter does not always mean that the sitter is less qualified than a childminder.

People become babysitters because they can’t find a “Real Job”

A lot of babysitters babysit as a part-time job next to their studies or another job. Many people therefore don’t take babysitting seriously, and it isn’t viewed as an important position. However, babysitters are handed a huge responsibility in taking care of other peoples’ children and ensuring the children’s safety and wellbeing. Yes, the work of a babysitter may not involve sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. However, babysitters put in a lot of energy into providing the best care possible for the children that they are entrusted with. Anyone with a toddler knows that minding children IS a real job, especially when the child isn’t your own!

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The babysitter should always an acquaintance or a family member

Of course, it is easier to find a babysitter in the family or in your friendship circle. However, this is not always possible, especially when a babysitter is needed regularly. During date nights or nights out with friends, it is typical for parents to leave their children with grandparents or good friends. But when babysitters are needed more frequently than the occasional night out, even the very best of friends will not be able to devote that much time to helping you out. For this reason, parents need to look beyond and seek the help of (professional) childcare providers or agencies – and there are plenty of great babysitters out there, it’s just a case of locating one!

If anything, hiring a babysitter can give you peace of mind, provide you with someone who can really relate to your children and take great care of them, help develop your children’s social skills and interests, and help you to improve your work and family balance.

With over 5,000 active members in Ireland, Babysits.ie is the largest babysitting platform in Ireland, connecting babysitters and parents online and by mobile app.

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