Babysitting special needs children - Do you have it in you?
Are you going to babysit a child with special needs sometime soon? Are you considering working for a family who are looking for a babysitter for their special needs child. Make sure you’re ready and know what to expect!
What is a special needs babysitter or caregiver?
A special needs babysitter or caregiver is a babysitter or childcare provider who cares for children with special needs. People who care for special needs children are special people. They have a big heart, and even more so, they have extra experience and qualifications. This can be from, for example, study, internships, or their (other) work. Next to this, they are most often first aid certified and have been background checked, for the safety of the potentially vulnerable children with which they work.
Are there specific requirements in order to work with special needs children?
It may depend on where you are, but usually, yes. In most cases, you can only care for special needs children if you have a valid first aid certification and in some cases a background check as well. Next to this, it is important to have experience with special needs children either through work or by having followed a relevant course.
Do you have a valid first aid certificate or criminal record check? Mention this on your profile, so parents can clearly see it!
What falls under “special needs children” at Babysits?
Special needs children at Babysits involve any children that need extra care in their daily life. For example, children that may have some type of physical, behavioral, or psychological challenges or disabilities. At Babysits, we’ve organized special needs into the following categories:
- Anxiety disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorders (ODD/CD)
- Deaf and hard of hearing
- Global development delay
- Language disorder
- Food allergies
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Physically limited
- Sleep disorder
- Visual impairment
Questions to ask during a meet and greet
Before you accept a babysitting appointment, it is smart to first have a meet and greet with the family. During this introductory meeting, you can get to know each other better, see if there is a good fit with you and the child and discuss what special care the child needs.
Do keep in mind, a special needs child often needs more care when babysitting, compared to a child without special needs. This is why the introductory meeting is so important. You want to know what you should expect and what care they need, and the parents want to know if you are suitable as a special needs caregiver. Here are some questions that you should ask the family:
About the child
- Can you tell me a little more about your child?
- What are your child’s special needs?
- What special care does your child need?
- What can the child do independently and what does the child need help with?
- Is the child allergic to anything or do they need to be given any type of medicine?
- Is the child’s routine important and what is the child’s daily routine?
- What are activities that the child likes to do?
- Are there specific activities that can’t or shouldn’t be done?
- What is your child comfortable or uncomfortable with?
Expectations of the babysitter
- What are your expectations for a babysitter?
- What are the tasks that a special needs babysitter needs to do?
- Has the child had a babysitter before; how did that do?
- Are there specific signs that I should pay attention to or look out for?
- What are the expectations in case of an emergency?
Of course, there are other general questions that you shouldn’t forget to ask during an interview or meet and greet! You can find these in our article about babysitter interview questions.
And? Are you ready to start babysitting special needs children? Simply update your profile and let parents in your area know that you’re ready to take care of children with special needs!