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Traveling with Your Babysitter This Vacation?

The following article was published in Boston Parents Paper and Westchester Family

If you?re planning a family trip during school vacation week this month and you'd like to ensure some alone time with your spouse, consider bringing a trusted babysitter along. Yes, you?ll get a romantic evening out together without having to worry about the kids, but a good sitter can also make the entire vacation more relaxing for the whole family.

Now many parents are opening their eyes to another potential safety hazard for their children - the health of their child’s caregiver.

Candi Wingate, president and CEO of the nationwide sitter-finding services Nannies4hire.com and Babysitters4hire.com, offers some good tips on establishing shared expectations before the trip. Make sure, Wingate says, that you and your babysitter communicate clearly on your expectations and have an understanding on:

  • TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS ? Will the sitter have her own guest room or bedroom?
  • RESPONSIBILITIES ? Will the sitter be on the clock the entire time or have some free time for herself?
  • EXPENSES ? What expenses will the family pay and what are the sitter?s to bear? Wingate says it is common for the family to pay for transportation, lodging and main meals, but that the sitter is usually responsible for purchasing her own souvenirs and admission tickets to attractions she?ll visit apart from the family.
  • COMPENSATION ?The average fee paid to a sitter traveling with a family on vacation is $150 per day, based on the babysitter working eight hours each day, Wingate says.
  • APPROPRIATE ATTIRE ? String bikini on the beach? Casual wear at breakfast or when lounging in the evening with the family? If these things matter to you, be clear with your sitter about what would not be appropriate.
  • CELL PHONE USE ? Talk with your sitter about when you?d prefer that she?s not on her cell phone taking or making a personal call ? probably not while she is watching your kids at the beach or an amusement park, for example.

- Deidre Wilson