How to Give Your Babysitter Constructive Feedback

By Kaitlin Hurtado on November 11, 2023

Regardless of how often you enlist the help of a babysitter, their ability to be successful in their role is essential for the well-being of your child. Even the most seasoned babysitter will have their own shortcomings, and these shortcomings may come to your attention as something that needs to be addressed to make sure that your babysitter is the right fit for your family. However, you may be hesitant to address any possible issue with your babysitter, no matter how small the issue may seem. You may fear upsetting your babysitter, causing them to quit and leave you without childcare options. Or, you may simply not be the confrontational type and are unsure how to communicate any feedback.

Issues left unaddressed can often escalate into a larger issue that can even impact your child down the line. To prevent further issues, constructive feedback should be communicated often, or as needed, to keep everyone on the same page. Most jobs have some form of a performance review to evaluate an employee’s work, highlighting their efforts and shortcomings, and babysitting is no different. Babysitters have the right to know how they can improve, and as an employer, you have the right to communicate constructive feedback. Keep reading for how to give your babysitter constructive feedback.

Photo: Pexels

Highlight the positives 

Depending on your babysitter, they can be the type to focus on the worst of any news they receive. If you are just going to say everything they are doing “wrong” or what they should be doing instead, they will be more likely to stew in the news and hyper-fixate on how bad of a job they are doing.

This doesn’t mean you have to gloss over what you really want to say, but you should also take the opportunity to relay your appreciation for their work by highlighting the positives of their performance.

Evaluate your asks 

When you set out to deliver constructive feedback, take a moment to reflect on the expectations you have of your babysitter. Have your current expectations changed since you first hired them? If they did, did you ever communicate the changes in what you expected from them?

If there are certain expectations, were they discussed when you first hired your babysitter? Reflecting on expectations can let you decide whether your feedback actually aligns with your babysitter’s role and responsibilities. If the feedback stems from changed expectations of your babysitter’s role and responsibilities, you may want to shift your discussion to expanding your babysitter’s responsibilities and the changes in their compensations that would result.

Offer up solutions 

When delivering feedback to your babysitter, there should be a purpose — to improve the situation. You do not want to just say what the babysitter is doing wrong and call it a day. How would you like the situation to improve?

Being able to offer up a solution or tips on improvement on the spot can help redirect your babysitter’s attention to action steps they can take, rather than fixate on the negative aspect of the feedback. Keep the constructive feedback as an opening to further discussion – ask them how they think they can improve with the provided feedback, or ask them to identify any reasons behind the issue at hand.

What may seem like a simple issue to you, may have a bit more complex backstory to it that your babysitter can shed light on. For example, your child may be experiencing increased tantrums under your babysitter’s care. To you, this may seem like a result of your babysitter, but it may be from another reason, such as frustration from schoolwork to negative feelings toward you being away from them.

Ask the babysitter for their feedback

Communication goes both ways. When delivering constructive feedback, allow your babysitter to relay their own feedback. Ideally, your babysitter should feel comfortable bringing up any issues as they come up while on the job, but they may feel just as hesitant as you may feel in delivering feedback.

Accept their feedback and take it into consideration. It can bring up any problems your kids may be having that you may not be spotting yourself. If you end up taking action with the feedback your babysitter provides, they can feel empowered and appreciated knowing their feedback is appreciated in your household.

Delivering constructive feedback to your babysitter should not be a daunting task. With these tips in mind, you can help keep communication effective for everyone involved — good luck!

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