Every child caregiver can bring a little Mary Poppins with her, using this list of fun and helpful ideas.
When hired to be a child caregiver, you want to be prepared. While you’ve got lots of creative games in your head and crafts in your bag, carers need essential emergency procedures, contact numbers and yes, snacks. Here is a list of what to prepare, even if you are just going round the corner!
Emergency contact list
During an emergency, first priority is to immediately phone the parents or 911. Do ask the parents, however, to supply you with a list of at least two alternative phone numbers (such as their work numbers and a neighbour’s mobile phone) in case they can’t be reached. Also request numbers for the doctor and dentist, and get a suggested plan of action if there is a minor emergency versus a major one.
List of medications & allergies
As the child caregiver, you will need to know if the children in your care have any allergies or take any medication. Keep this info in your notebook, and if there are food allergies, place reminders in the kitchen. One of the first questions you are asked in a doctor’s office and emergency room is “Is the child taking any medication?” and “Is the child allergic to anything?” Having this crucial information with you can help the doctor diagnose the child and prescribe the correct medicine, with the least amount of side effects.
A first-aid kit
First-aid kits can be found almost anywhere. Be sure to pack yours with extra plasters, anti-histamines, an EpiPen if there’s a known allergy, Dettol, and of course, hand sanitizer.
Tissues & wet wipes
Children and messes tend to go hand-in-hand. Keep pocket tissue packets on you, as well as handi-wipes, so that you are equipped to clean up any mess.
Whether on your phone or using a pen and paper, keep something on hand to help you jot down any information (that isn’t time sensitive) that you need to discuss with the parent.
Keep $20.00 in bank notes and $10.00 in change in your purse or car. Small trips may include meter parking, so keeping some spare pound coins in your bag will allow you to park without worrying where to get change or where to find to the nearest cashpoint. An extra $10.00 for a stop into the corner shop is also helpful.
Even on a cloudy day, apply sunscreen on the children to protect them while they are outdoors. Most manufacturers have smaller, travel-sized bottles as well. Having Chap Stick for the children can protect their lips from the sun.
Nappies, wipes & mat
If needed. But if kids are potty trained, you may still want to keep a spare pair of pants and bottoms in your bag (whatever age!).
Put together small bags of rice cakes, sultanas, or apple slices before you head out for the day. These are easy healthy snacks for the kids that will boost their energy when they get tired.
Bottle of water
Smaller bottles are now being made and can fit in your bag without taking up too much room or weighing it down. Keep refilling these or use training cups to provide lots of water breaks throughout the day.
Educational games and the child’s favourite toy or book
Keeping fun trivia-type games, flash cards, books or scavenger hunt lists for the children, is a great way for them to have fun, especially if there’s traffic or a long wait. And, as any parent knows, just the sight of seeing their favourite toy can help a child be more comfortable in any situation.
As a child caregiver, you don’t need to pack everything every time you leave the home. Knowing the essentials to bring can help you feel prepared for any situation!
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