Babysitters and Cleaning

January 1, 2016

A Toronto Mom has sent us an email asking us how much cleaning is suitable to give an occasional babysitter. This is a major complaint that we hear from babysitters.

At we always stress that the children come first. That, if you have a babysitter doing heavy cleaning, she is not really looking after your children; especially young babysitters who are eager to please you. We recommend the following when it comes to cleaning:


  • Ask the babysitter how she feels about doing some light housekeeping duties. The house should in the same condition when you come home as you, as a parent, have left it. You should not expect anymore. If the babysitter cleans more please provide her praise and reward her on her efforts.
  • If you have an occasional babysitter, do not have her do deep cleaning. Her job is to be with your children, to do fun activities, and provide good quality care for them. Chances are, she's not that great at cleaning anyway.
  • Encourage the babysitter to have the children assist in the tidying of their own toys and things. This takes the load off of the sitter, gets the kids participating in this activity, and teaches them that they should tidy their toys.
  • Cleaning that suitable for a occasional babysitter includes tidying toys, loading a dishwasher, cleaning up after a meal, sweeping, and wiping counters. Some parents will have a babysitter fold laundry after the children go to bed, but generally not wash the laundry.
  • Always ensure that cleaning products are out of reach of children. Some cleaners are poisonous to children, and you don't want that added risk while they are in the care of a sitter. If the babysitter does do some cleaning, don't have the her deal with any product that is poisonous.

We hope you find that informative and helpful. Please let us know if you have a comment or question!