Foundation For Success
Your success & the success of LIFEVINE Family Services is based on certain elements that are absolutely essential and critical in helping us to remain professional and overcome the challenges of providing quality care to our clients. We discussed these during the interview process, and we also wanted them available to you on the website. The SIX PILLARS OF SUCCESS ARE:
Early is On Time, On Time is Late, and Late is Unacceptable.
Traveling to and from your destination is always a challenge – especially in a busy city such as this one. Remember you either plan to be early or you plan to be late! So plan for the worst-case scenarios including train delays, power outages, difficulty in finding the address, long elevator waits, extended discussions with building personnel /family and other factors outside of our control. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early. This helps set the tone for the evening and allows the family to build confidence in the fact that they have had enough time to speak with you before they walk out the door.
Employ questions that command solutions.
The right questions can help you set the stage of discover to help increase confidence in the rest of the night as well as provide you with important information. The questions that pack the most punch are usually open ended questions that often begin with “why”, “how” or “what do you think of.” Prior to your arrival, you should prepare 4-5 questions such as the starter questions listed below. Paying attention to the ages of the children and any special needs or allergies prior to arriving in the notes section of every job will help guide you in developing more questions. Remember, you can find the notes in your calendar, the email confirmation for the job, and the eyeglass icon on the LIFEVINE app. The sample questions include:
- What is the schedule for the day/evening?
- What is the family’s preference for food/snacks? (Specific times, specific snacks, etc.)
- What is the bedtime/nap routine? (Do they need a story, bath, song? You may not perform bedtime as perfectly as mom or dad, but good to have a starting off point!)
- Anything else I should know about?
- For daytime visits, can we go outside/what are the favorite playgrounds?
- Feel free to add your own here – once you get the parent talking more details will emerge that will help you for the babysit!
Leave your day at the door.
Our days can really fill us up with so much stuff: stress, information, tension, stories, worries. And sometimes, we carry that baggage with us which can negatively influence the sanctuary of a family’s home. Always enter a family’s home with a high level of energy and ready to engage. Be prepared to engage with the children by sitting on the floor with them, pulling a book off the shelf, building a castle, etc. Get the children’s buy-in from the beginning. While asking your questions, you can show the family you are there to play! We have noticed that those who engage with the children from the beginning always receive the highest compliments in the formal review forms that are completed by the families.
Engage with the children… not their screens.
Televisions, iPads, computers, tablets and phones are off limits as a LIFEVINE policy. Going along with the level of engagement we are looking for, screens are not how we entertain. Often if they are asking for a show we are not entertaining enough – offer a game or a book. If during that question and answer time the family says they can watch a show before bed/nap, this is acceptable, OTHERWISE, we are to assume it is a no. Your phones are to remain to the side or in your bag while the children are awake. Once the children are safe, asleep and you have cleaned up the home, then feel free to text message or make short timely phone calls as the situation permits.
A clean home is a happy home.
Everyone likes to come home to cleanliness and tidiness. Coming home to a clean home after the end of an outing helps boost the mood for a sound night. We do not differentiate between kid or adult messes. Put dishes in the dishwasher, (If the dishwasher is full, run it! If it completes while you are still there, please put the dishes away!) put all toys in bins, throw clothing in hampers and straighten up. Best to do this as soon as the kids are asleep to ensure it is complete before the family arrives home. If you are babysitting during the day and there is no bedtime or nap, please stay after the parents arrive to clean up toys or games you may have played with while you were there. A house cleaner than when you arrived is a LIFEVINE differentiator and something the families have come to expect.
Be courteous: smile & say goodbye.
Conveying a caring attitude makes a huge difference and the best way to do so is to always remain courteous and friendly. At the end of your shift, please have a chat with the family about the evening– good/bad or otherwise. Limit this conversation to 5 – 10 minutes, as it is typically not time you are getting paid for. Remember giving you that is above and beyond the family’s expectations helps form a lasting bond with the parents and leads to more future opportunities for you as well.