4 Things to Consider When You Cancel a Sitter


Life is unpredictable. (No surprise there.) However, occasionally things happen that are out of your control. Sometimes, this means a change in plans and the need to cancel a sitter. Every parent has been there. It can be an awkward situation, for both you and your sitter. But it doesn’t have to be.

Just Keep These 4 Things In Mind:

  1. When you hire a babysitter, you’re their employer. Be as professional as you’d want your boss to be with you. Set a good example for an impressionable teen and try to cancel only if absolutely necessary. You don’t have to give your sitter the reason why you’re canceling, but you should be apologetic and explain that it was unavoidable.
  2. If you must cancel, cancel as early as possible to allow your teen babysitter to make other arrangements for that time period, as teens generally have pretty busy schedules.
  3. Although teens are notorious for preferring texting over talking, show your sitter the courtesy of a phone call. Leave a voicemail if they don’t answer, and only then follow up with a text.
  4. You should give a minimum token of one hour’s pay to show that you value the sitter’s time. As a teen, they were likely looking forward to making extra money babysitting, and the cash will show them that you appreciate that they agreed to sit for you.

It’s important to remember that your sitters are students with homework and extracurricular activities. When they agree to babysit for you, they’re taking time out of a packed schedule. Don’t forget to be respectful of their time and help. If you handle a cancellation the right way, you’ll avoid hard feelings and make any sitter feel good about babysitting for you in the future!

Has your sitter taken a babysitting preparation course? If not, consider chatting with her parents about signing her up for Safe Sitter®. Use our Find a Class tool.

If you liked this article, you might like:

How to Find a Good Babysitter

Picking the Best Babysitter for the Job

Jennifer Seward

Jennifer Seward

Jennifer has an M.A. in English and years of nonprofit experience. As a writer and former newspaper reporter, she gravitated toward the nonprofit world because she enjoys the vast and inspiring storytelling opportunities found there.
Jennifer Seward