Our team is consistently on time and reliable and it’s one of the top reasons parents choose to work with us. That said, being late can happen even to the best of us. Utilize these methods to professionally recover with a parent:

1. Let them know you’re running behind and keep your text/call to the parent very brief. “Hello, I am running about X minutes behind and will be there soon. I apologize and I look forward to seeing you.” Less is more. Parents just want you to arrive safe and not be late in the future. Avoid explanations about traffic, stopping for gas etc. No matter how you say it, you will mostly look like you are not accountable for managing your time and planning ahead. Unless it’s a traffic incident with a sudden delay that no one could have possibly foreseen, citing traffic will not

2. Give one calm and sincere apology when you arrive. Arrive at the door calm and ready to work. “Thank you so much for having me, I won’t be late again. I’m ready to get started.” Wash your hands and move forward with confidence. If you arrive flustered, rushed and overly apologetic, the parent understandably feels like you’re not really ready to supervise and focus. When the apology is brief and calm the parent can usually go on to trust and rebook with you in the future. Avoid the urge to apologize again later when you’re leaving, ending the booking on a sour note. Instead, try,“Thank you so much for having me, I hope to see you again soon.”

3. Prevent Being Late Again. A parent who rebooks you is offering you a new opportunity to make an impression. If you are on time and attentive during your next bookings, that late one will be a thing of the past. Resist the urge to bring it back up by apologizing again “for last time.” Apologize once and move forward.

Being on time doesn’t come easily for everyone. When I was babysitting a lot, I had to set multiple phone alarms to leave my house on time. Caring for children has always come naturally to me, while being on time has always been a thing I have to focus on.


Genna Hackley
Founder, Babysitters Of Boulder

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