As Covid-19 continues to change our daily lives, parents working from home are still trying to figure out how to find a balance between caring for their children and their jobs. However, when officials are asking everyone to stay put or keep their distance as much as possible, how are parents able to get the caregiving assistance they need?

With the internet comes many wonderful things. It’s provided us with Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on. But let’s not also forget that it’s provided us with a way to connect with one another from a distance—particularly through video. So if you come across a job posting asking for child-care options remotely, and you’re wondering if you’re equipped to take the job, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Blue banner with text saying "When working from home clashes with homework" and showing a babysitter helping a child with homework.Free Video Platforms for Virtual Sitting

Google Hangouts

Activities for Virtual Sitting

Pretend Cooking Show
Science Experiments
How To: Wash Your Hands
Help with School Packets or Tough Subjects
Read Together
Choreograph a Dance Together
Games Like Madlibs, Online Chess or Checkers
Online Video Games
20 Questions
Write a Story Together
Thinking Games
Words with Friends (Scrabble)

Things to Consider for Virtual Sitting

To be clear: a virtual sitting is not the same thing as in-person babysitting. A virtual sitting is hiring a professional to engage children digitally for a short period of time. The sessions can be used to assist kids with schoolwork or facilitate an interactive game—like charades. It’s not a replacement for physical care. Families and sitters considering a virtual sitting during this time should continue to view safety as their top priority. Sitters should keep in mind:

Building Trust is Still Important

Even though you aren’t physically in their house, you’re still spending time with their child.

Parents Shouldn’t Leave Their Child Unattended

You aren’t able to physically supervise or control the child when connected only by video.

Review Planned Activities

Work with the parents to determine what’s appropriate for their child.

Good Lighting

They want to see your face! Natural lighting is optimal, especially having it shining directly on your face and not coming from behind you.

Frame the Camera

Think about what’s in the background of your video feed. This is still a professional interaction—make sure it looks tidy and there aren’t any inappropriate images or items visible.

Phone/Text Connection

What happens if the internet is spotty or they haven’t shown up on the video call? Make sure you have a phone connection with the family to make sure you’re on the same page about what’s going on.

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