Over the years we’ve gotten requests for “a” sitter for a wedding. During the initial consultation, I ask how many kids are expected to attend. The responses usually fluctuate between 5 and 10 children and I have to explain that “a” sitter just isn’t going to be an option. Ratios are in place to ensure the safety of the children and the sanity of the caregiver. Each state has their own guidelines on how many adults can be responsible for a certain number of children. For example in Georgia the state ratio is 1 adult to 6 infants and in Maryland the ratio is 1 adult to 3 infants. The Elegant Event Sitters, Inc. ratio is 1 adult for every 2 infants (nationwide). Our ratio is kept so low because I don’t honestly know of anyone that can take care of 6 infants alone.
Hosts often want to save money by hiring 1 or 2 sitters for a large group. While I completely understand the need to stay within the budget constraints, safety isn’t something to be taken lightly. If you have 1 sitter alone with 5 children, either the sitter or the kids are going to have to go to the bathroom. Kids can’t go to the bathroom unattended so this means that EVERYONE has to go. At least one person is going to have to go (trust me on this) Having 2 adults present is a lesson that I learned in my 12 years of Girl Scout leadership.
It’s better to have an adequate number of adults than to have a wandering child that has escaped because there were not enough eyes to watch everyone at the same time. If the cost is a factor, ask the parents to pay a portion in order to offset the costs. This way the kids are in good hands and the adults are free to party in peace!