From being the defacto choice for making some extra cash on the side during college years, babysitting has almost transformed into a mainstream profession and for good reason. Parents are willing to pay top dollar for a skilled and experienced babysitter who has a way with kids.
If you are looking to learn the ropes of babysitting jobs, then you are in the right place.
Contrary to popular notion, babysitting is not just about managing kids and keeping them safe until the parents come home. There’s so much more to it.
Are you aware that you can get licensed to become a babysitter?
What does it take to be a babysitter?
Oh if only there was a manual for babysitting that could be memorized. But unfortunately, there’s none. But there are a bunch of qualities that most people look for in their babysitters. Knowing these can amplify your chances of landing the best babysitting jobs.
The first quality is punctuality. You need to reach the client’s place on time because they are most likely depending on you. Having a car or any other mode of transport is definitely a plus because that shows that the chances of you standing up on them even if you were not able to catch that bus are slim.
The second and the most important quality is friendliness. You need to be friendly and warm not only with the kids but also with the clients. Nobody likes to leave their children with an uptight sitter all day or night. But there’s a thin line in being friendly and allowing children to have things done their way. It is important to learn when to say no and draw a line when it comes to house rules.
Creativity comes a close third. And you are going to need a lot of it especially if you are new to babysitting jobs. Just because you took care of your niece one evening does not mean that you can take care of children all day. Children can be moody, anxious, bored, naughty, throw tantrums and do everything possible to make it the worst day of your life. They may snuggle up and listen to you read their favorite fairy tale or they may just sneak into the kitchen and break that jar of candy. It is up to the babysitter to keep them entertained and tuck them away safely into bed.
Attention to detail is a must for babysitter jobs. Different families have different rules for their kids. You must be aware of the dos and don’ts for the kids before you sign up.
Last but not the least; a babysitter is expected to be certified in first aid. A lot of babysitter jobs don’t consider this mandatory. But having it is definitely a plus because the parent can have the peace of mind that you can take immediate action in an emergency situation.
Do you need to be certified to apply for babysitting jobs?
One of the reasons why babysitting is one of the most popular part time jobs is because it does not require a college degree or a license.
However, if you intend to make it a full time career, like a daycare center for example, where you take care of multiple children at your residence, then there may be rules and possibly, certifications in your state or county.
This involves rules about the number of children that you can take care of at a time, rules about the premise that you will be using as the babysitting center, safety norms and also the assurance that you are not running a pre-school.
Coming to the question, you do not need to be a certified babysitter to get good paying babysitting jobs. Having said that a certification will definitely work in your favor because parents prefer hiring people who are knowledgeable and trained to handle a variety of situations that can arise while taking care of kids.
Most community centers and hospitals usually offer courses in babysitting.
How much do babysitters make?
If you are considering babysitting jobs then you’d be glad to know that there has been an increase in the minimum wage for babysitters in the past few years. The average pay is now $15 an hour for watching one child and almost $18 an hour for watching two children. But rates as high as $25 an hour are not unheard of in some parts of the country, especially metropolitan areas.
According to the report, nanny jobs are no longer limited to college students either. Rising cost of living in urban areas is now drawing in even skilled and full time professionals to babysitting.
How to prepare for that first babysitting job?
One of the rookie mistakes that young babysitters often make is to take up more than they can chew. You need to have a well-chalked out plan in hand before you start your babysitting business.
- Spread the word: Talk to friends, neighbors, colleagues and family about your new babysitting business. You need to get the word around and working with people who are close to you is a great way to gain some credible experience in the job.
- Know the age group: You can be babysitting toddlers or even adolescents. You need to know the age group of children that you are comfortable working with. There’s a huge difference in the two. Taking care of a toddler may involve changing diapers or bathing a child whereas working with adolescents takes a lot more patience.
- Be responsible: A babysitter needs to be responsible and attentive to the needs of the children. You need to map out a schedule for the child and ensure that they follow the schedule to the T. When will they eat? What time is their nap? Have a plan and work accordingly.
With time, experience and some marketing in the local communities, you should be able to turn this into a full time career that is rewarding and fulfilling too.