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100 Tips for Becoming a Babysitter
Babysitting can be a very rewarding and lucrative job that is ideal as a first job and/or as a second income. If you are looking for more of a career then you may want to look at becoming a nanny. Either way, we are very glad to have you here at babysitting jobs and would like to offer you the following 100 tips for becoming a babysitter:
10 Tips for Finding Babysitting Jobs in Your Area
- Familiarize yourself with the families in your neighborhood. Get to know which families have children so that you know who may be in need of a babysitter.
- Ask your mom and dad to check with their coworkers. People often need babysitters but aren’t sure where to find reliable ones.
- Ask your friends’ families if they know anyone who needs a babysitter. Tell your friends to keep you in mind if they hear about babysitting jobs in the area.
- Post an ad on Craigslist. Just make sure not to use any identifying information or to post your phone number. Have people message you through the system instead and keep your parents in the loop.
- Spend time at local playgrounds. Get to know the regulars. Let them know that you are looking for babysitting work.
- Visit the local rec center and post an ad there.
- Visit local grocery stores. If it is allowed, post ads there. Check with the manager to make sure that it is okay.
- Stop in at local elementary schools. Ask them if they have any advice for you.
- Post fliers around the neighborhood. Just make sure that there aren’t any local ordinances that prohibit the use of fliers – you don’t want to break the law!
- Use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word that you are looking for work as a babysitter. Someone who knows someone may be able to help.
10 Questions to Ask a Prospective Family
- Have the kids ever had a babysitter before? If they never have, you may be in for more than you had bargained for.
- What is the average length of time that you will be needed for babysitting jobs? Most people should have a rough estimate for you.
- Are there any pets in the home? Will you have to take care of them in any way? Find out the types of pets and their names too.
- Will you have to prepare meals for the children? How extensive will the cooking have to be? This is especially important if you aren’t very experienced with preparing meals.
- Will the parents be able to pick you up and drop you back off?
- Are there any behavior issues that you need to be aware of? What kinds of things have previous babysitters had trouble with in the past?
- What are the kids’ favorite activities? Make sure to get examples of things to do outside and inside, in case of bad weather.
- What are the kids’ favorite TV shows or movies? Are DVDs available?
- Are there any allergies that you should know about? What precautions should be taken?
- In the case of an emergency, what will you be expected to do? Will the parents always be within easy reach, or will you have to get a neighbor for help?
10 Ways to Find Out how the Parents Feel about Discipline
- Are timeouts used? If so, where are the children expected to have their timeouts? What lengths of time are generally used?
- Watch the kids’ behavior. Do they seem to be well behaved? Are they used to receiving discipline?
- Ask the parents point-blank what their discipline policies are. How do they typically handle misbehavior? It is important to be on the same page as much as possible.
- What types of discipline will you be expected to perform? Will you simply have to report to the parents at the end of your shift and let them handle things from there?
- Observe how the kids interact with one another. Do they seem to be unconcerned about getting into trouble?
- Do the kids listen to their parents, or do they seem to disregard what the parents have to say? This will give you a good clue about how well they will listen to you too.
- Ask about the kids’ behavior at school. Are there any recurring issues or problems?
- Ask about the kids’ behavior for previous babysitters. Do certain patterns or issues crop up again and again?
- Get an idea about the kids’ dynamic with one another. Find out what you are supposed to do if they get into fights or arguments. This will not be an issue if you are dealing with an only child.
- Are you expected to call if misbehavior occurs? In many cases, this is enough to keep children from acting up. However, you need to know about this policy before you start babysitting for a family.
10 Ways to Spot Difficult Children before Taking a Job
- Watch how the kids react to meeting you. Do they seem to be excited, or are they exhibiting defiance right away? If the latter is true, you could be in for some trouble.
- Find out how the kids feel about their parents leaving them for a few hours. Are they anxious, upset or worried? If these issues are very pronounced, you could be up against some serious problems.
- Observe how siblings interact with one another. Are they respectful of one another, or do they seem prone to getting into spats and fights?
- Watch how kids interact with their friends. If possible, do this in a discreet way. Are your prospective charges kind to other kids, or do they stir up trouble?
- Be wary of kids who cry easily and quickly. Children who get upset at the drop of a hat are difficult to manage.
- Proceed with caution if kids seem to ignore their parents. The odds of them listening to you are very slim.
- If you witness children talking back to their parents, you should look for a different babysitting job.
- If pets are in the house, watch to see how the kids treat them. If they are cruel to the pets, they will be difficult to babysit.
- Are the kids expected to do chores and clean up after themselves? If not, you may end up having to do that yourself.
- If possible, find out how the kids fare in school. Good students tend to be easier to babysit than kids who struggle in school.
10 Certification or Training Programs Babysitters Should Consider
- Check with your local chapter of the Red Cross. That organization typically offers training courses for babysitters, and that type of certification will work wonders for your credentials.
- Stop by local hospitals to see if they offer training courses for babysitters. Most large hospitals offer such programs, and they are usually free or very cheap.
- The YMCA is a good place to go to see about babysitter certification and training courses. If you already go there for other activities, it is an especially convenient option.
- If you are in high school, check to see if there are any classes that could pertain to babysitting. Safety classes are often offered, for instance, and could be used to spruce up your resume.
- The Internet is awash in great babysitter training and certification courses. Do a little research to find the best options.
- Make sure to get your CPR certification. Most parent will expect you to have it.
- Get first aid training. If you’ve had it but it has been a while, take a refresher course.
- If you are completely unsure about what to do as a babysitter, ask to see if you can be a mother’s helper first. You can watch how a mom takes care of the kids so you know what to do.
- Community colleges sometimes offer courses that are useful for babysitters. Be sure to check colleges in your area.
- There are plenty of great books out there about being a successful babysitter. Check a few of them out from the local library.
10 Characteristics of Top Babysitters
- Great babysitters are healthy. Parents don’t want you to babysit their kids if you have a cold or another illness. They don’t want their children to get sick.
- Dependability is critical. Parents need to know that you will be there when they need you. If you don’t answer when they call, they will find someone else.
- Responsibility goes a long way when it comes to being a great babysitter.
- You have to love kids if you want to be successful as a babysitter. If you don’t genuinely enjoy being around children, you are not going to get very far.
- Confidence is a huge plus. When parents see that you are confident, they will feel confident about hiring you.
- It is important to demonstrate maturity when you are seeking babysitting jobs. Parents don’t want to leave their kids with someone who is childish.
- Always use good manners. Parents will be reassured to know that their kids won’t be left with someone who is rude or otherwise has poor manners.
- Safety is a huge plus. Show parents that safety is a top priority for you.
- Be as businesslike as possible when dealing with parents. This dovetails well with being mature. You need to make them comfortable with the idea of leaving their kids in your care.
- Flexibility can earn you a lot of points when it comes to being a top babysitter. Do your best to accommodate parents’ schedules when taking jobs.
10 Things You can Do to Earn Tips
- Be flexible. If parents call and ask for an extra hour, do your best to work with them on it.
- Create fun and unique arts and crafts projects with the kids. Have something neat to show the parents when they get back home.
- Take the kids to the park or to another local place. Getting them out of the house is fun, and it shows parents that you are doing more than just sitting around.
- Come up with fun and interesting activities for the kids. Think of the things that you enjoyed as a kid and do them with the kids that you watch.
- If pets are in the house, feed and take care of them. Do that even if you aren’t asked to; it is sure to help.
- Mark important birthdays in your calendar, and be sure to say “happy birthday” or give a card when they roll around.
- Be there for parents at the last minute. You will be viewed as a life saver and could earn tips for that.
- Stay late if necessary. You may prefer to go home, but this is one situation where a tip is almost guaranteed.
- Help the kids with their schoolwork. Try to avoid leaving any unfinished schoolwork for the parents to do when they get home.
- Straighten up after the kids. Don’t leave a mess for the parents.
10 Challenges of Babysitting for Friends & Family
- The kids may not view you as an authority figure. Disciplining them may be a lot more difficult.
- Although they may not mean to do so, parents may take advantage of you when you are a relative or a longtime friend. You may be asked to do more than a regular babysitter.
- You are more likely to be put on the spot for babysitting jobs. Saying no may prove to be difficult.
- Disciplining the kids will be trickier because you know their parents well. If they disapprove of what you do, you are more likely to hear about it.
- It is harder to get good pay when you are a good friend or a relative. It is awkward to ask for raises when you are related.
- Tips are less likely when you babysit for a friend or a relative. They may view your services as favors.
- You may be expected to do more for less. After all, you are a longtime friend or a relative; you are helping them out.
- Some people may take you for granted when you are a friend or a relative. It is important to remain as businesslike as possible.
- In some cases, your services may be viewed as favors. Some people may actually be taken aback when you expect to be paid. Make it clear that you expect to be paid from the beginning.
- It just may not be worth it to babysit for friends and relatives. Give it a lot of thought before you proceed.
10 Tips to Getting a Regular Babysitting Job
- Be reliable. When parents know that they can count on you, you are more likely to be at the top of their lists.
- Be dependable. Never cancel unless something extremely urgent comes up. Be willing to set up babysitting jobs well in advance too.
- Go the extra mile. Don’t just sit there and observe the kids. Get involved with them and actively work to keep them engaged and happy.
- Make the kids like you. Do this by being fun to be with. Treat the kids with respect and be willing to listen to what they have to say.
- Try to be as fun as possible. When the kids are excited about the idea of you coming over, their parents will be more willing to give you a call. This is a great way to get repeat business.
- It shouldn’t be all fun and games. Try to mix in educational activities whenever you can. Parents will appreciate knowing that you offer such services.
- Do light cleaning whenever you can. Try to leave the place in better shape than it was in when you arrived.
- If you have to prepare meals, do your best to make them special. Cut sandwiches into fun shapes. Make sure that the kids eat their vegetables.
- Show genuine interest in the family and the kids. Try to develop a bond with all of them.
- Be willing to share your life with them. When they get to know you, they will be more likely to call you again in the future.
10 Safety Tips you Should Always Consider
- If you don’t have CPR training, get it. This is basically mandatory.
- Complete a first aid training course so that you know what to do in the event of a serious emergency.
- Always know where the first aid supplies can be found in the home.
- Make sure that a list of the local emergency phone numbers are prominently displayed.
- Discuss what you should do in the event of an emergency with the parents.
- If you have a cell phone, put important contact numbers in it for easy access.
- Find out if a neighbor or someone else is available to drive if the need arises.
- Remember to always stay calm. If an emergency occurs, panicking will not help matters. Focus on what needs to be done.
- Keep the kids within sight at all times. Never assume that they will be okay. Even well-behaved kids get into scrapes from time to time.
- Never allow any risky activities under your watch. Don’t get cajoled into allowing them, even if the kids say that their parents let them. It just isn’t worth it.