"I want to start babysitting but how do I find jobs?" Advice from the ThriftyFun community for babysitters just starting out. Post your own tips here.
Editor's Note: Please do not post personal information, including email addresses. We cannot help you find a specific babysitting job or babysitter in your area. Be sure that your parents are involved in this plan and that they meet anyone you may babysit for.
Start With Family Friends
Word of mouth is by far the best way. Have your parents help by recommending you to their friends and co-workers. This way they will know who you are sitting for. As the word spreads about the good service you provide there will be a connection to people your parents know. Just like looking for any kind of employment networking is the key. Just get the word out that you are ready to start babysitting.
Highlight Your Experience
I think babysitting is a great idea! You may want to highlight any experience you may have and also if you have attended any first aid courses as these are things many parents are looking for in a babysitter. They want to know that the person they are leaving their most precious loved ones will care for them as much as they do. Be interested in anything the parents wish to tell you and even take notes about allergies, tv shows and rules etc. Good luck remember if the kids are safe and happy, the parents are happy, then they will spread the word for you for free! You could also give out business cards with your contact details and the times you are available to babysit. This will make it easier for customers to contact you.
Tips For Getting Experience
Start by babysitting for the younger siblings of your friends, or your parents' friends. Volunteer at your church nursery, that'll be a safe environment to start out, too. ALWAYS tell your parents of an offer to babysit, even if you know the people BEFORE you accept. One thing that you could do to impress parents is get your first aid card (American Red Cross: CPR, first aid, and basic things like what to do for a fall, cut, etc.) I would NEVER hire a babysitter that did not do that. It only takes an instant to be grieving and sorry forever. When you understand THAT phrase, you are on your way to babysitting. After you have tried with 'safer' venues, the friends' siblings and church, then try for a daytime, short venture, say two hours. Fix a lunch or snack. Purchasing a first aid book and 'what do I do when..' book can keep you informed, too. KNOW your clients' 911 address. I know you are looking for ways to get known, but I am getting to that. When you look capable, knowing of allergies, conditions (autism, epilepsy, downs syndrome...) when you ask responsible questions, and study the list that every good parent has for their babysitter Where we are, who to ask for (Mr and Mrs Smith...not Johnny or Sally's dad/mom) The people who hire you will trust you more, and be more willing to recommend you. Also, make sure that you are willing to phone for help when a situation arises that stumps you. Good Luck.
Keep Your Parents Involved And Your Options Open
Have your parents involved with your babysitting. They MUST know where you are and what time you will be home and the telephone number. I knew a 12 year old who gave out fliers. Her mom was along, I told them no kids but dogs needed walking. She walked them each day after school for 50 cents a day, our doggies loved her. We were all sad to move but she was good and dependable. If you can walk dogs, let people know it can help. Have fun and stay SAFE!
Don't Babysit For Strangers
Please make sure you ONLY babysit for people you know. OR for your current customers friends and neighbors (for example, you sit for the Smiths and they give your name to the Jones. You don't know the Jones but the Smiths know the Jones). Don't hang your flyers in places where perfect strangers can get your info (don't post your photo either)
Take a safe sitter course. Go to your local after school or summer care programs (Schools, YMCA< church, etc.) My daughter met a family at the pool when she was chaperoning after school care kids. Always represent yourself well (no unsafe actions, be mature and responsible in public places like the pool so potential customers will be attracted to you!)
Take A Babysitting Course
Contact your local Red Cross and see if they offer the babysitting course. It's a great course and it tells parents you're being responsible. They keep a list for people who call looking for sitters.
Start As A Mother's Helper
Times have changed a lot since I babysat. I think you should start off babysitting near your house. Ask a mom if you could come over and help. You can watch the kids while she does work around the house. You would start to learn about children that way. In fact I did that a lot.
First Aid Website
Also go to http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/index.html
. This will allow you to printout information on what to do if someone gets into poison, gets cut, sunburned, spider bites, etc. This is a good site for parents too.
Paper Plate Flyer
Write your contact info for your ad neatly in a bright color in the center of a white paper plate and your phone number on the ridges of the paper plate around the edge and carefully cut them apart up to where the border of the plate ends and thumbtack it to a bulletin board at a grocery store or laundry or wherever you can! I have seen this method used many times around here and I sometimes will tear a number from the plate to drop in my purse, so I know it works if you work it! I wish I had a pic of what I am talking about! Good luck!
Editor's Note: Be sure your parents meet anyone who calls you from a posted ad, for your safety.
Spreading The Word
Hi, my name is Andrea. I am 12 years old and I was in the same situation that you were in. This is what I did.
First, I told my mom to tell people at work that I was interested in babysitting, that got me two jobs. Then I made my own business cards, and I went around the park that is down the street from me. All of the parents with children I gave them my card. That got me three jobs, and they all lived very close to me so it worked out perfectly.
Parents And First Aid Are Best Resources
Talk to your parents because they are the best way to find out about friends and neighbors in your area (plus for your safety, they'll know more about these people and know how to get to you for an emergency) and TAKE FIRST AID COURSE or read up and practice! I know that I am repeating what everyone else has said, but it is so important, especially with kids under 5 (I have 2, and one has epilepsy) And please be patient with people who may not be ready for a babysitter, regardless of age. My older son is fine, but we have insecurities about leaving our baby with ANYONE for a long time until things are stabilized with meds, and we know they are up for the energy of watching both.
Start A Babysitting Club
Hey! Guess what? I am starting a babysitting club with my two friends, Ariana and Moriah, and it's going to be called The Super Safe Sitters! We are making flyers that we can post up all around town. We also are going to make babysitting biz cards, too! This is a lot for me, I am only 11 years old and both of my friends are turning 12 in a couple months. Also, you could talk to your friends and see if any of there moms are nurses that can teach babysitting classes. Lucky for us, Moriah's mom is teaching babysitting classes so we get to go in them for free, plus, you'll get certified and that will catch even more eyes!
Hello, My name is Jazalyn and I had a dog walking business and I have some advice for you. I think you should make flyers with your number, name and some guarantees. You'll have a business in a snap of a finger. Good luck!
5 Tips From A Mom
From a 37 year old mother of 3:
- Advertise at a church
- Make nice flyers to hand out at Wal-mart
- Hand out flyers at local schools (get permission!)
- Ask to volunteer at day care facilities, build up skills.
- Always! Always! Tell the parents how perfect and wonderful their children were when they pick them up! Never say ugh! They were monsters! If you only say nice things you will have return jobs forever!
By Heather, MO