Hello friends! I have been a busy bee recently with school, sports, this blog, and now babysitting! I just started watching two kids for a few hours thrice a week, and I can’t tell you how much I missed it! I thought it might be cool to write out a little babysitting guide for my friends that want to start sitting, but are nervous. If you like kids, you will have a blast! Right now is also a great time to start because with restrictions being lifted, parents can go out again, so tons of families are in need of sitters! If this intrigues you, keep reading to find out almost everything you’ll need to know before you start!
How to find jobs
There are plenty of ways to find families that need a sitter! Be aware that this really depends on your comfort level and where you are located. If you are comfortable with doing so, place an ad for your services. For example, I posted a flyer I made with my information to my town facebook board so members of my community could find a babysitter easily! While you’re on there, you can also check for posts in which people are searching for a sitter- just be super duper careful and trust your instincts! Another way that I found really helpful was volunteering at a PTA meeting. That way, the kids get to know me, and it gives you some exposure to parents! Of course, the tried and tested word of mouth almost never fails! Ask around to see who might need a sitter! Perhaps you casually mention to your next door neighbor with two kids that you’re happy to watch them, or you have your aunt send anyone who inquires for childcare your way!
What to bring when you go
Honestly, you don’t need to bring a lot. It really depends on how long you’re watching the kids. For a few hours, I’d just bring the basics: a water bottle, your phone, maybe some chapstick and a few dollars. If you want to go all out, I’d recommend stuffing a backpack full of toys and activities to whip out if the kids get bored. Back in my YouTube days, I filmed a “What’s in my babysitting bag.” I made it unlisted, so you can watch it HERE if you’d like to see little me or if you want some inspiration!
What to do when you’re there
Dude, congrats!! You got a job! This might be where you start to stress, but fear not! I got you! This is the part I stress out about the most because I come off as awkward, so I definitely get being nervous! From my experiences, you’re invited in, make some small talk, and then the parents give you a run down. If you have any questions, now is the time to ask! Some basic questions you may want to ask would concern bedtime, allergies, rules, or anything you’re concerned/curious about. The parents will say a “goodbye” to their kids and then it’s showtime!
What to do with the kids
Again, this is relative, as what you do really depends on the kids and their interests. A good way to start off is by asking them what they want to do, as basic as it sounds. If they don’t have a plan, ask to see their toys. From there, be creative! Make up a game, or resort to a game that you loved when you were their age. For families with kids with a wide age rage, settling on an activity can be difficult, and it may even cause conflict between siblings! If you can’t think of anything, or are having trouble finding an activity everyone will enjoy, offer up coloring, hide and seek, or a board game! Even if it’s hard to find something to do, try to avoid watching television or being on devices the whole time!
How much to charge
This one is up to you, but I’m going to suggest some numbers that I find reasonable. For one kid, $8 per hour feels reasonable. Depending on the situation, I might add $2 for every additional kid per hour, but if they aren’t a hassle, I’ll keep it at $8. These are just the numbers that I found work for most families in my area. If the parents that you’re helping don’t like what you offer, they will probably make an offer of their own. Before going in, have a minimum and ideal amount in your mind. If/when the parents ask you how much you charge, go for your ideal (unless the kids are a total pain, then tack on a dollar or two per hour). If the parents happen to give you below your minimum amount, graciously accept it, and then decide if it’s work working for them again. If you loved the kids and the family, that’s one thing, but do you really want to watch two high maintenance kids for $4 an hour?
Are you ready? With parents leaving their kids for the first time in a while due to restrictions, now is a fantastic time to start babysitting! Honestly, it’s not as hard as you might think. Sure, there may be some stressful moments, but there will also be the sweetest kids in the world to make up for it! Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading and good luck!