Babysitting is not just for the weekends. Childcare can provide consistent and reliable income. Use these tips to upgrade your babysitting career.
Are you a babysitter searching for ways to improve your skills and stand out from the rest? Look no further! We've compiled a list of excellent tips to take your babysitting career to the next level. From the interview to emergency preparedness, we’ll give you the low down on what families look for in childcare providers.
Whether you're just starting off or have been babysitting for a while, these tips will help you become more confident, efficient, and successful. Growing your skills as a babysitter will make you more prepared for each job, connect better with the children, and develop a strong and trusting relationship with the parents. So, let's get started and become the best babysitter you can be!
1. Present Yourself Well
First impressions matter in every job, but they play a significant role in growing your babysitting career. You’re selling your skills, experience, and personality when you meet a new family. It can feel intimidating to feel so much pressure on your presentation, but babysitters become role models for the children. Parents want to hire someone who their kids can look up to. To get started, here are a few tips to show you take your role as a childcare provider seriously.
Nail the Interview
You want to make a good impression while working as a babysitter, but it all starts with the interview. Don’t just come prepared to talk about your experience. Parents will also be curious about your own interests and your babysitting philosophy to see if you mesh well with their family dynamic. Bring a few questions of your own, too. This will show your sincere enthusiasm for the position. Sometimes interviews will be with the parents and other times the children will join as well. Talk directly to the kids and ask about their hobbies if they are there.
Dress in Appropriate Clothing
Dressing for babysitting can be a bit tricky. It’s all about balancing the practical with the professional. On the one hand, you need to be comfortable. Depending on the gig, you might find yourself playing outside or cleaning up messes. But that doesn’t mean you can totally dress down. Wear clean and comfy clothing, like a nice t-shirt and jeans that aren’t ripped.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Even though your work life and personal life feel separate, access to social media blends the two together. Parents will likely search your name on Google or check out your Facebook or Instagram account to use as a background check. Before interviewing, clean up your accounts by removing any photos that might give the wrong impression.
2. Listen Actively
A babysitting career is incredibly dynamic—that’s part of what makes it fun! Every family has different habits and expectations for their children. Though many skills will transfer from one gig to another, it takes active listening and clear communication to do the job well. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you have to memorize every child’s patterns and needs. It’s all about feeling comfortable asking for clarification and feedback.
Whether it’s getting on the same page about screen time limits or learning tricks to redirect certain behaviors, practice open communication with the parents so you can keep rules and expectations consistent. After a day or evening of babysitting, most parents like to hear a short summary of their time away. Some families may even appreciate a text update or photo while they’re gone to calm any nerves. From the interview to the nth time working for a family, good communication and active listening show maturity and build trust.
3. Be a Problem-Solver
Working with children keeps you on your toes. They bring energy and curiosity that makes the job slightly different every time. As a babysitter, you must be ready to respond quickly to any situation. While being an open communicator is good, you can’t ask the parents for help whenever something comes up. You’ll need to be ready to resolve conflicts and support the child through challenges independently. This requires excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
Sometimes children will be in a bad mood and not want to play their usual games or refuse to eat dinner. A babysitting career calls for creativity and responsiveness. You’ll need to think of new ways to entertain and entice them. Plate their food into a funny face or take dinner outside for a picnic. Create a silly story to give them a mission to solve. Children might respond differently if the situation has changed.
4. Be Calm and Reliable
Show families that you’re calm and reliable to level up your babysitting career. Kids can be unpredictable and chaotic. They’ll be more likely to push boundaries with a new adult. Babysitters with a patient, zen attitude will have a better handle when situations get rocky. Children might need time to adapt to a new babysitter, so be patient as your build a relationship with them. Showing them that you’re calm under pressure will help build trust.
You need to be reliable with your time too. When a family hires a babysitter, it’s usually because they have time-sensitive obligations, like work, dinner reservations, or a movie. As a babysitter, it is critical to arriving on time for each gig. Punctuality shows families you respect their time, act professionally, and are a reliable role model for their children. If you always stick to your obligations and arrive on time, families will want to hire you again and again.
5. Take Courses and Add Certifications
Racking up years of experience can boost your babysitting career, but you can also get ahead by taking relevant courses and training. When your resume is sprinkled with relevant childcare certifications, you build trust with families before they meet you.
These can cover a wide variety of topics. First aid, CPR, and lifeguard training can help you feel ready for emergencies. Still, you can also take courses to learn more about child development, age-appropriate curriculum, and conflict resolution. For more details on standard babysitting certifications, check out our story here.
Up Your Babysitting Career with Call Emmy
A babysitting career takes a lot of effort. You have to be both fun-loving and professional, go with the flow yet hold firm boundaries, and be experienced and adaptable. It’s a dynamic job that takes dedication and compassion. Call Emmy knows all the ins and outs, so check out our blog for ideas on kid-friendly activities and even more tips on building your babysitting career.
Call Emmy is a reliable resource for families looking for childcare and babysitters like you. Expand your network of babysitting clients by becoming one of our childcare fairies. We’re invested in our babysitters and ensure they connect with dependable families, get paid consistently, and have access to professional development opportunities. Apply to partner with Call Emmy today or message us to learn more.