Babysitting used to be a profession reserved for teenagers who wanted to earn extra cash by watching children of friends and family members for date nights, business meetings or any special occasion that required both parents to be out of the home at the same time. Today, babysitting is a profession that spans all ages, but the facts about how to be a babysitter are the same. To work as a babysitter you need to train, educate and market yourself in a growing business field.
- Babysitting Training: Many towns and cities offer babysitting courses complete with CPR and first aid training. Being prepared for any and every emergency is important when babysitting. Babysitting training also teaches methods for interacting with strong-minded children, negotiating babysitting rates and troubleshooting problems. In some cases there are even emergency preparedness drills to give you hands on experience in tough situations. Babysitting training is required or suggested in some areas.
- Educating Yourself on Children: Though babysitting training teaches the basics of how to care for a child in traditional, non-traditional and emergency settings, there is no way for instructors to teach you everything you need or want to know. Educate yourself about children by volunteering at a local elementary school. If you have a particular age group in mind, try to volunteer in a classroom with children around the same age. Note how the teacher interacts with students, especially when students appear to be uninterested in the lesson or information at hand. Having patience is an ideal personal trait for a teacher and babysitter, but education gives you the tools you need to use that patience wisely.
- Marketing Your Talents: Just like any other business, being a babysitter means competing with other babysitters in the area. You have already completed the training and taken the time to educate yourself on how to interact with kids in a positive manner, now is the time to sell your attributes. If you have never held a babysitting positive, offer your services for free to a few friends and family members. Ask these parents to write letters of recommendation. Start a blog or social media page with testimonials, hours of availability, pictures with you and the children you watch or have watched. The more detailed the marketing campaign, the more likely you will be to earn paying gigs in the near future.
Being a babysitter requires much more than printing off an announcement and hanging it up in local stores and community buildings. You have to offer parents proof you are trustworthy, prepared and educated on how to care for children, no matter how young or old you are.