Are you looking to be the best teen babysitter on the block? Learn ways to start your own teen babysitting business, get clients, and keep them!
Are You Ready to Be a Teen Babysitter?
Taking care of other people's children is a huge responsibility. It goes without saying that in order to be a teen babysitter, you need to be responsible and have a good rapport with children. However, if you're considering making babysitting your part time job, there are a few other factors you should consider.
Are you Flexible?
If you're in a lot of sports and extracurricular activities that's great. However, if you're almost always busy, it's going to affect how often you're called.
Are you Certified?
If you are serious about trying to make money off of babysitting gigs, consider getting CPR and First Aid Infant and Child Certified. In addition, if you are a younger teen, you may also want to take the American Red Cross Babysitting Class. The class is geared towards younger teens and tweens (ages 11 to 15) as an introduction on how to handle various situations to make sure that your charges are safe at all times.
Are you Creative?
It is a rare parent that wants you to sit in front of the television with her child non-stop. While most parents don't expect that you bring something to do with their child, if you are prepared to do a craft or activity with their child, you will find that many parents will call you back.
Are you Mature?
You may be mature enough to stay at home by yourself or go somewhere without adult supervision but are you mature enough to take care of someone else's child? This means that your focus, while you're on the job, needs to be solely with the child. It also means that when unexpected situations arise, you are able to handle them without asking what to do.
Things Expected of Teen Babysitters
When you are hired as a teen babysitter, each set of parents that you babysit for will probably have certain expectations that you will have to follow in order to keep your job and to receive your payment, if you are being paid for the job. Usually things that parents expect of teen babysitters are:
• Making sure that the children do not get hurt or into trouble while you are in charge of them
• Feeding the kids
• Cleaning up any messes you or the children might have made
• Answering the phone or doorbell when it rings
• Making sure the children get into bed at the time the parents want them to be asleep
• Entertaining the children until the parents arrive home
Babysitting is a big responsibility that can help prepare you for life, as long as it is taken seriously. If someone trusts you enough to let you watch their children, you should take every precaution possible to ensure their safety.
How to Start a Teen Babysitter Business
You've got your certifications, you're ready with ideas--now all you need are parents who are willing to drop off their children with you for a few hours! Here are a few ways to get babysitting jobs.
Word of mouth spreads fast with parents. If you do a really good job babysitting one parent's children, you can be assured that the family will talk about you and recommend you to their friends. (By the way, the same is true if you do a bad job--word of mouth can spread or kill your business.) If you're finding it hard to find paying gigs at first, consider volunteering to be a mother's helper. Not only does this help you gain some experience while providing a needed service to a mom, but it also gives the mom the opportunity to see you interact with her kids. Do a good job, and you can be assured that the mom may call again, but she also is likely to tell all her friends.
Put up a flyer at your local grocery store on the bulletin board, in the community center, or make a flyer and put it in mailboxes around your neighborhood. This is a good way to advertise, particularly if you're certified or have other qualifications. It's also an opportunity to state the pay you're expecting and your availability.
Teen Babysitter Questions
Starting your own teen babysitter business isn't hard but it may take perseverance and some business smarts. Here are some answers to some of those more sticky questions.
What do I charge?
The best way to figure out what to charge is to see what local day cares are charging and ask for half. How much you charge will depend on where you are. In some places, $1.50 an hour per child is average whereas in other places, $10 per hour is right on par. You want to be fair, but if this is how you're paying for college, you do want to make money.
Never say that you're fine with any amount of money unless it's really true. Many parents, especially ones who are not accustomed to hiring a babysitter, don't know what to pay but are happy to pay what they're asked.
What do I do if the parents are late coming home?
It depends on why they are late coming home. However, remember that you would not be able to keep babysitting jobs if you showed up late. It is common courtesy on their part to show up when they say they're going to show up. There's not a lot you can do while you're babysitting, but you can be forever "busy" every time the family calls thereafter.
What if the children are wild?
It is better to be honest about what you can handle and turn down jobs then it is to get yourself in over your head. With that said, it is generally when kids are bored that they get a little out of control. If you're expected to put the children to bed, try to go into the yard and play a game of kick ball after dinner. Regardless, you should expect to keep the children entertained and in so doing, you'll actually make your job easier by cutting down on behavior issues.
Being a teen babysitter can be a very rewarding job. Not only does it allow you to save up money for college or other things, but being a teen babysitter often gives you a first taste of what it's like to have an employer and a job.