You’re a teenager, looking for some spending money. You love kids, and would love to babysit. You live in a neighborhood or apartment complex with quite a few young children and babies, and you know there are people out there who would love a chance to get out for a night without their children. But how do you get started?
You’ve already found a great idea for a babysitting service flyer, but you’re nervous about being alone with some stranger’s child. The first step is to find out if you’re suited for babysitting, and if you’re ready for the responsibility. ParentMap points out several signs that you might be ready for the responsibility; pay attention and see if you can answer “Yes” to all of these.
Do you enjoy spending time with children? Are you responsible enough to finish your homework on time? Do you complete your chores around the house? Do you have the ability to think through situations and respond appropriately? Are you patient enough to calm things down when “boys will be boys?”
The second step is to get the experience and education. If you’ve got younger siblings, this is probably the easiest route—offer to babysit for Mom and Dad, so you get experience being on your own with the children. If that won’t work, look for cousins, nieces, nephews—basically, any family member who might trust you with their precious bundle of joy for a few hours.
Failing that, it’s time to reach out to friends of the family. The important part is getting the experience. You could also try helping out at your church or other volunteer-based organization, just to get the experience. It’s also a good idea to take basic first aid classes and CPR, if possible.
Situations are rare when you might need the skills, but having the certifications under your belt will definitely help. If your community offers babysitting classes, take one! More and more parents, with the help of early childhood research, are seeing the importance of employing certified babysitters.
So, if you have the chance to become a certified babysitter, do it…you can also command a slightly higher wage if you’ve got the certification to prove you’re a quality babysitter. Once you’ve gotten the education and experience, it’s time to advertise your babysitting business.
Put flyers up around your neighborhood or apartment complex, in mailboxes, or even just hand them out door to door. You’ll pass out a lot more flyers than you’ll get business from, but that’s the nature of any type of business. Expect 4 out of 5 of your flyers to go straight into the trash.
Besides, if you get more calls than you can handle, you can always apologetically decline the job and ask them to keep you in mind next time. When you get your first paid babysitting gig, make sure you show up on time and with something educational you can do with the children.
You might decide to take along an educational book for the right age group, such as these books for 7-year-olds. With some hard work and practice, you can build a thriving babysitting business and learn work skills. You’ll also be learning valuable skills dealing with babies, toddlers and children for when you have a family of your own. Best of all, though, you’ll be earning money that you can use for the important things in life: movies, music, and Taco Bell.