How to Start Babysitting with Sitter
Alright, so we’ve covered how to know when you’re ready to be a babysitter, but what do you do before you start babysitting? Let’s start with the basics.
Set your rate.
Just like any other job, it’s important that you know what you’d like to receive as far as payment goes for your time. Your time is obviously valuable, but it is important to keep your skills in mind while setting your rate. For example, if you are First Aid/CPR/AED certified, then you might charge more per hour than someone who is not. You can always adjust your rate over time as you gain experience—just make sure to be honest with yourself about your skills. Our Youtuber, Ari, has an awesome video on this very topic. Check it out!
Find clients and accept your first job to start babysitting!
Thankfully, Sitter makes it crazy easy to add clients to your circle. You can do this one of three ways: 1) inviting your current clients directly from your contacts, 2) finding families in your network, or 3) finding families in your area. The first option is pretty self explanatory—the Sitter app will send a pre-coded text to anyone you select from your contact list to invite them to the app. When they accept, they will be automatically added to your network. The second option will populate a list of families that your current clients are connected with in the Sitter app. The third option, however, will populate a list of families within your selected radius. Using the last two options, you will need to tap the photo of a family you’d like to connect with, then tap the “Introduce Yourself” button. Type up a quick introduction, then hit send. There you have it, you’ve sent your first connection request.
Once a family accepts your request, you will begin to receive live booking requests when they need a babysitter. It’s that easy!
Set up payment.
Another awesome in-app feature is the option to be paid via direct deposit. You can take advantage of this feature by tapping the “Get Paid” tab in the toolbar and then following the in-app instructions to get everything set up. Personally, I really love this feature as it has made it really easy for me to save money. I set my account up to deposit directly into a savings account, so I don’t even have to think about where I’m depositing my money. However, if you prefer to be paid via cash or check, that is totally fine as well! But, the families you sit for might prefer to have the convenience of paying you by credit card.
Prepare your babysitting bag.
There are so many things you can put into your babysitting bag: games, small toys, a snack/drink for yourself, a book to read after the kids go to sleep, etc. At the very least, I highly recommend bringing food with you to babysit. I, for one, am a fairly picky eater so I always bring a can of soup or something easy to make with me when I babysit. Typically, I will also bring a little homework to do after the kids go to sleep as well. However, it really is up to you. Everyone babysits a little differently, and that is totally okay. Bring what you think is necessary, and the rest will fall into place.
(Recommended) Take a course in CPR and First Aid.
Before I began babysitting, my mom insisted that I take the Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course, as well as their courses in CPR and First Aid, and I could not be happier that she did. While I have never encountered a true emergency while babysitting, the fact that I have the skills to do so if necessary has helped me become a much more competent and comfortable babysitter.
A certification in CPR/First Aid is also a really great addition to your resume as you begin to apply on other jobs. Many of the other jobs I’ve worked in college have required me to have the skills for some reason or another, so it has been highly beneficial for me to keep up on my certification. I absolutely cannot recommend taking these courses enough—to find courses in your area visit the Red Cross website here.
There you have it! With the tools in your pocket, you are good to go to start babysitting. It can be stressful when you first start babysitting, but as you begin to gain experience, it will get easier. Take a deep breath, and get started!