It’s the classic way to earn a couple extra bucks to spend on the weekend. But who says it can’t be more than that? I personally wanted a job this year, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to find one to fit my schedule. So, I came up with a plan, and it worked.
Here it is, for Smart Girls viewing only: Babysitting 101.
Getting babysitting jobs is a step in itself, but it’s way easier to do if you’re qualified. Most towns hold babysitting courses every once in a while, but if you’re 17 like me and already know the ropes, you just need the certificate to prove it. The Red Cross has an online course you can take that teaches you everything you need to know and gives you a printable certificate at the end to show to parents. It also has a bunch of resources you can print.
Step 2: Get the Job
I never got any babysitting jobs because either my older sister got them, or I didn’t have a lot of connections with parents of little kids. If you’re like me, try to think past the limits of waiting around for a call. Are you involved in any activities that little kids are also in? A school club? Church? I happened to remember all the little girls who take dance at my studio. I sent an email out to all of their parents telling them a little bit about myself, why I was the right choice for a babysitter, and all of my qualifications. If you do this, make sure to be friendly and display how responsible you are, without sounding like an advertisement (even though that’s essentially what you’re doing). I was actually surprised by how well this ended up working. The jobs started flooding in!
Step 3: Love the Job
Babysitting doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, it can be really fun! Bring along a craft (I bring things like crowns that I cut out of foam and gems to stick on, or other easy-to-clean-up activities) and get involved with the kids. Actually doing things is way more entertaining to everybody (including yourself) than just watching T.V. And remember, it’s okay to say “no” if you’re not comfortable with something, even if the kids say their parents let them do it. That way everyone will know who’s in charge, and they won’t try to push you around.
Step 4: Get Asked Back
Getting asked back isn’t too hard, especially because parents usually like having one go-to babysitter. As long as the kids like you, you’re responsible and confident, and you leave the house in a good state, you’re almost guaranteed another job. Just remember when you put the kids to bed, to clean up and do the dishes. Parents love that!
I hope you use these super practical tips to go get some jobs. Put yourself out there and see what comes from it. You never know what connections you’ll make, all while earning some of your own money. A lot of the parents I babysit for tell other parents about me and they end up contacting me as well. Some of my friends have even become nannies because the parents loved them! It’s all about making connections, good first impressions, and being responsible. All valuable life-skills that every smart girl should work towards!