As a parent, have you ever wished you could get paid for looking after your screaming children? Well, although no one will pay you to care for your own kids, you could make a surprising amount of money babysitting other people’s sprogs. Want to learn more? Read on for our guide on how to make money as a babysitter.
- What does babysitting involve?
- Getting started as a babysitter
- Boost your job prospects
- How much can I make?
With the right qualifications, anyone can make money babysitting. You don’t need any formal training, but any you do have could make you more attractive to parents and agencies. Babysitting is best suited to women as most parents prefer the idea of a woman caring for their children rather than a man. Despite that, all you guys out there shouldn’t be put off! These days, more parents are flexible and open to the idea of a ‘modern man’ looking after their kids!
- You’ll have sole charge of one or more children for a couple of hours, sometimes on a regular basis.
- Working for friends and family is fine, but you might feel your halo slipping when you have to ask for cash.
- Know your limits. If you don’t have experience with kids, don’t look after children under two as you may not be able to cope if they have a medical emergency.
- Make sure you are well prepared. Ensure you have a contact number for the parents and their doctor, you know where the first aid supplies are and you know how to operate any locks or alarms.
1. Get checked
It might be quite a hassle, but having a DBS check will give you an advantage over other job seekers.
2. Get references
Having good references can give your employment opportunities a real boost, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure they’re up to scratch.
Get written references from people for whom you have already worked as a babysitter or other type of carer. If you don’t have written references, you can get character references from a teacher, your bank manager or another professional who knows you well. Also, ensure that you tailor your CV so that it highlights your experience of working with children.
3. Advertise your services
If you want to get off the ground, putting ads in local shops and local papers advertising your services is a good start. You may have more success online though, and there are also plenty of websites like Top Notch Nannies, Sitters and Yoopies.co.uk where you can register and advertise for free.
If you sign up for free at Childcare.co.uk they give you a profile that you can fill with your relevant childcare experience. It will be visible throughout the site and if parents like the look of your profile then they’ll start sending enquiries about your services, hopefully resulting in paid babysitting work.
Money Magpie spoke to Richard Conway (founder of Childcare.co.uk, one of the UK’s biggest babysitter job websites) for his views about which attributes his clients are looking for in a babysitter. He said that the two big things that parents look for when considering a babysitter are “experience and qualifications.”
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have previous experience babysitting, you can undertake various steps to boost your chances of landing a job. Conway says that the best starting point for inexperienced babysitters is looking after the children of friends, family and neighbours. Building up your experience is vitally important and if you have good references then you’re much more likely to succeed, even if you don’t have qualifications.
Conway says that those who have the most success finding babysitter work on Childcare.co.uk are either those who work in the healthcare profession or are teachers. Any other job working with children is likely to be a plus as well.
- The amount you can charge for your babysitting services can vary wildly, largely depending on experience and geographical area.
- Typically, wages start from £5 an hour for less experienced babysitters, but can rise to £12 an hour in parts of London.
- Look for higher rates on public holidays or other special times like New Year’s Eve. Don’t hesitate to negotiate.
- Agencies tend to set the highest rates to help you make money as a babysitter, which also provide back-up support if anything goes wrong.
- Your travel expenses including late-night taxis home should be paid, but this is something you can negotiate. If the parents won’t pay your travel expenses, increase your hourly rate to cover them.
Training and qualifications
- Specific training isn’t required, but if you have a nanny, medical qualification or some teacher-training it will make you more attractive to parents and agencies and help you to make money as a babysitter.
- The Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) has a range of childcare qualifications on offer, from entry level to level 5. You can enrol on the CACHE Entry Level (3) Award and Certificate in Caring for a Child / Children from the age of just 14.
- Another option is to take part in a Red Cross Babysitting Course. This course provides hands-on training, as well as a certificate on completion and is a good alternative to formal childcare training.
Can under-18s babysit?
Babysitting can be a great way for teenagers to earn some extra pocket money. It depends on the parents – some prefer to have someone older who they see as more responsible. Also, even if they take on the teenager, they may pay them less than they would someone older, so be aware of that. Most nanny and babysitting agencies won’t take anyone under 18.
If your child is thinking about how to make money as a babysitter, check out the excellent ROSPA website for good advice and information on how they can protect themselves and the kids they’re looking after.
Are you an experienced babysitter or a complete newbie? Why not share your babysitting ideas on our Facebook page?