It doesn't matter if you're just starting out as a babysitter or if you've been babysitting for years, we have all the information and resources that you need right here. Learn how to start your service, provide excellent childcare, grow and improve your business, and earn good money.
Here are our top 10 steps to start babysitting:
- Make sure babysitting is right for you
- Complete a first aid course
- Put together a babysitting bag of supplies
- Promote your babysitting service for free
- Start with short jobs and build up over time
- Always put child safety first
- Be active and have fun on the job
- Be gentle, kind, and understanding towards children
- Maintain open communication with parents
- Always look for opportunities to improve your babysitting skills
Let's look at these steps in more detail. Use the links below to browse our three chapters of helpful advice, downloadable resources, and guides on all aspects of babysitting, childcare, and running your own business.
- Chapter 1. How to start babysitting
- Chapter 2. Essential babysitting strategies
- Chapter 3. Babysitting business
Chapter 1. How to start babysitting
When you decide to become a babysitter, it can be difficult to know where to start, that's why we have assembled a huge library of articles that are designed to help beginners at every step in their journey.
In this chapter, we have articles that will help you to set up your service, get all the right equipment you need, and we show you how to gain the qualifications and experience that you need to thrive.
Is babysitting for you?
In this section, we look at whether babysitting is the right thing for you. We cover the personality traits that good babysitters often share and the general requirements for the job so that you can get a good idea of what it's like.
- Is babysitting right for you?
- What age can you start babysitting?
- 13 qualities all good babysitters share
- Can men babysit?
- How to say no to a babysitting family
- How to say no to babysitting grandchildren
Benefits of babysitting
There are many reasons why people decide to start babysitting, in this section, we'll look at the benefits of becoming a babysitter, what skills you can learn while on the job, and how babysitting can help you later in your life and career.
To become an effective and professional babysitter you will need to have completed some essential training (or have equivalent practical experience), some basic equipment for the job, and have printed documentation of your skills and experience for parents to assess.
In this section, we'll cover all of these babysitting requirements, we highlight which ones are essential to get before you begin, and which ones you can acquire later.
- Portable first aid kit for babysitters
- Babysitting courses
- Babysitting emergency numbers
- Printable babysitting kit
- Babysitting resume
- Babysitting license
- Babysitting qualifications
- Babysitting references
- Babysitting binder
- Apps for babysitters
- Do babysitters need insurance?
In this section, we run through the general process of getting yourself set up and ready for becoming a babysitter, even if you're starting from scratch.
How to promote your babysitting service
Once your babysitting business is set up, it is essential that you have a cost-effective way to promote your service to new families.
In this section, we look at a variety of free and cheap advertising methods that we recommend to babysitters and how best to use them for your particular circumstances.
- How to promote your babysitting business
- Babysitting flyer maker
- Business cards maker
- Babysitter profile writing tips
- Are babysitting websites safe?
An essential part of winning new babysitting jobs is being able to present yourself to parents in the best possible light by showcasing your good qualities, skills, and qualifications.
In this section, we cover all aspects of babysitting interviews, what to bring, what to wear, what to expect, and questions you should ask parents. These essential tips can give you the edge over your competition and increase your chances of finding repeat work.
One of the most asked questions by babysitters is "how much should I charge?" and to be honest, there isn't a simple answer. Your babysitting rate will depend on where you live, your age, what skills and qualifications you have, how in-demand you are, and also, how effective you are a negotiating your pay rate.
The following articles will help you to set your optimal babysitting rate based on your particular circumstances.
- A guide to babysitting pay rates
- How to negotiate a higher pay rate
- Babysitting for free
- How to make money babysitting
First time babysitting tips
Your very first babysitting job may be stressful if you don't know what to expect or if you are not well prepared. In this section, we help you to prepare, we describe what a first babysitting job is typically like, and we cover various situations that may happen when you're babysitting for a family for the first time.
- First-time babysitting
- What to wear when babysitting
- What to bring when babysitting
- Meeting children for the first time
- How to babysit when the parents are home
Safety is one of the most important responsibilities of a babysitter, both safety of the children under your supervision and safety for yourself while on the job and traveling to and from jobs. In this section, we cover various aspects of safety that all babysitters should know. We encourage you to read all of these helpful articles.
- How to stay safe when babysitting
- Child safety for babysitters
- How to stay safe online
- Food safety for babysitters
- Kids water safety
- Fire safety tips for babysitters
- Should you babysit when sick?
- Babysitters helping families post-covid
In this section, we answer some of the most common questions people ask about babysitting and dispel widespread myths and common misconceptions.
- Is babysitting an easy job?
- Can you babysit without qualifications?
- Can babysitters sleep on the job?
- Can a parent sue me as a babysitter?
- Can babysitting for free count as community service?
- Is babysitting a real job?
- Is babysitting considered self-employment?
- Is babysitting considered work experience?
- Is a babysitter a legal guardian?
See our babysitting FAQs page for even more questions and answers about babysitting.
For definitions of common babysitting terms, see our babysitting glossary.
Chapter 2. Essential babysitting strategies
To be an effective babysitter you will need a variety of skills so you can handle the different situations that might come up while on the job. In this chapter, we cover all aspects of general babysitting and reveal our many tricks for dealing with common situations that babysitters face every day.
Common babysitting duties
As a babysitter, parents will expect you to perform a variety of tasks while on the job. In this section, we cover all of the most common babysitting duties in detail, we share our secret tips so you can gain new skills and improve your service over time.
- General babysitting responsibilities
- How to make baby formula
- How to change a diaper
- How to get kids to bed
- What to do after kids are asleep
- How to get kids into the bath
- 21 bath time tips for babysitters
- Babysitting at night
- Overnight babysitting
- Babysitting night shifts
- Should babysitters clean?
- Do babysitters provide food?
How you plan for each babysitting job will largely depend on the ages of the children who will be under your care. In this section, we look at the specific babysitting requirements for individual age groups, the pros and cons of each age, potential pitfalls to look out for, and age-appropriate games and activities that we recommend.
See our guide to babysitting:
- Babies (0 - 12 months)
- Toddlers (1 - 2 years)
- Preschoolers (3 - 4 years)
- Older kids (5 - 10 years)
- Preteens (11 - 12 years)
- Teenagers (13 - 19 years)
- Adults! (18+ years)
After child safety, engaging entertainment is probably the most important thing a good babysitter can provide for children. In this section, we reveal hundreds of entertainment options for children of all ages including games, crafts, jokes, sports, and many other new and different activities that children and babysitters will both enjoy.
- Fun things to do while babysitting
- Kids jokes
- Easy playdough guide
- Books for babysitters
- Face painting for babysitters
- The learning dinosaur activity
Improve your babysitting skills
If you're serious about becoming a better babysitter then this section is perfect for you. These articles will help you to learn more about childcare, the development of children, and how babysitters can make a valuable difference in children's lives.
- How to be a good babysitter
- How can I impress my babysitting parents?
- Babysitting and child psychology
- How babysitters can nurture children
Outings for babysitters
Babysitting doesn't have to be boring, it can be an adventure! In this section, we take a look at kid-friendly outings that you may want to try on your next babysitting job. The kids will love them!
Try babysitting at the:
How to deal with difficult situations
Babysitting is not always easy, some days you will be tested with difficult children, tricky situations, or unexpected events. In this section, we go through some of the most common difficulties that babysitters may face and offer advice and tips to help you to work through the situation or to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- How to babysit a difficult child
- How to calm an upset child
- How to deal with separation anxiety
- What to do if parents are late home
- How to babysit a sick child
- How to babysit an autistic child
Popular babysitting dates
There are a few dates each year when babysitters find themselves in high demand. On these special days, babysitters can easily charge 1.5 times their normal rate. These are also times when new babysitters can find greater success in securing new jobs. Read on to learn how you can make the most of these dates to advance your babysitting business.
Chapter 3. Babysitting business
Babysitting can be more than just a job, it can become a long and fulfilling career that will support you just as well as many other occupations. And because babysitters are self-employed, it can give you flexibility and freedom that other jobs can never provide.
Tax tips for babysitters
When running your own babysitting business it's essential to correctly record your earnings and expenses for tax purposes. In this section, we look at the finer details of tax for babysitters.
If you're serious about turning babysitting into a career then these articles can help you determine the best way forward.
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Babysitting Secrets Revealed!
My book, Babysitting Business Secrets, is out now as an inexpensive ebook or full-color paperback. If you're serious about becoming the best babysitter you can be, or if you want to make as much money as possible, then this book is perfect for you. I reveal all my tricks and tips for first-time babysitters or experienced sitters who just want to up their game. Get your copy today!
- Matthew Taylor, Kidsit Founder