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Male babysitter playing football with a child

Can Men Babysit?

Why Aren’t There Many Male Babysitters?

You might have noticed this yourself. There are almost no guy babysitters out there. It makes a lot of people wonder if guys can babysit at all.

Can men babysit? Men can definitely babysit. However, there is a lot of stigmatism in child care. It can be more challenging for male caregivers to find work as a babysitter. However, it is definitely possible, and usually when the babysitter has a number of positive reviews, finding work isn’t a problem.

In this post, let’s go over some of the challenges that male babysitters face, as well as how to overcome them.

Can Guys Get Babysitting Jobs?

Guys can absolutely get babysitting jobs. It can be tricky though. Generally, female babysitters are perceived as more capable, so childcare can be an uphill battle for a guy.

Most guys have found that, in order to find work as a babysitter, they really needed to put in the work to earn a reputation. Once they’ve got a list of positive reviews, finding babysitting gigs became fairly doable.

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As a man, it's essential to have a professional resume to give the best impression to future employers. Read our guide: How to add babysitting to your resume for essential tips and examples.

For women, though, it’s often much easier. Many people are more willing to try out a female babysitter that doesn’t have any work experience.

How Many Babysitters Are Guys?

According to a study done by Priceonomics, only about 3% of babysitters are male. Obviously, that’s a pretty low ratio of guys in the childcare workspace.

To be honest, it’s pretty interesting to look at what we can learn from an analysis of the gender differences in babysitting.

For example, guys on average make $0.50/hour more from babysitting. It’s not huge, but it ain’t bad, either. Some people attribute this to the fact that guys are generally more confident in negotiations. Either way, this is pretty interesting to see in a career that obviously has a stigma against fellas.

Why Are So Few Babysitters Male?

Honestly, there’s a pretty apparent stigma against guy babysitters. This can affect the ratio of guy babysitters several ways.

For example, lots of people have the perception that guys just plain aren’t interested in taking care of kids. It’s true that not all guys are. But neither are all girls. Either way, though, it’s a common perception.

Another opinion is that guys aren’t able to take care of kids as well as girls are. For example, some people think that guys aren’t naturally as nurturing or attentive. While it’s definitely not true, this is what some people think.

I’s not easy to change perceptions.

At the end of the day, all of this can be pretty demotivating. Very few people want to apply themselves to a job when the cards are stacked against them, and they’ll have to face stigmatism.

How strong is this stigmatism? Some job posting sites out there make it very clear that they don’t want to promote male sitters. For example, one site has a default setting which automatically filters out guys from the search results. In order to change that, the user needs to go into the advanced settings and tick the box to include fellas. How often do you peruse advanced search settings?

Ultimately, there’s no beating around the bush. Guys will have a greater challenge in working as a sitter.

Why Don’t Some Parents Want to Hire Male Babysitters?

This is a really controversial subject. Here are the facts.

The #1 reason why some parents will not hire male sitters is because of concerns with the potential risk of child molestation. Here are some stats that are concerning to parents:

  • 20% of girls and 8% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 (Pereda et al, 2009). Other sources claim that this number is actually 4/10 girls and 1/10 boys. Either way, it’s really high.
  • 90% of abusers are male (McCloskey & Raphael, 2005)

Stats are a tricky thing since they can be interpreted and presented many different ways. For example, there are many harmful things that women are involved in just as much, if not more, than guys. For example, 64% of the cases of physical abuse by babysitters are committed by female perpetrators

If you want a detailed article about the threats to children by babysitters, the US Department of Justice published an excellent study. Here are some highlights:

Babysitters account for approximately 4% of crimes against children under the age of 6. This is significantly less than family members (53.5% for children under 6, 21% for over 6), and even total strangers. For children over the age of 6, the percentage of children abused by babysitters (compared to other abusers) is reduced to 0.5%.

All said and done, it’s really easy to get lost in the numbers. Stats are very easy to present in different ways that aren’t always realistic. It’s pretty rare to get a complete picture from a few simplified numbers.

Either way, it’s obvious that there’s still a risk, and concerns over a child’s well-being are totally valid.

Should Parents Discriminate?

It’s the parent’s responsibility to protect and care for their children. Even though nobody likes discrimination, protecting a child’s well-being comes first. In other words, if the parents aren’t comfortable with something, nobody should pressure them otherwise.

The stats also indicate that parents should screen everyone, not just guys. Things like background checks, scrutinizing references, etc should be taken very seriously. Child abusers aren’t easy to identify, so parents shouldn’t just rely on “vibes”.

For other concerns, though, discrimination needs to be met with education. Ideas that guys aren’t able to care for children, as well as girls, simply aren’t true. Both genders have good as well as terrible babysitters.

Are Guys Good Babysitters?

Absolutely. In some cases, a guy might actually make a better babysitter!

For example, guys have more of a tendency to play outside and be more active when taking care of kids. For little boys, they might have a total blast playing in the sandbox with trucks. Wrestling, building forts, playing sports; sometimes all of these stereotypes are very true!

There might also be a situation of the kids needing a “big brother” figure to look up to. Maybe the kids are being raised by a single mom, the dad has to travel for work, or there’s another similar situation.

Either way, the quality of the babysitter isn’t gender-specific. Guys are just as capable of taking great care of kids.

There’s no good reason for a guy that’s interested in child care to refrain from giving it a go. Guys will likely have a harder time getting started, especially if they’re trying to find work with an online platform. On the flip side, though, lots of families would actually prefer for a guy they trust to watch their kids.

Related Questions

Is babysitting a hard job?

Babysitting does take real work if you want to do a good job. Sleeping and playing on your phone all the time is not doing a good job.

Taking care of kids requires effort. You need to engage them, which means playing and doing activities with them. You’ll also need to clean up any messes that you and the kids make.

If you want to know more about the challenges of babysitting and how to do it successfully, check out this article: Is babysitting an easy job?

Can you babysit without qualifications?

In some areas, a certification for babysitting is required (see our post on babysitting licenses.) Either way, getting some training is a really good idea if you want to take care of kids.

Common certifications include babysitting training, as well as CPR and first aid. These courses will help you earn more money, too, since you’ll be able to charge more.

If you want to know more about babysitting qualifications, then read this post: Can you babysit without qualifications?

If you're looking to gain new qualifications so you can get ahead of the competition then read our article: 24 Babysitting qualifications to learn which ones may be perfect for you.

Written & Illustrated by:

 Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor

Kidsit Founder, Editor, Illustrator, and father of three beautiful kids in Sydney, Australia.

Published: 2 December 2018

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