Babysitting can be an awesome way to make money as long as you know what you're doing. Whether you're a teenager looking to make some extra money part-time, or an adult who is looking to turn it into a full-time job.
How can you make money from babysitting? Find lots of work by promoting your services and assembling an impressing resume with good parent references, practice interviewing so you get good at it, earn qualifications and learn new skills, negotiate for a good rate, and take on more responsibilities and tasks so you can charge more per hour.
In this article, you'll learn how much money you can expect to make as a babysitter and how to start getting babysitting jobs and making money. As well as how to make even more money once you're already doing babysitting jobs.
Do Babysitters Make Good Money?
Babysitting is generally pretty well-paid work. It also comes with a number of other benefits. For example, it's flexible enough to fit around your school schedule or other jobs you might have.
It can also help you earn more money in the long term too. Babysitting is a great opportunity for anybody that's looking to work with kids in the future. It gives you excellent experience to put on your resume that will show future employers that you're a trustworthy, reliable, and responsible person when it comes to working with kids.
If you've never had a job before, babysitting is a great way to enter the job market. It will teach you how to be punctual and organized. Since you can't show up late for babysitting or you might lose your job. It also gives you a taste of being self-employed, if running your own business is something you want to consider later on.
Networking is also very important, and babysitting gives you the potential to make good contacts with the children's parents that might lead to more jobs in the future, and they can make great references when you're looking for other jobs later.
How Much Can I Expect To Make from Babysitting?
The amount that you'll be able to earn from babysitting depends on a lot of different factors. Where you live, how much experience you've got, the age of the children you're watching, and other things will all play a part.
Even within a single country or state, the going rate for babysitters can vary dramatically. Expect to earn more in larger cities that have a higher cost of living, compared to less populated areas. Here is a great article that highlights the going rates in some larger US cities.
In the US, Canada or the UK, I would say that $10 USD per hour (or the equivalent in your local currency is a good minimum number to aim for if you're a brand new babysitter. In Australia, the base rate for sitters is usually closer to $15 per hour.
For more information on how much you can expect to make from babysitting, check out my article - Babysitting Rate Guide (How Much Should You Charge?)
Start By Checking Your Schedule
Before you can consider babysitting, you need to take a look at your schedule and see if babysitting is something that you can realistically fit into your week.
If you've got kids of your own to take care of, or your evenings are completely filled up with extracurricular activities all week, it's going to be hard to fit it in. Families want babysitters with fairly flexible schedules.
Before you start applying for babysitting jobs, you need to get an accurate assessment of your schedule, so you can let families know when you'd be able to work. That will help save you time from applying to babysitting jobs that conflict with your schedule too.
What You Need To Start Making Babysitting Money
In most places, there aren't any specific certifications or types of training that are required to become a babysitter. You definitely don't need a degree or any formal childcare training to get started. If you live in the UK or Australia and you're over 18 years old, you will most likely need to have a Working With Children Check, apply to become a Registered Carer, or whatever your regional equivalent is called.
In the US and Canada, the laws are a bit laxer. Outside of a limited number of cities with special regulations, you generally don't need any kind of background check to become a babysitter.
However, just because you don't need any credentials to get started doesn't mean there's no reason to get them. For younger babysitters, a Red Cross Babysitting Course will look good on your CV or resume and let parents know you have the basic knowledge required to keep their kids safe. The Red Cross offers babysitting courses in countries all around the world.
It's also a smart idea to complete a CPR and First Aid course before you begin babysitting as well. Not only will it further set parents' minds at ease, but you'll have the confidence to deal with any accidents or injuries that might arise while you're on the job. Imagine being in a situation where a child was choking or unconscious, and you were not sure what to do. You can avoid that by spending a weekend taking a CPR course which can cost as little as $20.
We also recommend getting a portable first aid kit to bring on your babysitting jobs (here's a great one that we love).
If you have any previous experience working with kids, that's a bonus and will make it easier for you to find jobs.
And of course, a clean background is a must. Most parents will run background checks before hiring babysitters. And if you have a criminal history, you'll be immediately disqualified from getting the vast majority of babysitting jobs.
Finding Paid Babysitting Jobs (Where To Look)
Finding jobs where you can start making money as a babysitter is easier now than ever before.
However, I'd still always start with the tried and true method of reaching out to people that you know. Ask family members and your friends if they need babysitters, or if they know anybody else who might be looking for a sitter. You can also reach out to people that are members of your church or any other group that you belong to as well.
Babysitting for people you already know can really help to start getting the ball rolling when you don't have any experience yet. It's a lot easier to get people to give you a chance if they already know and trust you. Once you work for a few people you're already acquainted with, you can use them as references to start looking for other babysitting jobs.
You can also make flyers (see our free flyer maker here) and business cards (see our business card maker too) with your contact information and post them on local notice boards, or even hand them out at playgroups, schools, or parks. Just be sure to ask for permission first if you aren't on public property.
Outside of your existing network, the Internet is undoubtedly the most powerful tool at your disposal when it comes to finding babysitting jobs. If you're serious about babysitting, you'll want to create an online profile on a babysitting site. You might even want to sign up for multiple sites if they allow it, to maximize the number of parents that will see you.
Need help writing a good babysiter profile? Check out my profile writing tricks to give you the edge over other babysitters.
Babysitting sites match up babysitters with parents who are looking for them. Normally you'll pay a small fee to the website for the service they provide. But if you get tons of babysitting jobs out of it, it's definitely worth it.
If you know anything about making websites, you might try to make your own personal babysitting site. Try to tailor it to your local area and use terms that will help you to show up if parents are searching for babysitters in your city. Include your resume or CV, as well as a few references if possible.
Making your own website might seem a little intimidating though. If you aren't quite ready for that, you can join existing online communities and social networks. Try joining babysitting or parent groups on Facebook, as well as adding babysitting to your LinkedIn profile.
If you're still struggling to find any babysitting jobs, you might try joining a babysitting agency. They work a lot like babysitting sites but in person. You can sign up to work with an agency in your city, and they'll do the work matching you up with parents who come to them looking for sitters.
For more details on how to land more babysitting clients, check out my other article - How To Promote Your Babysitting Business (8 Free Techniques)
Start Off Slowly
If you've never babysat before, you don't need to jump straight into doing it full-time.
Try taking on just one babysitting client and only working one evening per week or so, before you start trying to babysit for multiple families. Otherwise, it can become difficult to juggle babysitting several different sets of kids if you're brand new to it. Give yourself a chance to gradually ease into the role and get some experience before you bite off more than you can chew. You don't want to get overwhelmed or burned out.
Try offering to babysit for family members or your neighbors if you're brand new to babysitting and not confident about doing it as a job yet. Many parents are often willing to supervise and help teach you how to look after kids if you give them a helping hand for free.
Getting The Babysitting Jobs You Apply For
Just applying for babysitting jobs isn't the end of the process. There are often multiple additional steps between offering to babysit for a family and them accepting and making the final decision to hire you.
When you apply for a babysitting job, you might be competing against dozens of other sitters who also applied for the same role. The three main things that will set your babysitting apart from the competition are having a great resume or CV, great interview skills, and excellent babysitter references.
Your Babysitter Resume
The first thing that parents will use to learn about you is your resume or CV. If parents are busy and have dozens of other resumes to look through, they might only spend 30 seconds or so looking at your resume. So it's crucial that you have a resume that stands out and makes a great impression right away.
You definitely want to include any skills or previous experience that you had working with children. Even if you're a teenager, think carefully because there might be things that would look great on your resume that you don't immediately think of. Were you a camp counselor at summer camp, or part of a Big Brother or Big Sister program? Have you taught swimming lessons to younger kids or babysat your younger nephew once a month for the past year? They're all great things to put on your babysitting resume.
If you have taken any kind of babysitting course, as well as CPR or First Aid, you definitely want to have those items on your babysitting resume.
If you're fairly young and inexperienced, just try to include any extracurricular activities or volunteer work that will paint you in a good light to parents who want to hire you.
For more information, check out my article - How to Add Babysitting to Your Resume (Sample Job Skills & Example Templates)
But what you put on your resume is only half of the equation! Whether you like it or not, people often do judge a book by its cover. So you want the information presented on your resume to be professional looking as well.
Try to print your resume on heavier card stock, as opposed to just regular printer paper, if you have access to it. And take some time to customize the layout of your resume to make it appealing to look at. If you aren't sure where to begin, there are lots of free resume templates available online.
Always get a family member or friend to proofread your resume for you before you send it out to any parents. A fresh set of eyes will often catch a spelling or grammar mistake that you missed.
Avoid putting any kind of sparkles, glitter, stickers, or other items on your resume that can cause a mess and can also make you look immature.
Acing The Babysitting Interview
An interview is the first time that you'll meet the parents that you want to babysit for face to face. This gives them a chance to get to know you as a person, as well as ask you some questions and explain the role to you in more detail.
We've already written extensively about the various parts of the babysitter interview process here on Kidsit. So rather than give you a recap of everything, I'd recommend you check out these existing resources:
This post will give you a general overview of what a babysitting interview is like, if you've never done one before - What to Expect at a Babysitting Interview (By Phone, Video Chat or In-Person)
This resource will let you know what kind of clothing is appropriate for a babysitting interview, and what parents expect - What To Wear To A Babysitting Interview (First Impressions Count!)
And if you aren't sure what you should be bringing with you to an interview, check out this article as well! - What To Bring To A Babysitting Interview (Plus 14-Item Checklist)
Have Great Babysitting References
If you have a great resume or CV and your interview went really well, then you're likely already 90% of the way to getting a babysitting job and starting to make some money.
But if there's a close competition between you and another babysitter, having better references than them might be the single deciding factor on whether you end up getting the job or not.
For more details on everything related to babysitting references, check out this article - Babysitting References (What Are They & How To Get Them?)
How To Increase The Amount of Money You Make From Babysitting
Maybe you already have a few babysitting jobs, but you aren't making as much money as you would like. What kinds of things can you do to bump your hourly rate up a bit? Here are our top 9 ways to make more money babysitting:
1. Ask For A Raise From Current Employers
It probably sounds like pretty common sense. But if you aren't happy with the amount your current babysitting clients are paying you, ask for a raise! The worst they can say is no.
Most babysitters feel uncomfortable asking for raises, even after they've been babysitting for a family for years without an increase in pay. Many times parents might even agree they're paying you a low rate, but they aren't going to volunteer to pay you more unless you ask for it!
Plan ahead and try to think of as many reasons as possible to justify paying you a higher rate. Whether you just have more experience than when you started, if you've taken additional courses and training related to childcare, or even just to account for regular inflation in the economy. The better reasons you have for getting a raise, the more likely you are to get it.
2. Learn How To Negotiate A Good Rate up Front
You won't always get a raise when you ask for it. Some families might not be willing to pay you more or they might have a specific budget in mind that they can pay for babysitters, and can't afford to pay you above that.
In those cases when you're stuck babysitting for low-paying families who won't budge on price, your only real option is to go out and find some new, better paying babysitting jobs.
Maybe in your previous jobs you just got stuck taking whatever rate they offered you. In the future, don't leave money on the table because you're afraid to negotiate! Check out my article - How To Negotiate A Babysitting Rate (9 Tips: Preparation & Strategies) – to make sure you're really getting paid what you deserve.
3. Get More Relevant Training
We already talked a little bit earlier about some basic babysitting training you might want to get. That includes stuff like a babysitting license, as well as CPR and First Aid training.
To demand even more money for your babysitting services, you can get additional training on top of those basic things.
Look into taking more formal training, such as signing up for a class related to childcare at your local college. You can also train to become a nanny, and transition from babysitting into a more full-time role that way.
4. Be Extra Flexible
The more time that you're available to babysit, the more babysitting work that will be available for you.
Offer to babysit during weird hours that other babysitters might not want to work, or be able to work. For example, babysitting overnight, for full weekends, or during the day.
Lots of babysitters are students or have other jobs, so if you're only working evenings and weekends you might face a lot of competition. But there are generally fewer babysitters available during the times when sitters are busy doing other things.
5. Don't Skip On High-Demand Days
There are specific days of the year that babysitters are in very high demand, for example, on New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day (click to read my guides for these special days.)
On peak days where every parent is looking for a babysitter, you can charge double your regular rate or more.
While it can be tempting to take time off to celebrate holidays yourself, these days represent the highest-paying times for you to babysit. So try to schedule any of your own parties and celebrations during off-peak times so you can make as much money babysitting as possible.
You'll also want to be available to babysit during summer holidays, and any other bank holidays or school holidays where parents might need one-off childcare for a day while they're at work.
6. Ask For Extra Perks
There are other things you can get from babysitting besides just money. Ask parents to provide you with a free meal if you'll be babysitting during dinner time. More often than not, they'll agree.
Ask parents to pay your travel expenses, such as the cost of gas, or your fare to get a taxi home. Getting a taxi or Uber can be pricey, so parents should understand and be willing to cover at least some of the cost of getting you home.
Think of any other extra benefits you can get from parents as well. If one of the parents you babysit for is a chartered accountant, see if they're willing to do your taxes for you for free at the end of the year.
7. Babysit Children Who Have Special Needs
Children who have special needs can present additional challenges while babysitting. Many babysitters can't or aren't willing to take on these jobs so they usually have less competition when you apply for them, and they also tend to pay a higher rate.
Just be sure that you're up to the task. You might want to take some courses in social work or other related fields that can give you the skills and knowledge needed to babysit a child with special needs.
See our guide How to babysit a child with autism for some handy tips to get you started.
8. Offer Extra Services (Like Cleaning)
Even though babysitting generally pays pretty well, there's extra stuff you can do to earn even more cash.
If you're cleaning the house, helping kids with homework, or preparing meals, you should expect a higher hourly rate than if you were just relaxing and playing with kids that you're babysitting.
See if parents have any extra tasks you can do once the kids have gone to bed. They might pay you a higher rate if you're willing to put away the dishes, fold the laundry, clean out the cat's litter box, or other tasks they either don't want to do or don't have the time and energy for. If they've got small children, chances are they'd probably be happy to unload some of their extra chores on to you, for a fee.
9. Work Events and Parties
If parents are having a big party or gathering at their home, you can offer to keep the kids entertained and watch them so they aren't getting into trouble.
You can babysit for kid's birthday parties or even dinner parties where the grown-ups want to sit down and have a formal meal without the kids running around.
Watching multiple kids will definitely be busy and keep you on your feet but your pay will also reflect the extra work that you put in. If you're babysitting five kids at once, you'll definitely be making a lot more money than if you were just babysitting one. Don't forget to hand out business cards or flyers to parents at the events as well!
Avoid Scams and Interview Safely
When you're eager to make some money, you might be ready to take any babysitting work that comes your way, but before you take on any babysitting jobs or agree to interviews, make sure to do your due diligence.
From time to time, you might come across babysitting job postings that are actually scams. So you'll need to keep an eye out. One common one is where parents contact you and want to send you a check up front to pay for your services, and then send the rest of the money back. This is a common money-laundering scheme. And when the check inevitably bounces, you'll be out the money that you sent back to them.
For interviews, try to always meet in a public place and make sure someone knows where you are. Get someone to drive you to the interview and wait outside for you, and call them as soon as the interview is over.
Generally, if something sounds way too good to be true, it usually is. So trust your gut when you're applying for new jobs and meeting with strangers.
Babysitting can be a great way to make money, whether you're still in school or want to pursue it as a career.
The hardest part is getting started. Once you have a few clients, they'll start recommending you to friends and family, and you'll build up a bit of a network. But getting those first few babysitting jobs can be tough. Just stick with it and use the information above to help maximize your chances of getting babysitting jobs.
Once you already have some babysitting jobs and a good amount of experience, you can start using some of the other information we discussed to increase your rate and get even more work.
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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