Welcome to the babysitter’s club! Well, you’re almost in the babysitter’s club. You need to get that first gig in the books before it’s official. If this is your very first job, you’re in good company. Babysitting is a great way to get your foot in the door and make a little extra money. There are a lot of babysitters in the world; so breaking into the market might be difficult if you don’t know any families with young children. It’s important to make yourself as marketable as possible, so you can “compete” with the other sitters who have been around the block a few times. Here are five tips that you will help you get your first babysitting gig.
Look “put together” when you meet the family.
Before signing off on your first babysitting gig, the family will probably want to interview you to make sure you’re a good fit for their child. It’s important to look well put together because first impressions are everything. The way you dress can say a lot about how much you care about something, and if you really want this job, it helps if your clothes reflect that.
You don’t have to look stuffy or like you’re going to a business meeting. Depending on your size, check out women’s petite jackets that are both comfortable and fashionable. You can pair that with a nice pair of jeans—without holes—and wear cute boots depending on the weather. Just keep it simple.
It’s important to look nice, but also be able to get down and play. The parents may ask you to watch their child while they get a simple chore done just to see how you interact with their little one. Choose something to wear that doesn’t restrict your movement, so you’re reading for anything.
Nothing makes you more legitimate than an official certification. Since emergencies happen when you least expect them, it’s a great idea to get a CPR first aid certification. No matter where you live or what your schedule looks like, you can always find time to get certified through the American Health Care Academy’s online course.
In their course, you’ll learn about how to recognize an emergency and respond to an unconscious infant or child. You’ll learn what to do if the child your watching is choking and how to use an AED if it’s available. There are many more topics the course will cover, so you’ll be prepared for just about anything. Your certification will be valid for two years after passing the quiz; however, it’s never a bad idea to take the course every year, so you can easily respond under stress.
Let others sing your praises.
Although you’ve maybe never ventured into the world of babysitting before, you’re sure to know people who would love to write you a letter of recommendation or act as a reference. That way if any other the families you could potentially work for have questions, they can reach out to the people who know you best. Have you ever watched your little cousins? Ask your aunt or uncle if you can give their phone number to families. They’ll probably be happy to help.
Take a cooking class.
You’ll certainly stand out from all the other babysitters if you know your way around a kitchen. Most families will just order pizza, but they may need help with lunch prep for the next day if it’s a school night. The children your watching may also have eating restrictions that prevent them from eating easily prepared foods. If you can make yourself useful to a parent during dinner preparation, which can be stressful with little ones, you might be getting a call every weekend.
Use the resources you have.
If you don’t know many families with young children, and you have a good relationship with one of your teachers from your school, ask them if they would be willing to recommend you to their friends with children. You may not have thought about your teachers as a part of your social circle, but they absolutely are. If you’re a good student, your teacher will likely be able to find you quite a few interested families.