Maybe you love kids and you want to spend time around them. You might think of a babysitter as a teenager that watches kids while mom and dad go out on a date. There are full-time babysitting jobs, too.
If you want to go into a career as a babysitter, you will likely be looking for jobs as a nanny. They could be labeled with either, but they are basically the same type of career.
As a full-time babysitter, you will have specific duties. Typically, you will be working with a few children for one family on a day-to-day basis. Let’s look at the job duties of a babysitter and how to become a babysitter.
Job Duties of a Babysitter
Your job duties, as a babysitter, will revolve around the children you take care of. You might take care of a newborn baby, toddler, or even teenager. It just depends on the needs of the parents and the children you prefer to work with.
Some of the main job duties you will have as a babysitter include:
- Preparing meals and snacks – You will likely spend time preparing meals and snacks for the children. Depending on the type of babysitting position you take on, this could include breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. You might have to follow specific instructions if a child has allergies, as well.
- Playing with children – You will likely spend time playing and interacting with children. This might include both indoor and outdoor games or other activities.
- Transport children – If the children have places to go, such as school, extracurricular activities, or appointments, you might be in charge of transporting them.
- Supervising homework – Your job as a babysitter may also include supervising the homework the children will need to complete.
- Let parents know about concerns and issues – You will also need to let parents know about any issues. These could be household concerns, eating habits, homework progress, injuries, illnesses, and other issues. Sometimes, you will need to contact the parents immediately.
- Manage the household – Some babysitters will also help manage the household. This may include basic chores, answering the phone, accepting packages, getting the mail, and answering the door. You may also be in charge of caring for pets.
The job duties of a full-time babysitter can vary, depending on who you work for. However, these are very common duties you can expect with this career.
How to Become a Babysitter in 3 Steps
Step #1 – Register for and Complete Courses
There are many courses you may need to become a babysitter. Getting the right certifications and training, can lead to better babysitting jobs. Some of the courses and certifications to consider include:
- Babysitting Basics – This type of course will take you about four hours to complete. It can be taken online and will introduce you to the basics of child care. You will study what to do in an emergency, how to choose age-appreciate activities, and how to respond to specific behaviors.
- Babysitter Training – You can build on the basic training by taking even more babysitting training courses. This type of training will include how to care for teens and will likely be taken in a classroom setting. You might find this type of course online, too. It will include training in safety, redirecting behaviors, discipline, first aid, and leadership development.
- Advanced Childcare – Another course you can take online to get certified is the advanced childcare course. This course will teach you more about discipline, behavior, safety, baby care essentials, leadership, and professionalism.
- First Aid Training – Some babysitting courses will include first aid training. If they don’t, this is a certification you should get for sure. It will help you take care of children when they have a minor wound, burn, or even an asthmatic attack.
- CPR – You should also get CPR training for infants and children. This will likely be required for many people looking to hire you as a babysitter.
- AED – Training for an automatic externalized defibrillator (AED) is important for babysitters. This type of course will show you how to use the AED device, which can be helpful in an emergency situation.
There are many certification options you should consider. Becoming certified as a babysitter will ensure you get the qualifications you will need to land good babysitting jobs.
Step #2 – Pass the Exams
Many of the babysitting certifications will require a final exam. You will need to pass the final exam, no matter the type of certification. Each exam will be a bit different and will cover what’s taught in the course.
Step #3 – Meet the Minimum Requirements
Most people hiring a babysitter will have some basic requirements. You will need to meet the minimum requirements for the nanny agency or the family looking to hire you.
Typically, you will need to be at least 16 years of age. If you plan to work full-time as a babysitter, you will likely need to be at least 18 years of age. Most agencies and families will require you to have specific certifications including CPR and first aid.
A driver’s license might also be required. You may have to have a clean driving record if you will be transporting the children at all.
Some agencies and parents will require a drug test, as well. They may require a drug test on occasion since you will be working with their children. It will just depend on the employer and the family you will be working with.
While it’s not a requirement, you may need some references. These can come from a former supervisor, a neighbor, or anybody that can vouch for your responsibility and skills.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Babysitter
How much can I make as a babysitter?
The salary numbers for babysitters are a bit skewed since some work part-time and others work full-time. If you work as a babysitter/nanny and you work full-time, the average salary is about $43,600, according to Indeed.com.
Some other types of positions may pay a little more or less, depending on what you actually do. There are several different duties you may fulfill that can impact how much you make as a babysitter. Working for a nanny service may allow you to earn a higher salary.
Your location can also impact your salary. New York City and Los Angeles both have average salaries over $50K per year. Chicago, Phoenix, and Atlanta are the next highest-paying locations for full-time babysitters.
If you have nanny experience, an early childhood education degree, or other certifications, it can also help boost your salary.
What type of benefits can you get as a babysitter?
The benefits you gain may be determined by the family you work for or the agency you work for. You will likely have food provided for you and you will likely gain paid time off for vacations and illness. Paid housing is possible if you become a live-in babysitter. You can also work from home, in some cases, and you may have access to health insurance and a flexible schedule.
Do I need a degree to become a babysitter?
No, but getting a degree in early childhood education can certainly help. About 33% of people working in this career have a bachelor’s degree. Another 6% have an associate’s degree and 1% have master’s degrees. That leaves about 60% of those working as babysitters with a high school diploma or GED only.
You don’t need a degree to become a babysitter. It can certainly help, especially if you want to work with children that have specific needs. You can also become certified to gain the training you need.
What is the work environment like for a babysitter?
Most commonly, you will work in the private residences of the children you care for. You will spend time in the kitchen and in other areas of the home. In some cases, you may become a live-in babysitter and live inside the home.
Your work environment may also include transporting children in a vehicle to school, appointments, and activities. In some cases, you will work in a child care facility. However, it’s more common to work in the home of the children you care for.
What type of hours do babysitters work?
It’s common to work hours during the day, at night, and on weekends as a babysitter. It will depend on the times the parents need you to care for the children. Some babysitters work regular hours, while others will work odd hours or even longer hours. It’s even possible to work 24-hour shifts for a higher rate of pay.
There are plenty of opportunities in the career of babysitting. If you want to learn how to become a babysitter, just use the steps above. Once you become certified, you might be able to work for the same family for several years. It’s not uncommon for a live-in babysitter to work for the same family for the entire childhood of the children.