CEE Standard: Earning Income
Many students babysit as a way to earn extra money. What they may not know is that if they up their game, they can earn even more money. Take your students through this article and help them become the best babysitter ever!
Babysitting is an awesome gig for several reasons.
First, you can do it anywhere, regardless of whether you live in a big city or in the middle of nowhere.
Second, you likely won’t have to pay taxes on what you earn — you might not realize this if you’re a teenager, but that is a serious win.
Third, you get to play with cute little squishy humans and be paid for it — that in itself is a victory. But perhaps the best thing about babysitting is that you can increase your earnings just by being good at what you do.
Consider these 10 tips for being the best babysitter possible, and see how quickly your cash grows:
Whatever time you’re asked to show up, try to arrive five to 10 minutes earlier. That way you can assess the situation and help the parents get out of the house more efficiently. But remember not to get there too early — it might look a little strange if you show up at noon for an evening watch.
Don’t count on the family to have everything all set up for you when you get there — families are busy! Consider bringing a craft or puzzle for the kids to play with. It’ll probably be a hit no matter what it is, since it’s new for them.
Take a CPR-Certification Class
Most parents won’t ask you if you have one, but it’s always good to be prepared in case of an emergency. And it certainly boosts your credentials. Plus, if you’re registered on an online website like Care.com, it increases your appeal to parents who don’t know you personally. If you are between 14 and 17 years old, your parent or guardian can register for you; you need to be 18 to register yourself, according to Care.com.
Be an Attendant, Not a Friend
As much as we all want little kids to like us, you need to remember that you’re there to watch them, not to be their buddy. Parents will feel more comfortable leaving their kids with you (and for longer periods of time) if they see that you’re capable of being firm with their children when they need it.
Suggest Fun Activities
Everyone loves a babysitter who goes above and beyond to entertain children in safe and educational ways. If you have a driver’s license, see what events are going on in the area and ask the parents if you can take the kids. Try kids’ night at a museum or a simple outing to the local ice cream shop. Everyone loves a road trip.
Don’t Complain If They’re Late
Everyone’s been there: You’re babysitting and the parents said they’d be home at 10, but then they roll into the driveway at midnight. It can be seriously annoying, but don’t let them see you sweat it. Just smile and be gracious, and the parents are way more likely to tip you extra for your “trouble.”
Have a Backup Babysitter
If you have to cancel your babysitting plans, make sure you do it as promptly and smoothly as possible and have a backup sitter to suggest to them. But remember, whenever you offer a family another babysitter, you could end up losing their regular business!
Clean Up the House
They may not expect you to do it, but parents always appreciate somebody cleaning up a little around the house. Make sure the dishes are washed, the toys are put away, and the house is tidy by the time the parents get home. They will most likely tell you it wasn’t necessary, but they will appreciate that you went the extra mile. Trust me.
It’s tempting to want to wear a tracksuit for maximum mobility and comfort, but no one wants to leave their kids with someone who looks messy or who wears inappropriate clothing. Think about how you would dress for a casual interview, and then dress somewhere around those lines. You can chill out a bit once you get to know the family, but always make sure that you look put together.
This is a tip that you learn with waitressing, but it’s useful for babysitting too: Always try to have a few small bills available in case the parents have only big bills. If they have two $20 bills and a $50, your offer to break the $50 might be the difference in $10 more for you.
And remember: Always do a thorough check on whoever you are going to babysit for. Meet them in public beforehand, with a parent or guardian present if possible, and make sure you feel comfortable working with them before going ahead with anything.