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Babysitting Tips

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Babysitting is a great way for pre-teens and teens to make money. Trustworthy and reliable babysitters are always in demand. Here are nine babysitting tips that will help you become the great babysitter parents are looking for.

1. Take a Babysitting Course

Before you even start babysitting, you should enroll in a training course for babysitters. Completing a training course teaches you how to handle emergency situations, and it also teaches you how to run a successful babysitting business. The things you learn will help you be more confident and make you more appealing to parents who are searching for childcare. The American Red Cross offers an excellent babysitter training course. The class is designed for 11 to 15 year olds.

2. Know What You Can Handle

Only accept jobs that you know you can handle. If the children have health or behavior issues that you don’t feel comfortable with, do not accept the babysitting job. In addition, be sure you take on babysitting jobs appropriate for your age. Also, be aware of your schedule and only take on babysitting jobs that can fit in around other obligations like schoolwork and extracurricular activities. You can also limit babysitting jobs to free weekends.

3. Create a Plan

The best babysitters are prepared for each and every job. You should always be prepared to interact with the children you are babysitting. Be prepared with fun babysitting games. Take a craft, game or book with you that you can share with them. Children love babysitters who pay attention to them and play with them. In addition, the babysitting job will go more smoothly if you are well prepared to entertain the children.

4. Decide How Much to Charge

Will you charge by the number of children, the number of hours or both? Decide what you will charge and let the parents know ahead of time what your babysitting rates are. This will prevent awkward moments and hurt feelings later.

5. Understand Parents’ Requirements

Be sure you understand the rules of the home in which you are babysitting. Is TV allowed? If so, what shows can the children watch? Find out if you are expected to do anything else in addition to babysitting the children. For example, do you need to feed the children and wash the dishes? At what time are you expected to put the children to bed?

6. Get Important Information In Writing

Don’t allow the parents to leave without writing down important information regarding rules, schedules and activities. Be sure they leave complete contact information for you in case of an emergency.

7. Be On Time

Don’t be late when arriving for a babysitting job. If the parents are providing transportation for you, be sure to be ready to go when they get there to pick you up because they may be short on time. In addition, discuss with the parents what time they will return and if there is a possibility they will extend the time frame for the babysitting job. If you have a commitment immediately after the babysitting job, let the parents know in advance.

8. Never Leave Children Unattended

When you are babysitting, the children should have your full attention at all times because their safety is your responsibility. Don’t be distracted by your cell phone, friends, TV or books. Babysitting safety tips, including locking doors, avoiding choking hazards, and using care when cooking, are some of the most important duties of your job.

9. Market Yourself for Future Jobs

Use your computer skills to create a professional-looking business card or babysitting flyer that lists your personal information. At the end of every babysitting job, hand the parents one of your business cards and thank them for the opportunity to care for their children. Let them know you would love to work for them again in the future. You should also ask them if you can use their names as a reference for other babysitting jobs.
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