2Starting your own babysitting business

Are you ready?

Corner_girl_cartoonKnowing all about safety and managing the basic physical needs of kids is a great start. However, what you really need to ask yourself now to know if you are really ready for the responsibility of babysitting is:

  • Am I comfortable being in charge?
  • Am I confident to discipline children in a fair but serious manner?
  • Am I capable of being professional and mature?
  • Am I “sitter-trained”and equipped with the skills I need to care for children?
  • Are my own parents or guardians available to support me in this work?

If you answered YES to ALL of these questions, you are ready to launch your babysitting business. Congratulations!

But before the big bucks start rolling in, you will need to invest some time and energy in setting up your business and most importantly finding clients who want to hire you as their babysitter.


Do your research

Identify who you want to offer your services to and how you are going to reach them– Neighbours? Family friends? Word of mouth? Babysitter job websites?

 What jobs are you prepared to take on?

  • Are there certain ages or number of children you feel more or less comfortable with? Don’t offer your services to a family with an infant for example, if you don’t feel comfortable working with babies.
  • Likewise, don’t offer your services to a family with multiple children if you feel you’d be better minding only one child at a time
  • What are you going to charge? What are other people your age, with your level of experience charging per hour?
  • Do you want to charge a higher rate if caring for more than one child?

Sitter_bCard_&_GirlMarket yourself

  • Create a business card with your contact details – phone or email only, not your address.
  • Start advertising your services through flyers, emails, phone calls, and word of mouth.  Ask your parents and their friends to recommend you to families in search of a babysitter.
  • Be careful: don’t write your full name or address on your flyers or internet communications to keep yourself safe.
  • Stick with families that you know or that come from a trusted source – your safety is first priority here.
  • Offer incentives: for example, give a free hour of babysitting to a family that recommends you to another client or sends the occasional coupon that offers an hour of free babysitting to boost your business.
  • Pace Yourself: don’t over-market or take on more jobs than you can handle.
  • Start a babysitting network with your friends: if you can’t babysit, recommend a friend who can. Likewise, ask your friends to recommend you if they can’t take on a babysitting job.

Getting the job

Once potential employers have found you, they will likely want to meet for an interview before you start to care for their children.

Be prepared to give references and even a CV to potential employers.


Here is a sample you can use to create your own CV to give to potential employers.

Babysitter-Resume Download here


Interview tips

  • Make a good impression: parents want to know that you are trustworthy, so dress in a casual but well-kept manner.
  • Be sure you and your clothes are clean and presentable.
  • Make eye contact and be friendly – parents want to know their kids are with someone who is warm and approachable.
  • Act responsibly – assure parents that you will be respectful of their home and privacy, and that you will help to tidy up the house after playing with the kids.
  • Be punctual – don’t show up late to an interview because parents will assume you’ll also be late for the actual job!
  • Turn off the phone – you don’t want to be distracted by texting or playing on your phone when meeting parents or actually babysitting.

What to expect in an interview

Think ahead how you might answer the following types of questions in an interview:

  • What do you currently do? (Are you a student, do you have another job, etc.)
  • What is your past experience with caring for children? (what ages, how many kids, where?)
  • Have you done a training course for babysitters?
  • Do you have any special qualifications? (First Aid or CPR certification, for example)
  • Why do you want to do babysitting?
  • What are your interests and hobbies?
  • What is your philosophy of discipline? Do you believe in smacking?
  • How would you handle an emergency situation?
  • What hours are you available?
  • What is your hourly rate?
  • Do you have a driver’s license and a car?
  • Do you have a mobile phone?
  • Do you have a Police Check or Working With Children check?
  • Do you have references available?

Questions you might want to ask parents:

  • What is the age of your child(ren)?
  • What do they like to do for fun? Do they have any special interests?
  • Do the children have any allergies?
  • Do the children have any special needs?
  • Do they have a comfort toy, blanket or dummy?
  • Will I be required to feed the child(ren)? What food should I prepare?
  • For babies: is the child bottle or breastfed? How do I prepare bottles for the baby?
  • What is the routine and timeframe for bedtime and meals?
  • What settling strategies should I try?
  • Are there any other duties required, such as light housework?
  • What hours would you like me to work?
  • What are the emergency contact numbers?
  • Where is the first aid kit?
  • Do I need to give the children medicine? If so, how, what dosage?
  • Where is a torch in case of a blackout?
  • My hourly rate is $XX.00.

Internet safety

In recent years, many families have started to look for babysitters, nannies and au pairs on a number of websites that match carers and families with similar needs. While most of the people using these sites are honest and truthful, there have been incidences of fraudulent postings and predators looking to scam people – or worse.

  • Extra caution needs to be used if using websites to find babysitting jobs.
  • Don’t ever accept a job without first meeting the family.
  • Don’t ever go to a job or interview without notifying someone first of your whereabouts.
  • Don’t accept jobs out of your vicinity or agree to pay via money order or PayPal™ – it is best to be paid in cash or through EFT.
  • Trust your instincts – if a job seems suspicious or too good to be true, don’t take the risk!

Police and working with children checks

Although babysitting is a casual and unregulated job, many parents would appreciate knowing you’re able to provide a valid police background check. In some States, a Working With Children (WWC) check is required before formally working or volunteering with children.  The WWC includes a police background check of your criminal history and allows you to legally work with children if you don’t have a history of violent, sexual or drug-related offenses.  Obtaining a WWC is not a requirement for informal babysitting, but having a WWC card shows that you take your job seriously.  Obtaining a card is not an expensive endeavor, and once granted, is valid for 5 years.  If you enjoy babysitting, having a WWC may also allow you to work in some formal child care settings.  Please check the following links for more information.

How to get a police/working with children check