General Question

Fly's avatar

How would one go about getting babysitting jobs?

Asked by Fly (8699points) July 15th, 2009

I’m Red Cross certified and live in a neighborhood with a relatively large population of children. I’ve tried putting posters on mailboxes with details and my phone number…nothing. The only semi-regular babysitting jobs I get are for my nephew and a family that I sub babysit for. Any advice as to how I would go about advertising better?

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24 Answers

Fly's avatar

I should add that my parents would prefer that I don’t do any advertising over the internet, which is understandable.

Likeradar's avatar

How old are you? Are your rates competitive- not too low and not too high?
When I was babysitting, I found the best way to get jobs is to be friendly with other caregivers and let them know you’re looking. They might pass on your number if they can’t take a gig. Also, when you’re babysitting and out at a playground or other area, introduce yourself to neighborhood parents in a friendly, non-creepy way.

cak's avatar

I’m a mom – tell me what your flyers say – without your personal info! How do you introduce yourself? Have you considered being a “mother’s helper” – as well? Sometimes, moms need to meet you and see how you interact with the kids, before they will hire you for a job.

Now, with all of that said, I prefer trained sitters and I hire Red Cross trained sitters. My daughter takes the class annually. (through girl scouts)

Do you go to church or anything where you can post a flyer?

Fly's avatar

@Likeradar I’m fifteen, and my rates are slightly lower than average. And I have tried passing on the info to my friends who babysit, which is how I got the sub job, but other than that have been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the only jobs that I have aren’t located anywhere near parks or the likes.

@cak My flyers state my name, the fact that I’m Red Cross trained, my previous experience with younger siblings and a baby nephew, my rates ($5 per child per hour up to two kids, $10 an hour for more children, which is slightly lower than the area average) and have pull-off tabs with my phone number at the bottom. And no, I don’t attend a church, other place of worship, or anywhere like the YMCA or gym regularly.

YARNLADY's avatar

You could visit the child care centers in your area, including the health clubs, and ask for permission to provide a flier.

Likeradar's avatar

It might sound counter-intuitive, but maybe try raising your rates.
When I see someone advertising notably low rates for babysitting, I immediately think they are a child who isn’t worth getting paid more.

Fly's avatar

@Likeradar The rates are basically $11—$12 an hour, so it really doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference to me. Would that $1—$2 make a difference for you personally?

phoenyx's avatar

We’ve found our babysitters through word-of-mouth, and I think that is pretty common. That is, mothers talking to other mothers about who they’ve used to babysit their kids. Are there any places in the area where the moms hang out together? Any groups or clubs? Where do the moms go when they are out away from their kids? e.g. if the moms like to get out and exercise, maybe you could advertise at the local YMCA or gym or whatever.

I think a lot of it is getting into the inner circle and then you’re golden.

brettvdb's avatar

I absolutely agree you should raise your rates. Also, have you tried looking for jobs on places like craigslist? This way you don’t have to advertise, but you can certainly look for others who are advertising?

gailcalled's avatar

Could you visit the teachers in the lower school near you and give them your certificate and contact info?

brettvdb's avatar

Maybe you could kidnap a kid, and while you’re holding him captive, teach him Russian or something else really impressive. Then when the parents get their kid back, they’ll be so impressed that they’ll hire you on.

lilgiraffe's avatar

Try this site – link:http://www.aupair-world.net/

Fly's avatar

@brettvdb I’ll consider raising my rates for sure, but no way in heck am I using Craigslist. As I posted above, my parents won’t allow internet advertising, and although I wouldn’t be advertising specifically, sites like Craigslist are majorly dangerous in both directions.

@gailcalled I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean by that. Are you suggesting that I would give my information to the teachers so that they could use me, or so that they could relay the information to the parents? Either way, to the best of my understanding, our schools do not allow personal advertising.

gailcalled's avatar

I meant to tell the teachers that you are qualified and available; then they could pass that on to parents. But if the school has a policy, then obviously it’s a bad idea. Would the family that you sub for pass info on to their friends?

Fly's avatar

@gailcalled I’ve only babysat for the family twice, so I haven’t asked them to suggest me to their friends. I intend to do so next time that I sit for them, though.

cak's avatar

@Fly – consider adding an option as a “mother’s helper”. I hired one during a summer a few years ago and she was fantastic! I had her around when I was trying to work or when I was doing heavy cleaning. It also opened the door for her, because we used her as our regular babysitter, until she moved.

Also, the suggests above – go where the moms go! Post where you know moms will find your flyers. Hey, are there any consignment shops around your house?

Have your family recommend you to their friends!

discoinferno's avatar

I got my babysitting jobs from working at day camp, and then word of mouth from those parents. The steady one I had during the week all this year, which was AWESOME, I got because my mom’s friend’s neighbor needed a babysitter. Connections are important. They ended up paying me $15/hr (5 kids, though I essentially only watched the 2 yr old and 5 yr old) and I eventually was making like, $90 a week from just showing up twice a week for a few hours. I absolutely loved it. Easiest and best job you can have. Under the table, paid in cash, no taxes, and they often overpaid me whenever they had no change. And they’d also get me generous gifts at holiday time :D Alas, this path for me is over now that I’m heading to college and won’t be home…nice job while it lasted. I salute whichever girl inherits my place next year.

ShanEnri's avatar

When I was a teen my mother worked in a daycare and some young teen girls would hang their info posters on a bulletin board by the front door! It costs nothing and is a great place to advertise for babysitting!

Supergirl's avatar

I am a primary school teacher and many parents ask me if I know high aged kids that are interested in baby-sitting. I think that going to your local elementary school is a great idea. You could start by talking to the principal about volunteering in a primary grade (k-3) and the talk to the teacher about your interest. You will get experience with the kids and you will be introduced to a plethora of parents. Plus it looks good on your college applications :)

Alleycat8782's avatar

Like others have mentioned I would have your parents talk to people they work with, family friends, or friends that they know who have kids and suggest that you are looking to babysit. This is how I got my past babysitting jobs.

hannahsugs's avatar

My best babysitting employers when I was in high school came from contacts that my mom had. For instance, a friend of hers from the gym had two small kids, and I babysat for the kids of my mom’s boss for years and years (even after my mom changed jobs and bosses). Even if your parents don’t know any families who need babysitters, word-of-mouth is probably your best bet.

Think of any adults that you have good relationships with (your teachers, your former elementary school teachers, friends of your parents, etc). Let them know that you’re interested in babysitting, love kids, are red cross certified, etc. You’ll probably get a few jobs that way, and those families will tell their friends that you’re great, and soon you’ll have more jobs than you have time for.

Also, one family that needs a babysitter every weekend is really all you need. Once you find that family, you don’t need to worry about advertising anymore!

Walshy's avatar

Stop handing out candy to the kids in the play ground might be a good start! lol

JLeslie's avatar

Does your neighborhood have a newsletter it publishes? Maybe you could advertise in that, the babysitters do that where I live. All the ideas above are great already. I don’t have kids, but I used to babysit. My business came from word of mouth, playing with the kids in the neighborhood, and my parents friends. Mother’s helper sounds like a great idea, I had not thought of that until I read this. Are you willing to help clean also? I would love to have a neighborhood teenager help me do some chores around the house for $10—$12 an hour. I don’t really want a maid per se, but some help would be awesome. Maybe the moms here could comment if that might detract from your babysitting message.

brettvdb's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie – make yourself more appealing by offering to do chores around the house and help with cleaning/cooking etc while you’re looking after the kids. This might help you get some initial jobs and from there you can use word of mouth to get things rolling.

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