10 Ways to Set Yourself Apart from Other Sitters
February 23rd, 2012 by admin
Being a babysitter is one thing. Being an exceptional babysitter is a whole different playing field. And really, who doesn’t want to be exceptional? There are a lot of different things you can do to set yourself apart from every other person out there you are competing with for babysitting jobs. Here are 10 easy ways you can go above and beyond on the job, leaving everyone happy at the end of the night:
- Get certified - One of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from other sitters (and boost up your resume!) is to get certified in as many ways possible. This ranges from a babysitting certification to a first aid certification to a CPR certification. Having one will look good. Having all three will look fantastic. Voluntarily getting any certifications will show that you are interested in not only doing the job, but doing the job well. When given the option of hiring the sitter with no certifications versus the one with all the certifications, it’s easy to see who looks more appealing. Redcross.org will let you search all of these certifications and see where the closest locations to you to take the appropriate classes are located.
- Be a friend… - The best way to set yourself apart from other sitters is to actually play with the kids your babysitting! Parents love to see their sitters interacting with their children; it puts them more at ease that their child will be in good hands while they’re gone. And no parent wants their child left with a sitter who is just going to gab on the phone the whole time. Kids have a knack for talking too, and if they didn’t have a good time because they could never get your attention, it’s likely that they’ll have no problems telling their parents that.
- But not a best friend! - That being said, however, you can’t be the best friend. You are still there to do a job. Just because you want to be friendly with the kids doesn’t mean that you should allow them to do things that their parents wouldn’t be OK with them doing. You want everyone to have a good time, not to get in trouble because you were wrapped up in trying to be the “cool” babysitter.
- Early is on time. On time is late. - Get to the job a few minutes early so that you can discuss any particulars with the parents before they leave. If it’s your first time sitting there you want to be sure that you know if the child has any allergies you need to be aware of, if there are any medications you need to be giving them¸ where the emergency numbers are listed so that you can get in touch with the parents if you need to, and the general layout of the house in case there is an emergency of some sort and you need to get everyone out quickly.
- Get away from the TV - Yes, it’s an easy out with keeping kids entertained. But you’re more likely to win over the child and the parents if you spend time with them. What parent wouldn’t want to hear what an awesome time their kid had with you while they were gone? Plus, do you really want to have the Dora the Explorer theme song stuck in your head? I’m going to guess not…
- Come with a babysitting kit - What kid doesn’t like surprises, especially when the surprises are different toys or crafts? Put together a grab bag of stuff that you can pull out in a pinch when you need to change it up a bit. Kids love new things, so being able to pull out a coloring book they’ve never used and the 96 pack of crayons that has all the coolest colors, a new set of Legos, or the game of Life will be a good switch from their regular toys. And add new toys or rotate different items, this way they will always be excited to see what you’re bringing next!
- Give parents feedback - Parents want to know what went on while they were gone, so don’t be afraid to give them some feedback! Every parent wants to hear how great their child was, so if you had a good night with the kids, tell them! Likewise, let them know if something went wrong – you want to be able to establish a good, open and honest relationship with the parents, that way they know they can trust you with their children.
- Have references - It definitely doesn’t hurt to be able to give them the names and phone numbers of people that have worked with you in the past (if they’re going to say good things about you, that is!) so that the parent can verify that you’re a reliable and trustworthy babysitter. They’ll appreciate your sincere and candid approach, and it will show a high level of maturity on your part.
- Clean the house - This does not mean bust out the Pledge and the mop bucket and go to town with it! This simply means that you need to clean up as you go. Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around the house or toys scattered on the floor. While you’re there, you’re in charge, so do the parents a favor and clean up after yourself and the children that way the parents don’t have to worry about cleaning when they get home.
- Dress appropriately - If you show up looking like you’re ready to go out on the town after you’re done babysitting, it’s likely that the parents will be doubtful as to if you are ready to actually spend some quality time with their child. Not to mention, you want to be comfortable, be able to move around with ease, and it not to be a big deal if you get a little dirty.
Anyone can be a babysitter. But not everyone can be an outstanding babysitter. Too often, babysitters come in just to complete the job and get paid. Set yourself up to go above and beyond what the normal sitter would do and you are far more likely to be called to come back and also referred out to other parents. And remember, happy kids equal happy parents.
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