As a babysitter you’re reliable, trustworthy, creative, and in-charge, a parent’s dream, and a kid’s best friend. But you’ve tapped your personal network and you’re still looking for more work, and you don’t know where to get it. It isn’t always easy to find your next job, or to start building up your reputation in a new community if you’ve just moved. However, going online can be a great way to connect with parents looking for childcare providers, especially if you know where to look.
Your first move might be to offer up your services on any old classifieds site, but before you do, consider this: Don’t. You will wind up with requests to sit 20 miles out of town with no transportation, during your school schedule or while you’re busy with another job, and it will be impossible to weed out the dead leads. Before you start applying to online postings or post your profile online, first seek out sites like Sitter.com/babysitter-jobs, and then you have to decide a few things about how you’re going to target and find your audience.
#1 Decide what age group you are most comfortable with and cite your preferences and your experience. For example, if you’re particularly good with K-to-4th Grade kids, or better with toddlers than preteens, market yourself that way to get the right audience. When you are approached with a new babysitting job, note the ages of all children involved and bring age-appropriate activities. Always bring more than you think you need, so that if one is a bust, you can always switch out to a different one.
#2 Ask parents if the kids need help with their homework, and advertise if you’re good with that sort of light tutoring work (although if you are qualified to tutor, consider redirecting your talents). Online communities like Sitter.com are searchable by all kinds of qualifications, and if you’re a professional childcare provider with experience as an early childhood educator, you can make sure you find jobs that make the most of your talents. However, anyone can help a child who has trouble reading, as it doesn’t hurt to spend some of your reading to them or encouraging them to try it themselves.
#3 When you look for websites that promote babysitting jobs, make sure that they offer the extras that make it easy for you to build your reputation and easy for you to be found. Many parents like to keep lists of back up contacts in case of emergencies and last-minute cancellations, so while you may not be their first choice, it’s always good to take on these last-minute opportunities. Value-added features offered on sites like Sitter.com, such as easy private note-taking and the freedom to save profiles in favorite lists go a long way toward encouraging follow up business.
#4 Never show up late for an appointment to babysit: if you’re new to the profession and trying to branch out with your experience, understand the importance of punctuality and professionalism. Arriving on time is how you express respect for your employer, and when you’re punctual, you will receive the same respect in turn.
Using the above tips can make it much easier to have a long list of babysitting jobs. Be aware of how you are promoting yourself and be sure that the websites you choose to advertise onare designed with parents and childcare providers in mind.