032 How to become a babysitter?

I probably don’t need to explain to you what babysitting is, that it’s one of the oldest jobs in the world and one that is in constant demand. But isn’t the image of the young student who comes to babysit little Junior, so that the parents can go and spend a romantic evening at the restaurant, a bit obsolete?

What exactly does the babysitter’s job consist of?

For those who really don’t see what it’s all about, babysitting is simply keeping children at home but also taking care of their safety and well-being, during the parents’ absence. And when I say “at home”, it’s usually at the parents’ home, but more rarely at the babysitter’s home, if the place where he/she lives is adapted to the care of one or more children, of course.

Contrary to what you see in the movies, it is not (always) a matter of sitting on the couch watching TV, glancing around from time to time to check if the kid is doing something wrong. No, parents often ask you to do some extra work.

For example, they might ask you to help the child study and do his homework, play board games or other games with him, prepare his meals, or even sometimes ask you to do some household chores (cleaning, ironing, washing the dishes…). But don’t worry—all this is usually negotiated during your first interview. And if you have special skills (knowledge of several languages, are good at math, etc.), you could even earn a bit more by giving private lessons.

A babysitter with a child

What are the qualities and qualifications required to be a babysitter?

First of all, you should know that even if there is specialized training, no diploma is required to be able to keep children (note that Some U.S. parents require first aid and CPR knowledge). The first quality you need to have is to love them. If you don’t, be prepared to go through hell (some children are real little devils) or better yet, look for another job. The only cases where parents might require specific qualifications are, for example, for the care of children with illnesses or disabilities.

But loving children is not enough. You will have to accompany them during part of their development, you will also have to take on the role of educator, help them to open their minds, and awaken their curiosity, to respect others, to point out when their behavior is not appropriate and explain why… All this in parallel and in continuity with what their parents teach them. Having certain moral values such as respect, tolerance, honesty, benevolence, etc., will contribute to making you a good nanny.

And if there is one quality that you absolutely must have, it is an unfailing patience. You know as well as I do how unruly children can be, sometimes to the point of constantly testing your limits. It’s all about being firm but always keeping your emotions in check. So, OK with the big voice, but no yelling or spanking. NEVER use violence, neither verbal nor physical!

As far as qualifications are concerned, nothing is mandatory as I said, but in order to do this job in an optimal way, it is nevertheless recommended to acquire certain knowledge that will not only allow you to better understand the child and to know what he needs, but also to be able to manage the possible problems that could arise. This knowledge includes the basics of child psychology, early learning techniques, home safety and first aid.

What age does a babysitter have to be?

It’s simple: There is no age. At least, you can be a babysitter as soon as you have acquired a certain maturity of mind, and that until you start to lose it (your mind).

Some parents will choose a teenager because they are on a tight budget while others will prefer to hire someone who already has experience in childcare (i.e. who is already a parent themselves) and with whom they feel more confident.

In short, you can be a babysitter from 14 to 65 years old, and even older.

How to find a babysitting job?

The easiest way is to go through the classic channels such as:

  • Word of mouth: Talk to your family, friends, neighbors, and publish an ad in the local shops, in your school, etc.
  • On the Internet: In addition to the classic classified ads (on the Web, but also in local newspapers), there are plenty of specialized websites that you can find by simply doing a Google search (just type the word babysitting + the name of your country).

In parallel, you could also create a Facebook page or even a blog, which would allow your potential future employers to know who you are but also to convince them that you are the rare pearl they are desperately looking for.

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Always ask for a letter of recommendation when you leave a job, even if you’ve only been working for a short time, and always include parents’ contact information, so that new employers can contact them if they wish.

During the interview, remember that parents are scared to death of entrusting their child to a stranger. Try to be reassuring. Prove that you are a serious person who can be counted on. If you can reassure them on this particular point, there is a good chance you will get the job.

A man babysitting children

Is babysitting exclusively a woman’s job?

Clearly, the answer is no. Men are just as capable of taking care of children. However, if parents choose a woman as a babysitter, it is because she often has the “skills” that are more suited to this task. What is commonly called “the maternal instinct”, that is to say that they are endowed with greater patience, a highly developed sense of empathy, a protective instinct inherited from thousands of years of evolution, etc. At least, that’s what the vast majority of us believe, but in fact, the maternal instinct is a myth. And it’s not me who says it, but science.

Fortunately, mentalities are changing… but this process is very slow. The number of male babysitters is stagnating, so we are still a long way from achieving gender parity.


Being a babysitter is really a rewarding job, and if you manage to develop a beautiful complicity with the children you look after, you will live moments that will remain forever engraved in your memory and your heart. But if you have never babysat a child in your life, I strongly advise you to either follow a little training or read a book (and even several) on the subject.

You will sometimes be confronted with delicate or even perilous situations, so rather than running around the apartment screaming in panic, it would be better to prepare yourself as best as possible in order to be able to face most situations.

Again, remember that parents are entrusting you with their most precious “possession” in the world. It is a fulfilling job, but it also involves certain responsibilities that you should not take lightly.

Finally, I have not addressed the question of salary because it varies greatly depending on the country where you live, the number of children to be looked after, their age, your age, your qualifications, the possible additional services you might be asked to provide, etc. You should know that the average salary of a babysitter is between 8 and 12€ in France, and between $12 and 18 in the United States.


Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

Other than favoring public transportation to get to the parents’ home, I don’t really see any downside to this great job. However, there are several sites and blogs that help parents raise their children in a more eco-friendly way and cover a variety of topics such as hygiene, meals, clothes, etc. It’s always interesting to read and, who knows, may help you to convince them to change certain behaviors that are harmful to the planet.


  • A rewarding and fulfilling job
  • Flexible hours
  • Contact with children


  • Work often takes place in the evening and on weekends
  • Fairly high level of responsibility
  • Some children can be unruly (or rude?)

Disclaimer, please read this Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local government before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.
Also, be aware that this post may contain affiliate links, and I may get compensated a commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the affiliate links and subsequently make a purchase. This will help maintain the site, so thank you.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments


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