12 steps for becoming a teen baby sitter

  • Article by: ELIZABETH SANFILIPPO , McClatchy News Service
  • Updated: April 12, 2013 - 2:38 PM

Baby-sitting can be an intimidating endeavor for a teenager. This action plan will get you prepared for your first job.

Photo: MICHELLE HAZELWOOD McClatchy News Service ,

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Allowance not cutting it anymore? Are your parents after you to learn about responsibility and get a job? Baby-sitting could be the answer.

Baby-sitting is a great job — especially for teenagers. You can make quick cash while looking after and playing with kids.

While being a baby sitter is fun, you do have to be a little serious sometimes. It’s a real job and the parents are trusting you with their kids. Harriet Brown, author of “The Babysitter’s Handbook,” Dr. Danette Glassy, an expert on early education and child care, and Halley Bondy, author of “Don’t Sit on the Baby!: The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled, and Safe Babysitting,” offer a step-by-step guide to how to become a great baby sitter.

1 Check your schedule Is baby-sitting even realistic?

“If you’re up to your neck in extracurricular activities from morning until night seven days a week, you probably won’t be of much use to families,” Bondy said. “Figure out when and if you’re free to baby-sit, so you can give a clear, accurate schedule to the families you want to work with.”


2 Learn about child care, safety

All three experts advise potential sitters to take a baby sitter training course and learn CPR and first aid. They’re usually cheap and short, so definitely worth it. Lots of organizations offer them, such as community centers, hospitals and the Red Cross.

Another bonus of taking classes? You can earn even more money as a baby sitter. Eighty percent of parents feel that teenage baby sitters should be paid more if they are trained in first aid, CPR and child care, according to a survey from the Red Cross.


3 Do a safety check

Before you even think about baby-sitting a child, make sure you know what to do in an emergency situation such as the following: the child is choking, gets a minor scrape or cut, falls off a bike, you get locked out of the house, there’s a fire, a burglar breaks in or the child runs off.


4 Start slowly

You don’t have to jump right into watching strangers’ kids.

“For résumé-building and practice on real kids, offer to baby-sit your family members’ and neighbors’ kids,” Bondy said. “If you’re brand new to sitting, you’ll want to have adult supervision at first, and eventually you can segue to real sitting for pay.”



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