How To Get a Virtual Babysitting Job in 4 Steps (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 15, 2021

Hiring a babysitter allows parents to take much-needed breaks, focus on their work or complete other tasks. Just like in-person babysitting, virtual babysitting plays an important role in childcare. Understanding what virtual babysitting is and how it works can help you decide if this is the right job for you. In this article, we discuss what virtual babysitters are, how to get a virtual babysitting job and tips to help you get started.

What is a virtual babysitter?

A virtual babysitter entertains a child with appropriate activities via video calls when in-person babysitting isn't an option. Many families struggle to maintain the household chores, assist with homeschooling and entertain their children while working from home. At least one parent or guardian is home during the virtual babysitting sessions, but they are likely in another room working, cleaning or relaxing. Virtual babysitters have seen success working with both younger and older children.

Related: Q&A: What Is Telecommuting?

What does a virtual babysitter do?

Virtual babysitters provide a range of activities to keep children engaged and content for an allotted amount of time. Virtual babysitters often develop different sessions based on a child's age and interests. For younger children, activities might include reading stories, singing songs or playing charades. Older children might enjoy drawing, music lessons, exercising together or doing yoga. Additionally, some virtual babysitters specialize in certain activities such as dance, language or art.

Related: Learn About Being a Babysitter

Skills and qualifications for virtual babysitters

A successful virtual babysitter typically possesses the same qualities as an in-person babysitter. Some of these qualities include patience, kindness, creativity and problem-solving skills. Previous experience working with children is also beneficial. Just like in-person babysitters, high school students are also eligible for virtual babysitting jobs.

Additionally, virtual babysitters should feel confident using video call technology. They may have to help families or children troubleshoot any errors that occur while conducting a session, so knowing how to navigate these situations can help minimize any technology challenges.

Read more: Babysitter Skills: Definition and Examples

Benefits of becoming a virtual babysitter

The main benefits virtual babysitters enjoy are flexible schedules and a fun working environment. You can also set your own hourly pay rates and choose your own clients. Since this is a job you can work from home, you have the benefit of setting your own hours and following your own dress code.

The ability to express oneself creatively is also a benefit of this job. You can use as much creativity as you wish for any session, such as dressing up as a fictional character for the child you are babysitting. Additionally, while you are still responsible for the child during your session, you can focus more on entertainment instead of basic care such as preparing meals, since at least one parent or guardian is in the house with the child.

How to get a virtual babysitter job

Here are some steps to help you get started with a virtual babysitting job:

1. Have adequate video call equipment

You need a stable internet connection and a working microphone and camera to provide an uninterrupted session with your clients' children. It can also be beneficial to check with your clients before you begin a session to ensure that their own equipment is suitable for the child to use. A continuous stream and working equipment allow parents to continue relaxing or focusing on the work they need to do.

2. Have a variety of activities available

You may encounter children who have completely different interests, so preparing an assortment of fun activities for them provides a positive experience for any child you entertain. Children of different ages also have a wide variety of needs, so you can prepare activities of increasing difficulty for older children. Virtual games, light cooking or learning a new hobby together might be appropriate in this case. Some activities that all ages can enjoy include crafts, dancing or homework help.

3. Network in your community

Let your friends and family know you are available for virtual babysitting opportunities. They may know other parents and families who require a babysitter. You can reach families in your community by going online and posting on forums and in social media groups. You can also hang up flyers around your local community in places such as libraries, coffee shops, parks, recreation centers or even daycare centers, provided you ask the owners or managers for permission first.

4. Join a well-known virtual babysitting job site

There are several babysitting job sites that provide babysitters with an instant client base and give parents a network of readily available sitters. Some sites may have requirements for you to fulfill before you can officially join their database of sitters. Requirements may include uploading information like certificates, references or a cover letter. Most websites let you set your own hourly rates, available hours and preferred video conferencing applications, along with your qualifications and any additional information you would like to share with potential clients.

Related: How To Find Babysitting Jobs

Tips for getting virtual babysitting jobs

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a virtual babysitting session:

  • Check your equipment before beginning the session. Check your internet connection and make sure your microphone and camera work correctly before beginning a session to ensure a continuous stream.

  • Keep the sessions short. Virtual babysitting is more successful when the sessions are one to two hours long, as this helps prevent screen fatigue. If the parents need the babysitter for a longer period of time, the sitter may work with them to arrange short bathroom or snack breaks.

  • Keep many activities available for young children with short attention spans. Young children may need more stimulation than older children. Having more activities than you may need for one session ensures that you are prepared in case a child abruptly wants to change activities.

  • Review activities with the parent to determine what is appropriate for the child. If you aren't sure which activities a child can enjoy, ask your client for suggestions or tips before beginning the session.

  • Exchange phone numbers with the parent in case of an emergency. Sometimes, a child needs help that you can't provide over video call. If a child needs assistance with something in the room, such as reaching an item on a tall shelf, you can send a text to the parent so that they can enter the room and address the problem.

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