Babysitter Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Babysitter, or Caregiver, is responsible for supervising children when their guardians are unable to watch them, either in their own home or a client’s home. Their duties include providing transportation to and from a child’s extracurricular activities, preparing basic meals and keeping the child company with games and other entertainment.

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Babysitter duties and responsibilities

Babysitters perform general caregiving duties that ensure children’s needs are met while their parents or guardians are away. The duties and responsibilities of Babysitters vary depending on the age and maturity of the children in their care, but may include:

  • Entertaining children with games and other activities
  • Helping children with their homework
  • Transporting children to and from school, after-school activities and play dates
  • Preparing snacks and meals for children
  • Changing diapers
  • Bathing children and putting them to bed
  • Light housework to keep the home clean and tidy, including cleaning spills and washing dishes after meals

 

What does a Babysitter do?

Babysitters usually work on a part-time basis to make sure that a child is entertained and safe when their parents or guardians aren’t available. Babysitters can specialize in a particular age group, such as infants, or they can look after children of all ages. They prepare activities such as crafts, games or lessons that appeal to each child’s interests and developmental level. Their job is to watch over a child or group of children, provide the first response in even of an accident and keep the children happy and entertained.

Babysitter skills and qualifications

Babysitters use a variety of soft skills and caregiving knowledge to provide the best childcare services they can. These skills and qualifications can include:

  • Cheerful, friendly personality
  • Ability to build a rapport with children with varying personality types
  • Good problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Patience and empathy
  • Organization and time management skills in order to multitask and keep children on set schedules
  • Familiarity with specialized childcare best practices, including infant care and care for children with special needs or disabilities
  • A clean criminal and driving record
  • A valid driver’s license

Babysitter salary expectations

A Babysitter makes an average of $16.50 per hour. Pay rate may depend on the level of experience, education and geographical location.

Babysitter education and training requirements

Many Babysitter candidates may be high school or college students with in-progress or completed education in their background. Other candidates may have completed undergraduate education in fields including education, nursing or another discipline. It is also common and often required for Babysitters to also have previous training and certification in child safety, such as CPR and first aid.

Babysitter experience requirements

Entry-level Babysitter candidates may have previous volunteer or personal experience caring for children, such as watching after siblings or younger family members and neighbors. Other candidates may have unpaid experience babysitting or assisting with supervised activities for children as part of a community service program or involvement with a religious organization. Some Babysitter candidates may have previous professional experience as a Babysitter or Nanny. Other experience may include working as a Child Care Worker, Camp Counselor, Sports Coach, Teacher or Tutor.

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Frequently asked questions about babysitters

 

What would you look for on a Babysitter resume?

A Babysitter’s resume should emphasize a candidate’s ability to monitor a safe environment, respond to someone else’s needs and keep to an organized schedule. Other titles that candidates use to describe a Babysitter position are Childcare Provider, Day Care Provider and Caregiver. Look for certifications for emergency care, child care or special needs’ care to find an experienced candidate who is qualified to handle any situation when caring for a child.

 

What qualities make a good Babysitter?

It is important for Babysitters to be friendly and personable to help make parents and children feel at ease. They should also be empathetic, compassionate, caring and kind to nurture a child’s development and help them feel safe in their care. Great Babysitters have the ability to build interpersonal connections with their clients to more effectively manage the operations of a household and attend to a child’s needs based on their personality and learning style. They are responsible, dedicated, playful and enjoy working with children.

 

What is the difference between a Babysitter and a Nanny?

Babysitters generally work part-time while Nannies care for a family’s children as a full-time position. Some Nannies may even live at their employer’s house to provide 24/7 care. Babysitters entertain and supervise children over short periods of time and have less responsibility in terms of the child’s development. Nannies have more rigid schedules than Babysitters because babysitting is much more flexible and happens on an as-needed basis. It is not uncommon for Nannies to work with one family for many years unlike Babysitters who might have many different clients concurrently that change throughout the years.

 

What are the daily duties of a Babysitter?

On a typical day, a Babysitter might go to a client’s house and speak to the guardian of the child they will be looking after about their expectations. They will review any allergies, medical conditions or special care the child might need and set expectations on when the parents expect to return. During their shift, a Babysitter might play with the child, make a meal, give them medication and complete the child’s bedtime routine. When a child is sleeping or napping, Babysitters listen for and disturbances while doing light housekeeping or taking a break with a quiet activity.

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