Childcare Jobs for Teens and Students
You may think that working with children is all fun and games, but today’s childcare sector has changed tremendously since Mary Poppins was in business. Babysitting in the 21st century involves so much more than simply watching over children; potential babysitters are often required by parents to undergo a thorough interview process while verifying your credentials just to get your foot in the door. Even after all that, if you can’t keep your composure when handling a few screaming kids, then you’ll be out of a job before you even get started.
Working in childcare sounds like an easy gig, but doing it right can be quite a challenge. However, if you decide to take your childcare business seriously, then you can end up creating a reputation for yourself in your community as a reliable small business owner. That kind of character can have a positive impact on your future career. Let’s take a look at some babysitting basics in today’s world.
Back in the day it might have been common for parents to invite the teenage neighbor over to babysit for them without ever thinking twice about her qualifications, but these days things are a little bit different. People don’t just want someone that’s going to sit in the living room and watch movies with their kids; they want it all. They want someone who is trustworthy, dependable, and can give them the assurances that they need before leaving their children alone with a sitter.
So how can you better yourself so that you’ll be sure to nail your first interview as a babysitter?
- Get CPR Certified. Many parents today expect the sitters that they hire to be CPR certified, and for good reason. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with their small children, and while we always hope for the best when it comes to emergency situations, it’s always best to prepare for the worst.
Setting yourself apart from the competition while getting the training you need is also easier than you think. You can visit the American Red Cross website by clicking the link for help locating a CPR class near you. You can also register for classes through their website, pay online, and schedule a date and location that is convenient for you. Getting CPR certified is an essential first step to qualifying as a responsible sitter.
- Be professional. Babysitting is a serious business, and should be treated accordingly. When showing up for an interview with parents that could be potential clients, don’t wear your baggy sweatpants and your favorite lazy Sunday t-shirt. Show your future clients that you represent yourself in a professional manner by dressing the part. Interviewing for a babysitting position isn’t necessarily a formal occasion, either, so a good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t wear something to church, then don’t wear it to an interview.
Making sure that you dress to impress isn’t all you need to bring to your interview. Showing up with a business packet to give to the parents will make you look like a real pro. Consider bringing forms for the parents to fill out, like essential emergency contact information, as well as a detailed plan for every situation. You need to convey to the parents that whether a storm breaks out, a burglar tries to break in, or one of the children takes a tumble down the stairs, that you know exactly what you need to do in any given situation. It will put the minds of the parents at ease, and further help you secure your first job.
- Charge accordingly. After you’ve laid out everything you can offer as a babysitter, it’s time to discuss your rate for services. Knowing what to charge can be a challenge, so it’s important that you consider a number of different factors before determining the appropriate rate.
How far away do you live from the clients? If they’re right down the street, then consider the gas money that you’ll save compared to the family that you may be interviewing with that’s miles away from your house.
What services can you provide? Having a minimum dollar amount per hour in mind will give you a good starting point, then you can charge more if the clients want you to wash clothes and dishes along with babysitting the kids. Go through a list of services that you’re willing to provide, and adjust your hourly rate based on what the clients do and don’t expect of you.
Working in the childcare sector is serious business, but it can also be fun, too. Not only do you have the opportunity to work with kids, but you’ll also gain valuable real-life experience when handling the day-to-day situations that are bound to arise out of taking care of children while the parents are away. Make yourself a valuable candidate for any childcare position by getting the right training, present yourself in a professional manner, and make sure that you’re clear about rates during the interview. Following these steps will be a sure way to landing your first job as a childcare specialist.
Job Summary: Childcare
- Suitable for age range: 14-18 years old.
- Safety and security: Minimum safety and security risks when working in-home.
- Can improve your: Problem-solving, multi-tasking, social skills
- Can continue as a career? Babysitting can lead to full-time childcare positions as well as opportunities to expand your business.
- Required soft skills: Ability to communicate clearly.
- Required hard skills: Ability to work with children, plan activities, and potentially cooking and cleaning. A driver’s license may also be required.
- Resources and network:
- Where & how to find one? Creating an account on Care.com is a great way to put yourself on the market. Networking within your community, spreading the word in your neighborhood, and putting up flyers at local businesses are also great ways to start.
- Estimated pay: $8 to $15 an hour, depending on qualifications.