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Is Your Teen Ready to Become a Babysitter?

So, your teenager wants to start working as a babysitter. What could be easier than watching neighborhood kids for a couple of hours while their parents go out to eat or catch a movie? A lot, actually; mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or cleaning the pool is a lot less work than babysitting. Before you allow your teen to start a babysitting gig, make sure she’s ready for the responsibility by reviewing the following checklist.

Is Your Teen Fit to Sit?

While it may feel like an unnecessary HR step, don’t overlook this basic question: is babysitting an appropriate job for my teen? If you’ve ever worked in a position that wasn’t a good fit for your skills or temperament, you know how taxing it can be to perform a job that isn’t a good match. Considering that the safety and well-being of younger children is involved in this decision, it’s imperative that you honestly evaluate your teen’s ability to perform the job. To help assess if your child is fit to sit, consider these questions:

· Do I trust my teen caring for younger children?

· Does my teen enjoy being around babies and younger children? film Don’t Knock Twice streaming

· Is my teen dependable? Can I count on her to do what she says she will do?

· Does my teen follow directions?

· Does my teen stay on top of her chores, including cleaning up and completing homework?

· Is my teen comfortable being in charge?

· Do I trust my teen to be responsible and respectful in someone else’s house?

· Do I trust my teen to be unsupervised in someone else’s house?

· Does my teen have solid decision-making skills?

Prove the Passion

Before you agree to your teenager’s babysitting business plan, make successful completion of a babysitting course a prerequisite requirement. Enrolling in a First Aid and CPR certification program is one of the best ways to ensure your teen is ready to enter the world of babysitting. If your teen is committed enough to attend a multiple day babysitting certification course, that’s a pretty good indicator she’s ready to take her role of babysitter seriously. Similarly, if your teen does not want to attend a babysitting course or misses any of the classes, she likely isn’t ready for the position.

Tip: You can find babysitting course through your local YMCA (http://www.ymca.net/) chapter, the American Red Cross (redcross.org/training), or safesitter.org ( http://safesitter.org).

Build the Business

Once you teen earns her babysitting and CPR certification, she will need to get the word out about her services. Help your teen create marketing material that includes her educational success, babysitting training, experience, a list of age-appropriate activities she provides while babysitting, and references. Your teen should also establish what she will and won’t do as part of her babysitting duties, including changing diapers, light cleaning, homework help, bathing younger children, cooking dinner, etc.

Your teenager can distribute her marketing material to known neighbors, family members, and friends of the family. You can also help by passing out her marketing material at your place of work or volunteer groups.

It’s important to note that flyers should not be posted in public places; you don’t want your teen’s personal information in the hands of strangers.

Set the Pricing

Babysitting fees range from $10-$15 per hour. When helping your child set her pricing, be sure to consider the following factors:

· Your teen’s age (older sitters typically charge more)

· Your teen’s experience (the more experience, the higher the rate)

· Certification (sitters with CPR and First Aid certification can charge more)

The First Gig

Once your teenage secures her first babysitting gig, use this checklist to ensure she has all of the information she needs:

· The parent’s full names, complete street address and home phone number where she will be babysitting

· Cell phone number of the parents

· Name and phone number for the location where the parents will be

· Two or more emergency contact telephone numbers in case the parents cannot be reached

· List of special instructions from the parents, including what TV shows and video games the kids can watch, bedtime rituals, etc.

· List of any allergies the children may have

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should help you determine if your teen is ready to become a babysitter, and prepare her for the task at hand. What did we miss? What other tips or feedback do you have for new babysitters?

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