We’re proud of the community we have at Sittercity. Babysitters and nannies regularly check in with each other to share info and ask questions in our Facebook group. Everyone is so willing to share their experience and advice to build up others and the profession as a whole. It’s really a beautiful thing.
To continue supporting our sitters and nannies in their professional development, we asked our community, “What advice would you give to other sitters who are just starting their career about how to get your foot in the door of their first jobs?” Thank you to everyone willing to share your thoughts and make us stronger for it!
Always work with confidence, loyalty, and competence. Remember, if the kids don’t match with you, even the parents match, you won’t have success on the job.
Elce M. | Miami, FL
Be honest, people can tell when you’re a fake. Make sure you interact with the child. Act like you know what you’re doing. Most of all, be friendly. You are selling yourself, your service like a product that they just can’t live without.
Mary N. | Fallentimber, PA
Be humble, generous, respectful, loving gentle, and kind. Be yourself and be responsible in all your doings.
Roswitha L. | Bronx, NY
Be open and honest. Be respectful with them at all times. Just ask questions and be outgoing. Make it known how you love kids, but how their safety is more important than getting what they want.
Bridgette K. | Flower Mound, TX
Be responsible, Be Professional, honest, and communicate – they are all keys to a good healthy relationship!
Michelle W. | New York, NY
Be yourself. They will love you for who you are not who they wish you were. Be sure to share your areas you need to work on and highlight your strengths. They want real people involved in their everyday lives.
Rajean C. | Palmetto, GA
Don’t be nervous! They are just as nervous as you are in finding the right child caregiver. Be yourself, ask questions.
Catherine S. | Limerick, PA
Enjoy what you do. If you don’t, it’ll show and no child should have to see that. They’re more perceptive than most think! Be patient and be flexible. Also, be open and honest, but remember that your priority is the children. I tell parents “I have my phone, but if we’re playing outside, I’m not paying any attention to it, so if I don’t reply right away, don’t panic!” and parents really appreciate that!
Sarah M. | Independence, MO
Have great references for your character, the type of person you are in communication, reliability, adaptability, interpersonal skills, why you are someone they would want their children to become like. No matter if this is your first job, it’s more about who you are and your enthusiasm for working to support the goals of the family.
Jenna S. | Santa Cruz, CA
Honestly, I just applied to as many Sittercity jobs as possible. Something that helps is a well-crafted bio and professional-looking picture and if you have the ability to babysit for family or friends, having any sort of experience will help.
Shannon N. | Williamstown, NJ
I have prepared myself by taking classes and training. I have all the necessary updates and I continue to enroll in classes all related to children to increase my skills and knowledge. This is why I look for a family that appreciates my experience and gives more importance to children than to the house because I am a nanny who loves my work.
Sandra M. | Mill Valley, CA
I personally took a safe sitter course at my local hospital which included infant and child CPR and first aid before seeking sitting jobs. This helps you appear more qualified despite being new. Absolutely mention any child experience at all (watching siblings, camp counselor, etc) to interested families. Back in the day, I contacted the neighborhood association I lived in to be posted in the neighborhood newsletter. Word of mouth is definitely still great, and most neighborhoods have a neighborhood social media page, website or app.
Marie M. | Bensalem, PA
I would say if you don’t have much formal experience, getting a background check and references from previous bosses in non-childcare jobs can also help put parents at ease. Inviting someone into your home to care for your children requires a TON of trust. Anything you can do to increase your trustworthiness to potential employers will help. If you’re having trouble getting hired by people from a site, it would be helpful to ask around to family and friends, especially those with children who may know of families looking for care. The more experience you can gain, even if its just weekend sitting for families, the better. Parents want to know that they can leave you alone with their children, and that may take getting some experience with family and friends first, to build up your experience and references.
Hannah B. | Austin, TX
Keep applying!!! I know it is frustrating. I was there. Keep applying.
Hannah S. | St. Louis Park, MN
Listen well to what the parents are saying about their needs and the needs of their child. Explain how you can meet those needs. Be serious, but also open. If the child is present during the interview, engage with him or her, if possible. You want to establish a connection with the child. Be playful, if appropriate? They are kids!
Gail W. | Gilbert, AZ
Most nanny interviews I’ve been through just come down to being able to make pleasant conversation and taking a genuine interest in the kids. If you don’t have a ton of experience, chances are you know some kids that you are very fond of. Talk about them. Not about how you have taken care of them but about things you’ve noticed about their personality in different stages of development and how you see yourself handling that on the job. Parents just want to know that you’ll take an interest in their kids as individuals.
Rachel D. | Chicago, IL
Be yourself. Don’t be cocky or overly confident. Be direct and honest with anything and everything the family asks you—they are looking for someone that they can trust with caring for their child(ren). If it does not feel right (for whatever reason) do not accept the first job that comes along.
Terri S. | Warrenville, SC