Being a sitter is a big job. In the simplest terms, you are being trusted with a life. Every parent is different, but all parents think about the safety of their children when considering a sitter.
Most of the time, the job is low-stakes. You play some games, maybe watch a show, and then get them into bed—and that’s it. However, it’s the once-in-a-blue moon, high-stakes settings (chokings, allergic reactions) that you want to be prepared for.
Here’s some ways to gain critical knowledge and help you stand out to families.
Make a powerful first impression by taking care of these things before you meet.
- Take a Class
Take some dedicated time to think through safety considerations with other caregivers. There might be a lot that you already know, but a refresher course might also have new info that helps you become more fully informed. You could also supplement your classes with a first aid app.
- Get Certified
Certifications stand out. First Aid and CPR trainings, in particular, for child care-related jobs. Sitters with certifications in both are 4x more likely to get hired than those without. Here’s a list of options to get you started.
- Run a Background Check
Seeing that badge on your profile is an extra boost of peace of mind for parents considering you. It signals that you are considering the experience of finding child care from their perspective: taking care of kids is a serious responsibility. Run a background check on your Sittercity profile here.
Ask the Family
Asking pro-active questions shows that you have safety on the top of your mind.
- Basic Health
Do any of the kids have allergies? Is anyone taking regular medication? Are there any specific nutritional needs your kids have? Where are basic First Aid supplies located in your home? The basics are simple, yet necessary.
- Contact Numbers & Expectations
Asking for the standard list of names and numbers you can call is a great practice. Be sure to ask about the family’s communication expectations along with this list. What are the situations in which you’d like me to call/text? What situations are better left for mentioning after you get home? Being on the same page about how exactly to communicate about the kids will set you both up for a positive relationship.
- Emergency Preferences
They aren’t fun to imagine, but emergency situations could happen while you are in the care of someone’s kids. Talking through what the parents would want you to do in advance will allow you to act decisively on their behalf, when necessary.
If you make safety a priority, you will start to see results in the amount of jobs you are able to book (and re-book!). Any steps you can take to build your confidence in your skills will be noticed by prospective parents. Take the time, you won’t regret it.