University of Illinois Extension

Frequently Asked Questions

Landing the Job

Question: "I would first of all like to say that your site is VERY helpful. I printed out pages on bathing and discipline and how to make a little booklet to help me on the job! There is one question I have though...I have been trying very, very hard to get a Babysitting job and nothing seems to work. I am a responsible 13 year old who has taken safety classes, what's the deal?"

Do not give up hope. There are several things you can do to help land a babysitting job. Consider a few of these options:

The first step is to determine whether or not you are ready for the responsibility of babysitting. Babysitters need to be mature, responsible, able to react effectively in case of an emergency, and they need to have an awareness of young children's needs (developmentally). Be sure to discuss this issue further with your parents. Ask them if they think you are ready for babysitting responsibilities.

Second, you may decide to advertise your services in order to get started. If you decide to advertise be sure to discuss it with your parents and get their help. One really good source that may be overlooked at times is word of mouth. Another useful and safe source may be to talk to your local organizations like the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association or a church group). Others have advertised on local in-store bulletin boards. However, this may cause some concern for safety because it is an anonymous and public process. Be certain to get permission from your parents before advertising in a public forum.

Third, do your homework. A good babysitter must prepare. You may consider taking a training course on babysitting through your local YMCA or local Red Cross.