PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Babysitting: Tips For Doing a Great Job

Ready to become known in your community as one of the best babysitters around? Great! We're sure you'll be excellent at it! Before you jump in, here are some final words of advice that will help you boost your chances of getting hired again-and again, and again!

Tidy up. Parents don't expect a babysitter to be a housekeeper, but you should leave their home at least as clean as it was when you showed up. Clean up any messes that you or the child makes and welcome the parents back to a neat house.

Give the parents a report. When the adults get home, let them know how things went. Touch on important stuff, like this: "Ben didn't eat all his dinner, but he ate most of it, and I let him have a little popcorn when we watched the video. We also read some books together and he was asleep by nine."

Don't be a complainer. When talking to the parents, stay positive. Saying something like, "You have a great son and I enjoyed being in your home," will work a lot better than, "I can't believe you guys don't even have cable TV, and there's no soda in your fridge. What's up with that?"

Be honest. If something got broken during the time you were babysitting, 'fess up to it (even if it wasn't your fault). If you weren't able to do something that the parents asked you to, admit that and, if possible, explain why. Remember that nobody expects you to be perfect! The adults who hired you will probably be much more impressed with your willingness to tell the truth and make things right.

Ask for more business. Say something like, "I really enjoyed looking after Ben. If you're happy with the job I've done, and I can fit it into my schedule, I would love to come back and babysit for you whenever you need me again." If the parents know that you're enthusiastic for more work, they'll probably give it to you.

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