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AIBU - part time babysitter with no qualifications

20 replies

Catcuscool · 11/05/2021 14:18

Hi all - sorry if this is a bit long!

DH and me are wanting to start TTC soon which I am really excited for.
However, I really want to get some more experience in looking after children - I looked after my younger sister a bit when I was teenager, and did some informal babysitting for my aunt 2 or 3 times with her two DDs, but apart from that it is all just reading baby books and the like!

I was talking to DH about trying to get some work as a part time babysitter - maybe working 1 evening a week (I am in a FT job so would need to be evenings really) looking after children locally. It would be great to get more experience looking after kids and also get some extra cash in time for baby. He thought it would be a great idea but then the more we talked, I thought maybe someone would want someone with qualifications or much more experience than I have.

WIBU to do this? Would you be happy to hire someone like that for babysitting purposes? And how would you apply to do something like that anyway?

Please help!

OP posts:

eepeep · 11/05/2021 14:22

I could see it working if you had the right attitude. After all, people pay inexperienced local teenagers to look after their children.

In my area it's either word of mouth or community Facebook pages.


Motnight · 11/05/2021 14:23

Have you considered volunteering?


NoBetterthanSheShouldBe · 11/05/2021 14:26

I employed several babysitters when my children were young, I wouldn’t have had anyone without full experience until they were five or so - old enough not to need changing and to tell me how the evening went and how they felt.

Candidates used to put a card in the newsagents’ window, there are online agencies now.


ComtesseDeSpair · 11/05/2021 14:30

I don’t think I’d employ somebody with no experience, qualifications, insurance etc to look after a small baby. They’ve little way of expressing their needs and it wouldn’t feel right to let somebody essentially practice on them. An older child aged 5 or 6 upwards, maybe yes. But that’s not going to give you the babycare experience which is presumably what you want.


ComtesseDeSpair · 11/05/2021 14:32

Babysitters advertise on my local area forum and seem to get quite a lot of interest so if there’s one of those for your postcode / neighbourhood / village you could try that initially. Agencies often want you to pay to become a member so would be worth seeing what interest you get elsewhere first.


LIZS · 11/05/2021 14:36

Maybe as a "mothers help" type of role, so helping around bedtime but with parent in house, but I think most demand would be earlier in the day or on a casual basis. You might be better volunteering such as for Homestart or helping at a story/rhyme session in lical library.


FoxtrotSkarloey · 11/05/2021 14:40

I know it wasn't the point of your question, but I wouldn't worry about experience before having children. I had as good as zero experience of babies prior to having my son. I'd perhaps held a friends' baby once or twice, but that was it. You work it out when you have them!

Now I do have two, I'm sorry to say I wouldn't use a babysitter who wasn't qualified and DBS checked in some way. There are plenty of e.g. nursery staff around willing to do this, so someone like you I would only use for much older children, and perhaps not even then.


Devlesko · 11/05/2021 14:43

I wouldn't worry about experience anyway, if it's that important to you maybe both you and dh could practise and then it's not all on you when you do have a baby.


AlCalavicci · 11/05/2021 14:47

I'm not sure if this is a Nationwide thing but my local maternity hospital had volunteers coming to cuddle the babies when their parents couldn't be there are I'm sure there must have been DBS checks and sorts of other things but this might be with you looking into.
I don't have any dc's so hard for me to comment on but but I don't think I would be comfortable having somebody in my house looking after my baby's that isn't insured and vetted


2bazookas · 11/05/2021 14:48

Surely you know somebody with a small baby who would invite you round for a few hours in the day time when the baby is awake (supervised by the parent)

Evening baby sitting is no use to you, because the child will be in bed asleep.


user648482729 · 11/05/2021 15:27

I’m not sure evenings would be useful as they’d be asleep so you wouldn’t really be doing anything. I wouldn’t have someone I didn’t know or who didn’t come recommended from a friend to look after my DC and it’d be when they were older as I’d only want people I knew really well looking after my young DC. I genuinely wouldn’t worry about having experience looking after children before having a baby, lots of people don’t


TwoAndAnOnion · 11/05/2021 15:34

What do you mean by 'baby sitting' because interpretations will vary wildly? To me, a babysitter is someone who would just be a present adult once the children were in bed to allow DH and me to go to the pictures or for a meal. I would not expect this person to have a slew of childcare qualifications and it would be an ad hoc arrangement. For this, it would be someone I knew. I'm quite laid back but I wouldn't let a stranger with no experience of babies anywhere near my infant

Anything else comes under the remit of a childminder, which I would expect to registered and OFSTED inspected. Or a vetted au pair.

No two children are alike, babysitting one will not prepare you for your own.


ittakes2 · 11/05/2021 15:44

I think you are better off looking for a sat job as a mother's help. Someone to teach you but also the kids will be awake!


Woeismethischristmas · 11/05/2021 16:00

I think you could easily get a job as a babysitter for older children. If it’s babies you want you could volunteer at a mother’s and babies group once they start back up again. I did this to help keep the group going after my dc left and I’d often be holding the baby whilst mum went to the loo or played with toddler.


Bul21ia · 11/05/2021 16:02

What about your friends OP? Could you offer to babysit one Saturday?


Beetlewing · 11/05/2021 16:06

No I wouldn't employ anyone who has zero experience with babies to look after my baby! I see what you're getting at as commendable but It's totally different when it's your own baby anyway. You'll learn on the job.


RickJames · 11/05/2021 16:20

Pre-covid I would happily have local teenage girls watch DS at age 7,8,9. I would have them round for a cup of tea as an interview and just find out a bit about them. I picked girls who looked nice and clean, had good hobbies, were at college and seemed interested in DS. I didn't insist on security checks but generally they'd done first aid certificates and talked about looking after siblings or other children. My best babysitter was saving up to spend a year as an au-pair in S Africa, she was so lovely, DS adored her.

You could take a first aid course and get the basic police check fairly easily, I'm sure. That would probably satisfy most parents.


Jangle33 · 11/05/2021 16:26

Appreciate you might want to get some more money which is different but certainly neither me nor any of my friends had any children experience before having kids. Never changed a nappy. You just learn on the job...


Dishwashersaurous · 11/05/2021 16:30

babysitter generally kids are asleep. So its a nice money earner but you won't actually get any expensive of children.

And most people have no experience of children until they have their own. You will be fine.


Dishwashersaurous · 11/05/2021 16:31

experience not expensive obviously

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