Admit it. You’ve been an unpaid ‘sitter’ for your grandchildren for years. Hey, it’s not a bad thing, but have you ever considered flipping these skills into a part-time job? Let’s look at the benefits to hiring yourself out as a mature sitter.
Great pay plus benefits!
You might be pleasantly surprised at how much sitters can earn these days for a few hours of their time. Assuming you are still fairly active and enjoy children, think of what you can offer the right family looking for your services. First, you are not a teenager which means you’ll be more reliable and probably a lot more flexible when it comes to time available to sit. Also, as you aren’t a kid anymore you aren’t going to blow off a sitting job because you wanted to hang out with friends at the mall which makes you much more responsible.
I was going to toss in a mention that you will be less likely to raid the refrigerator, but you know what? I would so why wouldn’t you? The difference here is that if you are pretty comfortable in a kitchen, you could spend time baking cookies with the child you’re looking after. This means you can provide some practical teachings of skills as part of your service and still get to raid the pantry but presenting a plate full of freshly-baked cookies when the parents return will soften the blow.
Parents prefer mature sitters
Hiring a mature babysitter is not as uncommon as you may think, either. With our population aging and the number of seniors increasing, there is a whole lot of life experience waiting to get tapped and this could be one way to share some of those nuggets of knowledge. If you end up working on a regular long term basis for a working couple, imagine all the wisdom you’ll be able to share.
As for the child, you may become the surrogate grandparent in their life if their real ones live far away. It could be a great experience for both of you, especially if your grandchildren are also a distance apart and you rarely get to see them too. Since this isn’t a teenager job in your hands, you’ll want to establish a fair rate for your services and outline what all is included in the per hour time you are watching the child(ren).
How much to charge
In many urban areas, such as Seattle and Boston, rates are quoted as being as high as $15 per hour for one child. You’ll have to determine factors in your own community that may affect the earning potential, but keep in mind to not charge too little. There are also websites where you can register your services and pick up some regular jobs if you would rather concentrate on sitting for various different families in short-term arrangements.
Online sources of jobs
Try SitterCity.com and Care.com if you are looking to become a regular part-time senior sitter. Other sites to visit for jobs include greataupair.com and familyhelpandcare.com. There is also the other side of the coin where you may just want to work off and on, and you can probably make those contacts by advertising in the local newspaper or Craigslist.org, or telling friends in your social circle.
If you love children and just don’t get enough time with the ones in your family becoming a senior babysitter can solve that problem and earn you a tidy extra income as well. The best part is that it could provide you with a vital link connecting you with young people who want to learn from your experiences.