If you have ever thought  "we need a babysitter', thanks to Find A Babysitter.com now you can look for one effortlessly, whilst aquiring all the necessary information to know your children will be in safe hands.Naturally, there is often a number of questions on any parent's mind throughout the process of finding a babysitter. Do we really need one? Will hiring a babysitter fit in our budget? Will i know my children will be safe?  

So to answer all these questions we'll be delving into what a Babysitter is, what they do, what you can expect and on an important note, and what they expect. From a little bit of backstory, to the differences between a Babysitter, Au Pair insert placeholder link* and a Nanny *insert placeholder link*, we will do our best to give you all the information and answer all of your questions on a sparkling silver platter. Because we know how hard this decision can be for some, and instead of googling, clicking, reading, researching and comparing Babysitter's available for hire, we've put all of your choices here on FindABabysitter.com for your easy viewing pleasure. Oh, and for those who are not interested in hiring a Babysitter, but perhaps reading this and thinking 'you know what? I think I could do this as an occupation' then you're in luck – because we're going to let you know some important information on how to become a Babysitter in Australia as well!

For Parents

What is a babysitter?

In layman's terms a babysitter is simply someone you pay to look after your children whilst you are unable to for a short period of time. Perhaps you need to work the odd evening shift or have a romantic dinner planned for your partner - this is when hiring a babysitter can come in handy!

Babysitting is typically considered to be a casual job, in which the hours vary from one week to the next. A babysitter has to be flexible and ready to work whenever, because they never know when they might be needed next. A babysitter's first and only priority is keeping your children safe and free from harm whilst you are away; which gives you a relaxing stress free evening to focus on the other matters at hand. Babysitting isn't as straightforward as it might seem either, and there are often a number of different things babysitting could encompass. Sometimes a babysitter might be required to watch a sleeping baby or other times actively entertain a number of older children, which means keeping them interested and playing games with them. The profession of babysitting itself is nothing new and has been around for quite sometime, although nowadays it is seen as more professional, rather than casual.The rise of babysitting also has a rich history in popular culture, providing the basis for many horror films and urban legends, all of which were made in good humour of course! There will be no horror stories or reenactments from WHEN A STRANGER CALLS with Find A Babysitter.com, because our babysitters would have always "checked the children."  

What can they do?

There are many things that a babysitter can be expected to do for your little ones that you may not have realized they can. Of course what your babysitter can be expected to do depends on the age of your children and how much experience they have themselves.  Unlike an Au Pair, babysitter's can be expected to prepare and make meals for your children during lunch or dinnertime. This may include cooking a whole meal from scratch or simply preparing food from instructions that you have already laid out for them, either results in your child being fed and happy! Some other babysitter responsibilities that you can expect include minor household upkeep, changing diapers, helping with homework and most importantly keeping your children entertained. Keeping your children entertained ]is the most important thing and it stops them from becoming bored. Playing board games or active games like hide and seek are a great way to pass the time, whilst also keeping your kids away from excessive amounts of technology!

It is important that your babysitter knows what engages your child and what games interest them. In essence your babysitter needs to be a big kid, who isn't afraid of playing different kinds of games and who is not simply a bystander whilst the children occupy themselves. Of course everything that your babysitter does is up for review. So whether you think they are doing too little or too much, keep discussions open and provide adequate feedback regularly so everyone remains happy and on the same page!

What can't they do?

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, what a babysitters limits are depends completely on the individual's age and experience, plus what your needs are as a parent. Babysitters aren't expected to do much cleaning outside the direct messes a child may cause in the time of being cared for. Some dishes may be required to be washed by your babysitter, but it never should be much more. Another important thing to note is that babysitters shouldn't have to look after too many kids, with a maximum number usually set around four. If you are unhappy or feel as though your babysitter doesn't live up to your expectations, an open honest discussion needs to take place before anything drastic occurs.

What's the difference?

Even though the terms Au Pair, nanny and babysitter all sound quite similar - they are actually very different from one another. Each job title comes with it's own range of roles and responsibilities, with of course room for some overlapping. An Au Pair is probably the most unique out of the bunch because they typically move from overseas and live in your home. An Au Pair will live in your home, but that does not mean it is a full-time job for them to look after your little ones. It would be considered they invest 10-40 per week into fulfilling the requirements, whereas a babysitting might only be once a fortnight. As compensation for your Au Pair looking after your children, you are expected to provide them with board, meals and some form of pocket money; all for their devotion towards your children. A nanny is similar again, but would be expected to have invest more time into your children's learning and also provide a higher level of service. A nanny will often come equipt with some qualifications.

What can they expect of me?

Usually, a babysitter is someone who will come and look after your children for a few hours or a brief period of time on a casual basis. Because of these factors, you can't be expected to do too much. Ideally you should focus on providing your chosen babysitter with any relevant information regarding the house and children, invite them over 15-30 min earlier for a tour and provide them with your emergency details. Secondly, you should lay out all your expectations up front which includes things like rates, times and number of kids so everybody is clear on the role. Finally, remember to pay your babysitter upon completion of their shift, offer them dinner during an evening shift and depending on their age make sure they get home safely. Your household would also need to be well kept to allow your babysitter to work in a safe, hazard free zone, which should be a given of parenting young children anyway!

Can they be expected to do housework?

A babysitter can only be expected to do the bare minimum amounts of housework, as their first priority is keeping watch over your children; not mowing your lawn! The housework they can be expected to do includes cleaning the dishes after your children's messy mealtime or gathering all the toys they have played with, but nothing more. It would be your duty as a parent to keep the household tidy before your babysitter arrives and that would be the state it needs to be in when you return. If you are worried about how clean your house is, perhaps ask your babysitter to arrive early, so they begin to occupy the kids and you can get the house spick and span before you leave!

How much does a babysitter cost in Australia?

The cost of a babysitter can fluctuate on a individual basis.The factors you should be considering when trying to work out a fair payment for both you and your babysitter should be things like; how old are they? How much experience do they have? How are they required to babysit for Once you can answer these questions and have a formal discussion with the babysitter of your choice, the price of babysitting will work itself out.What is widely considered to be a fair price for a babysitter that you personally found ranges from $15 to $25 per hour. This payment is usually made via cash in hand upon the completion of a shift and is rounded up to the quarter hour. For example if you are charging your babysitter $20 an hour and they begin at 5:00pm, but finishes at 8:10pm you would pay them $65.  The rate of pay and working hours need to be decided on before your babysitter starts, which typically involves either a fixed hourly rate or nightly rate. Some babysitters may already have a price in mind, which might change depending on whether they are paid by the hour or by the shift. If this is the case and you had any questions regarding the payment just ask them, we're sure they won't bite!   

What do I look for?

What you need to look for when wanting a babysitter is someone who you feel above all else you can trust. Trust is the key thing when choosing a babysitter, because after all you are leaving them alone with your little ones! You should make sure you look for someone who is willing to meet all your needs or requirements, but also knows what they are doing. A short interview process either in person or via the phone would address any and all concerns you would have regarding the babysitter. We can't' give you all the answers either, but you need to decide on someone who is determined, has a friendly demeanor and who would be a great role model for your children!

How can I get one?

At Find A Babysitter, we have a profiling system in place for each person who wishes to find employment as a babysitter, Nanny or Au Pair. All you have to do is to come to our website, put your postcode, enter babysitter in the type of work search field, and your availability. Straight away you will have profiles of many people looking for work and who are ready to be contacted right there on your screen! They provide a short bio about themselves and what they're looking for, which is able to give a snapshot into the kind of person you can imagine with your children. It's an incredibly handy way to make a first impression, and can help you create a shortlist of people to contact. Once you have your list, we recommend that you check their references and any certifications that they may hold such as first aid*. *If the person you are interested in has not done first aid, it is common for parents to pay and send the babysitter to a first aid course to ensure that peace of mind in case something happens.

What if I decide I don't like the person I've hired?

Unfortunately, sometimes after settling on a decision, we change our minds about it. Whether is on a certain arrangement of the living room or what to buy for dinner - the same can be said when hiring a babysitter. This of course, would be disappointing to both hear as the babysitter, but also deliver as the employers; so it needs to be handled sensitively. The needs of your family may change over time which could require an alternative babysitter or none at all. So when you make the decision to hire somebody, guidelines need to be agreed on as to how much notice they would require if they were no longer needed. If the reason is more simplified and you simply don't like the way your babysitter is behaving, don't fret Find A Babysitter has plenty more cooks in the kitchen to choose from!  

For Babysitters

I love the sound of being a babysitter, how can I get involved? Think being a babysitter is for you? That's fantastic news! We're excited that you've chose Find A Babysitter to advertise your new calling.

Before we give you all the details, it's important to note that there are some things you need to make sure you have before you can consider signing up to be on Find A Babysitter. As you would be looking after children, we request that you have certain credentials on hand to ensure their safety and peace of mind for your employer - their parent. At Find A Babysitter we do request that you have a Working With Children Card (WWCC) in order to validate your profile with us. However we know that the requirements vary from state to state if you are an overseas visitor looking for Au Pair work.

The best course of action we can recommend is to apply online to see if you are eligible to acquire a WWCC in the state you are moving to, as it is a handy card to have! When meeting with potentials employers, some of them may ask if you have a Police Check. Although this is not always necessary, a Police Check is another handy document to have with you.

Do I need any qualifications to be a babysitter?

When on the hunt for a babysitter, it is important to note that most babysitters won't have any formal qualifications for dealing with children. Most babysitters just need to have a warmth and interest in caring for children as well being equipt to handle emergencies. Professions such as a Nanny may be required to have first-aid training and some child caring qualifications because you would be paying for a better quality of service. The only thing babysitter's need to keep in mind is what we mentioned in the above paragraph about having a valid Working With Children Card (WWCC) and a Police Check document.  Also sometimes for babysitters the best qualification is to have good references from past pleased customers!

What should I do when babysitting?

Ok,so you are now in charge of the children and their parents have just closed the door behind you… no need to freak out, you are here for a reason! Being a babysitter requires you to have a few simple skills like being a caring person, able to be creative and play games with them, but to also be prepared for any possible scenario that may occur. This requires to think ahead and knowing the house layout like the back of your hand. If you come across anything potentially hazardous during your time in the home take the initiative to remove it out of reach of the children. Also think ahead for the type of children you are caring for. Most parents will detail any special requirements of medications needed to look after their child, but it doesn't hurt to double check and know this off by heart as well. Apart from these simple, common sense points above all else remember to have fun and unleash the big kid in you for toy time!

What shouldn't I do when babysitting?

The team at Find A Babysitter is stoked you have now landed a job as a babysitter, but we also want to make sure you don't lose it straight away! So here are some handy tips to keep in mind on what you shouldn't be doing on the job. When you are on the job babysitting it's important not to have friends over, never leave the children alone in the house or spend too much time watching television; as your priority is watching the children, not the tv!

Another thing to keep in mind these days is uploading photos of the children you are looking after onto social media. They may be doing something cute or funny, but you should never put up photos of other people's children without their consent. What if I'm chosen to do the job but decide I don't want to do it anymore!

When applying for a job there has to be a mutual agreement between both parties that if requirements change the other party needs to be notified with an appropriate amount of time. Maybe you thought babysitting was for you but you realise it's not and you want a change. Be sure to contact your employer before your next shift or when you have nothing scheduled and discuss your options.

Not to worry it's simple to get out of, we can also help remove your profile if you're certain you never want to come back. We hope that after reading this all your questions regarding 'what is a babysitter' have been answered. We know that the roles of a babysitter can often be blurred with the roles of an Au Pair and Nanny, so we hope we have cleared that up for you. You should now be able to clearly decide what type of carer your child/children require and if a babysitter is going to suit your family's needs. Don't forget a babysitter is someone you can rely on to look after your kids on a casual basis while you are unable to. They will keep a close eye on your children and keep them entertained, all while you can relax!

Sounds like a pretty great person in our eyes, so let us introduce you to them today!