How To Become A Babysitter in Australia

Babysitter with a child

Do you love spending time with children? Are you looking for a great job? Become a babysitter!

How to Become a Babysitter

Being a babysitter or nanny is such a rewarding role. It suits so many people - from university students seeking casual work, to career nannies, to more mature workers wanting part-time or full-time nanny jobs.

The types of roles in babysitting and nannying are varied. Jobs may include before school care, daytime nannying, after school care and evening babysitting. Occasionally there are also overnight babysitting jobs, housekeeper roles, mother's helper jobs or au pair positions.

Here are some handy tips that will help you become a babysitter or nanny in Australia:

What are the qualifications to become a babysitter?

You don't need any formal qualifications to become a great babysitter or nanny. The job is based on your skills, knowledge, character and competence. Plus an abundance of love, patience, common sense and energy!

For carers who would like to study for a qualification there are some excellent options. The two relevant qualifications are a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. These are offered at TAFEs and some universities in every state. These qualifications are a great way to build your knowledge and skills for babysitting and the childcare industry. If you do have a qualification you may be able to charge more per hour as a nanny.

What skills do I need to be a babysitter?

Although a formal qualification isn't needed, there are a range of valuable skills that are highly recommended to become a babysitter or nanny. Here are the key skills we recommend:

Interpersonal skills It's important to be able to relate well to children and their parents. This forms the foundation of being able to work successfully with children. This includes communication, listening, your attitude and awareness of others.
Practical childcare skills Depending on the age and stage of the children you may need very specific skills e.g.,how to change a nappy, how to settle a baby to sleep, how to prepare a bottle of formula.
Organisational skills You'll need strong organisational skills to be able to plan and organise several hours of activities with children. It's a juggling act!
Time management skills It's beneficial to be able to manage time well for your shift, whether it's short or long. It takes skill to manage various activities, meal times, sleep times, other child-related tasks.
Observational skills Great babysitters are skilled observers. If you are able to observe the children carefully you'll be able to understand, anticipate and respond to their needs appropriately.
Problem-solving skills It's helpful to be able to understand underlying causes of problems and generate suitable solutions to help things run smoothly.
Responsibility Being able to take full responsibility for caring for children is vital.
Safety skills The safety and wellbeing of the children under your care is of utmost importance. Knowledge of first aid to handle any medical issues can be helpful.
Reliability As with any job it's important to be reliable and attend every shift on time, prepared for work.
Adaptability This is the unsung hero of babysitting skills! It's crucial to be flexible, creative and adaptable to respond to the children's different needs. Often there are changes that arise (nap time is shorter/longer, food preferences change, weather changes) and you need to adapt and change plans accordingly.
What character traits are parents looking for in a babysitter?

The most important character traits for babysitting is being trustworthy, responsible and having a genuine interest in children. Do you enjoy spending time with kids? This sounds obvious, but it is crucial to have this characteristic to consider being a babysitter. If you have an authentic interest in children you'll find your job less 'work' and more 'play'!

In addition, there are a range of other traits that parents look for when selecting a babysitter. It depends on the family, their children, their needs and their values. Some parents might be looking for a playful person able to keep up with a high-energy child. Other parents might be seeking a quietly-spoken carer able to listen deeply and tune-in to their child.

In general these character traits are helpful for being a great babysitter:

  • Trustworthy
  • Loving
  • Caring
  • Kind
  • Honest
  • Curious
  • Optimistic
  • Thoughtful
  • Patient & calm
  • Empathetic
  • Energetic
  • Playful
Do I need experience to be a nanny or babysitter?

Most parents are looking for babysitters or nannies with experience. The type of experience can include any work with children including babysitting younger siblings, volunteer work, raising your own children or helping at team sports. If you lack experience, we know that you need to start somewhere! Some parents will be happy to employ a babysitter without experience and provide supervision or on the job training.

What First Aid courses are recommended for babysitting?

A First Aid or CPR Course is a valuable credential to have when babysitting. It's always ideal to be confident that you can handle any medical situation, whether it's a bee sting, a scraped knee or administering an epipen. There are a range of first aid training courses available, both in-person and online. We recommend looking at courses with reputable organisations like the Red Cross https://firstaid.redcross.org.au/virtual-classroom-provide-first-aid/ or St John Ambulance https://stjohn.org.au/first-aid-training . Once you've completed a course you'll be prepared to manage any situation that arises while babysitting with a sense of control, calm and confidence.

What 'checks' do I need to be a babysitter?

If you are doing child-related work you need a Working with Children Check (Blue Card in Qld, or Ochre Card in N.T.), in every state of Australia. Employees of childcare services, commercial babysitting, nannying or child-minding services are required to have Working with Children Checks. You may also choose to get a 'Police Check', but this is not required. For more detailed information please see our Working With Children Checks guide.

Do I need a car and a drivers licence to be a babysitter?

No, you don't need a car or a licence. Some jobs, however, may require this for the role. For example there are a lot of after school babysitting jobs where children need to be picked up from school and driven to extracurricular activities. So it can be beneficial to have a car and a licence. In some cases families ask you to use their vehicle (fitted with appropriate baby seats), so sometimes a license is all you'll need. In this situation parents may ask to see your license and to confirm that you are a safe driver with a clean record.

Do I need references to get a babysitting job?

Yes it is ideal to have references to show parents during your interviews. So make sure you ask past employers to give you a written reference. Or get their permission to be listed as a contact on your resume. If you don't have any babysitting experience try to get a reference from an adult who knows you well. This might be a school teacher or a sports coach. Parents like to check references to verify your credentials and confirm that you'll be a fabulous babysitter or nanny.

Can a babysitter be male or female?

Yes, both girls and guys make great babysitters. A majority of babysitters happen to be female, but a small percentage are male and are valued and skilled carers too! In the nanny industry the term for a male babysitter is 'manny'. We welcome you to join Find A Babysitter and offer your babysitting services, whether you are male or female.

At what age can I be a babysitter?

There is no law stating the minimum age to be a babysitter in Australia. Parents must make decisions that are based on child safety and wellbeing, when choosing a babysitter. So this may vary based on the babysitter's maturity and the demands of the role. If a babysitter is under 18 years of age and an incident occurs then the parents (of the children being babysat) will be liable. Find A Babysitter has a policy that babysitters registering on our site are 18 years and older.

How can I gain experience as a babysitter?

There are lots of ways to gain experience working with children. The best way to begin is to volunteer. Look at your local council volunteer website for any opportunities working with children. Contact your local kindergarten, primary school, Out Of School Hours business, sports club or recreation club to ask if you can volunteer to help with children's activities. They may ask you to get a Working With Children Check, then you'll be all set. Ask family and friends whether they'd like a helping hand. Let them know that you'd like some guidance to build up your skills and experience. Many parents will be delighted to have a helper!

Do I need a resume to become a babysitter?

It is ideal to have a resume prepared to take to interviews with parents. Your resume doesn't need to be too long. It just has to provide enough information for the parents to verify some details about your full name, your age, address, qualifications and experience. Having a resume ready will also show parents that you are organised and enthusiastic!

Do I need nanny insurance?

Insurance is not required, but some carers choose to get insurance to cover themselves for any unexpected issues (e.g., if you cause damage to the home). One company providing insurance packages specifically for babysitters and nannies is https://nannysure.com.au/insurance/babysitter/ (this is not a paid ad or endorsement).

Where can I find babysitting or nanny jobs?

There are a few ways to find babysitting or nanny jobs.

  1. You can reach out to your own networks of family and friends. Sometimes this is difficult if you don't know anyone who has children! It can also be awkward negotiating hours and pay with a family friend.
  2. You can apply to an agency and become an employee. The agency will be your boss and will send you out to jobs and pay you a wage according to the award.
  3. Finally - the best way (we think!) is to use Find A Babysitter! We're the most trusted and long-standing babysitting site in Australia. You simply register your profile for free. Then you can apply to any jobs you see posted on Find A Babysitter. You can also get emails from parents offering you work. You choose the jobs that suit you and your schedule. You work directly for the parents - there is no agency in the middle taking a cut. So you keep all the money you earn. There are lots of lovely families looking for great babysitters, so we welcome you to join us!