Babysitter Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Babysitter, or Nanny, looks after newborns, infants, toddlers and young children while their parents or guardians are away. Their duties include ensuring the safety of the children, interacting and entertaining children during a designated time frame and adhering to feeding, sleeping and other schedules as directed.


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Babysitter duties and responsibilities

A Babysitter is reliable, punctual, responsible and doesn’t easily give up. Their main duties include:

  • Keeping the children safe, keeping contact numbers at hand, alerting the parents immediately if there are any issues at home, then documenting any incident
  • Responding to injuries, emergencies and recognising situations where parents should be contacted versus when to call 999, 111 or 101
  • Picking up children from school, taking them home and accompanying them to appointments, sports activities or school events
  • Preparing food, providing snacks, assisting with eating, monitoring sleep and taking care of hygiene, as instructed by parents
  • Selecting fun activities and entertainment such as games, reading and outdoor activities, helping the children with homework and other school projects
  • Supervising TV watching, video games and internet usage
  • Cleaning and organising around the house


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What does a Babysitter do?

A Babysitter ensures safety, provides care to children in their home or the family’s home and are part-time, full-time or minders of children after school. They cook meals and feed the children based on the parents’ instructions, adhere to sleep schedules and take care of hygiene needs. They interact with children, play games, provide entertainment and outdoor activities. They oversee homework, offer snacks, supervise television watching, video games and internet use. Babysitters organise and clean around the house, keep telephone numbers for emergencies and may run errands. They document any incidents that take place.


Babysitter skills and qualifications

Babysitters have a service-minded attitude and are also kind, compassionate and happy people. A successful Babysitter candidate will have various prerequisite skills, that include:

  • Ability to continually observe, ignore distractions, immediately recognise needs and problems and maintain a good temperament without getting angry
  • In-depth knowledge of childcare, practical childcare skills and childhood education, up to date on vaccinations 
  • Leadership skills, self-reliance, professionalism and physically fitness
  • Creativity, invent games, activities, able to provide motivation and encouragement
  • Patience, empathy and nurture
  • Communications, relationship building and problem-solving
  • Time management, scheduling, adhere to the rules and instructions
  • Behaviour management strategies, ability to deal with tantrums, provide conflict resolution and use consistent discipline


Babysitter experience requirements

A Babysitter is required to have at least three references, a DBS qualification and paediatric first aid, CPR and AED certifications. They must have experience in caring for sick children and may need experience with children with special needs, anaphylaxis training, experience administering EpiPens and administering medications. Sign language may be required as well. A full UK driver’s licence, clean driving record, reliable transportation and possibly defensive driving experience is also required. The applicant should know local, safe outdoor places for children to play and walk in. Pet care may also be required. Knowledge of child psychology, pedagogy and child development is helpful.


Babysitter education and training requirements

A Babysitter must be 18 or older with four years of experience in babysitting. Training in nursery or preschool, a primary school teacher, or early childhood education is preferred. Proof of infant care class certificate and a basic babysitting course or training may be required. Some situations require water safety training and positive discipline training. Registration with Ofsted is mandatory for those Babysitters who babysit in their own homes. Sitters in their own homes or at day care centres, need their own insurance policies and appropriate business licences.


Babysitter salary expectation

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Babysitter is £11.73 per hour. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and employment type.


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Babysitter job description FAQ

What is the difference between a Babysitter and a Nanny?

A Nanny has at least five years of experience working with children and a degree in the childhood field. Nannies have a permanent position within a household and a monthly salary. Babysitters however, work on an ‘as needed’ basis and are paid by the hour and they may not have a higher education degree.


What qualities make a good Babysitter

Great qualities in a Babysitter include honesty and trustworthiness. Other attributes include the ability to balance authority while being entertaining, having creative skills and unique or fun interests. Look for active people who are playful, flexible, sincere, honest and caring. The applicant should show confidence and demonstrate the ability to remain consistent. 


What are the different types of Babysitters?

Babysitters can range from a neighbourhood teen up to a certified Nanny. There are also college students who work as Babysitters. Day care centres often hire Babysitters with higher education degrees. Some Babysitters work from their home as a small business while others work as a registered member of an agency.


How can you make your Babysitter job description stand out?

Balance the description between serious and appealing. List fun activities to keep it interesting, such as a pool, nearby playgrounds or sports events. Be specific about location, duties, times and pay.  Talk about your children. How old are they, what do they like to do, are they funny, artistic or bike riders?

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