We all have fond memories of the babysitters who cared for us when we were young, though those sweet teenagers from around the neighborhood who charged my mom $3 per hour are quite different from the highly qualified sitters available to parents today. Families now pay an average hourly rate of $15 for a babysitter (https://blog.urbansitter.com/2016-childcare-rate-survey-babysitter-nanny-pay-vacation-sitters/) and even more for a sitter with special experience and skills—such as a degree in early childhood education or fluency in a second language—so it’s not surprising that babysitting has become a lucrative job that attracts many college students. According to a poll of 400 college student sitters available on UrbanSitter, many of today’s babysitters are well-educated and not only looking to earn a buck, but also gain valuable work experience that often applies to their fields of study. It’s great news for parents looking to hire a sitter who can serve as a positive role model and mentor for impressionable kids!
Here’s what else the study revealed about college babysitters:
They are committed students (a.k.a., solid mentors):
o More than half of the current students polled are pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree, 26% an Associate Degree, and 10% are working toward a Master's Degree.
o 30% boast a GPA of 3.5 or higher and an additional 29% have a GPA of 3.1-3.5.
Sitters polled represent a diverse range of fields of study:
o Primary fields of college study are Education (26%), Nursing/Medicine (23%), Psychology (16%), Business, English/Communications, Math and Science, Political Science and Engineering.
They are already experienced childcare providers in their own right:
o During the school year, 59% babysit part-time, 27% occasionally, and 14% full-time. During the summer, 40% babysit full-time!
o Nearly half regularly babysit for one to two families during the school year and 25% babysit for three to four families in between classes.
Sitters attending college earn an annual average of $1,708 and use their earnings for the following:
o Books/School Supplies
o Major purchase (car, home, etc.)
A babysitting job is more than a side hustle:
o 15% of college students polled have landed an interview or job opportunity by networking with a family met through a babysitting job.
o 32% say they have been able to gain experience that is relevant towards their field of study by babysitting.
They bring a level of professionalism to the job. In addition to babysitting, they have worked in various roles, including:
o Retail 30%
o Customer service 27%
o As a Tutor 26%
o As an Intern 26%
While I don’t discount the fun times I had with the sitters my mother hired, it’s reassuring to know that there are well qualified sitters available today who bring a wealth of experience, skill, and mentoring to the time they spend with my kids.