What’s one of the toughest jobs to get these days? It’s a babysitting job! That’s because most families say that traditional babysitting qualifications, like changing diapers and reading bedtime stories, won’t cut it anymore. Instead, parents are looking for what’s being called “super sitters” – someone who has a college degree, first-aid training, speaks 3 languages, and is a top chef!
In fact, there is now a crop of websites that screen and list super sitters. Families pay a membership fee, and then can browse candidates’ qualifications and contact them through the site. For example, the sites list potential babysitting candidates that include a camp counselor, a website designer and a violinist with a degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Gone are the days when the neighbor’s 14-year-old would watch your kid for $20 total and access to all your cable channels. In fact, nearly 60% of today’s babysitters are between the ages of 22 and 30.
And super sitters cost super bucks. The rate is around $25-an-hour. And some expect families to pay for extra perks like cab fare, or take-out dinners. But a lot of parents say it’s worth the extra expense because super sitters are much more likely to engage with kid, as opposed to just plopping them in front of the TV. Like one super sitter we read about, who speaks only in French to the children she cares for. And another, who teaches her charges how to cook fancy recipes, which makes them more independent.