Pandemic and babysitting

Pandemic and babysitting – An online relationship

I grew up in my grandparent’s house with a nanny. That is the most blissful memory I have of all my childhood. Sometimes, nannies who connect with the child are nothing less than parents. My nanny used to give me the best massages and take care of me like her own daughter. She would even take me out and buy baby outfits and baby accessories for me. When she had a baby, we even bought newborn baby boy clothes, and she taught me how to hold a baby. My grandma and I got her son a winter jacket too. Those were the days!

Now, as I write this blog, I witness how things have changed. 

Today, with the pandemic things have changed drastically. We are in a place where we have to accept that this is going to be the reality and we have to adapt to it. However, it is not difficult because, over the years, we have made our lives accustomed to the digital world. No wonder babysitting services are offered online now.

As daycare centres are closed, the demand for online babysitting has increased. The work for parents has only increased. A lot of working parents claimed that working from home never ends, unlike office hours. In that case, when parents are busy, it is necessary that they have someone to look after their child. As grandparents cannot commute as they are more susceptible to COVID-19, online babysitting seems the way to go without any risks.

However, nannies and babysitters aren’t equipped and trained for online babysitting. Young babysitters might find it easy, but babysitters who don’t have a clue about how online babysitting works are finding it difficult to adapt. That’s exactly why, even though there is an increase in demand, the supply is fluctuating. 

How to game up for the online babysitting industry?

If you are a babysitter who wants to start babysitting online, follow these steps.

Get the necessary types of equipment

A smartphone is more than enough. You can also use a laptop or computer with a webcam. 

Practice

You can online babysit via video-calling platforms like Zoom or Skype. Learn how the apps work and how to use it.

Portfolio

Have a resume or portfolio that talks about your experience, skills and strengths. This is a great time to do a course and update your resume. If you have any certifications, you can add it. If you know basic safety measures like CPR and first aid, you can include that as well.

Enroll

There are agencies looking for online babysitters. Enroll in those platforms with your resume and actively look for jobs.

When someone is interested in your resume, they might want to have a video interview. Be prepared like how you prepare for an offline interview. It is almost similar to offline, but there are certain things you should ensure.

  • Be in a quiet environment – Make sure there isn’t any noise around you so that the employer can hear you well. 
  • Ensure you have good internet connectivity – Do a test run prior. Call someone and check if the connectivity is good and it is audible on both sides.
  • Set up the camera angle prior – Let the camera focus on your face and remove things in the background. It is recommended that you be in good lighting and have a plain background. That will make it professional. 
  • Dress accordingly and be on time – It is important especially for a babysitter to be on time. The first judgment that the employer will make will be based on your dressing and punctuality.
  • Prepare for the interview – Prepare for basic questions about introducing yourself, experience, your activities for the child, etc. You may also be prepared for situational questions where they test your reaction and what you would do in that situation. For example, if there are behavior issues, how would you handle it, if the child asks for something that’s not allowed and the like.

Things to do after getting a job

Have conversations with your employer about boundaries, pay, work timings, etc. Online babysitting is entirely different from physical babysitting. You have to be ready with activities and stories to interact with the child. As it is via a video calling platform, you can use many online games and videos to keep the baby interested and focused. You can play Pictionary or just use instagram filters or sing rhymes with YouTube. 

The most important thing about online babysitting is preparing for emergencies. Talk to the parents to let the kid know what to look forward to in the online babysitting session so that he/she doesnt run away. Always ensure there is an adult near the child because you are not physically there if something happens.

Discuss with parents about what kind of activities the child is involved in. You can also ask if the parents specifically want you to teach something. With online babysitting, employers expect babysitters to teach as well. As they aren’t physically present to help with feeding or taking the kid out, it is necessary that you make online babysitting a productive one. Be it you are young and inexperienced or old and experienced; there are so many things that you can teach a kid. It could be a language, a life lesson, morals and values, how an industry you know works etc. If you can help with the kid’s homework, go ahead and be a tutor. Communicate the requirements with your employer and see what you can do.

Yes, this can be overwhelming. Too much change is not preferred by anyone. You might have lost a job, or the pandemic might be driving you crazy. It is okay. We are all in the same boat trying to survive and make a living. Go slow and learn whatever is necessary. The things you learn and the skills you acquire are not temporary. They are helpful at all times. 

I hope this blog has given you a basic idea about online babysitting and how to go about it. Get help and hone your skills, and in no time you will be ready to provide and ace online babysitting.

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