There are two main ways for childcarers to advertise their skills for evening babysitting work: Directories and Agencies. We explain how they differ and why agencies are often the preferred choice for childcare professionals.
A lot of childcare professionals look for casual evening work through babysitting. Your experience and qualifications make you a desirable option for parents who are looking for a night out without the kids.
So how do you go about finding work? Many childcare professionals looks to directory websites to advertise their services to parents. This is a good method of contacting parents who are looking for professionals just like yourself. However, a popular alternative is to use a babysitting agency to get work. For many childcare professionals this is the preferred option. Here are 5 reasons why…
1. It’s FREE to join and start working
With an agency it’s free to join! You simply register online, and complete and return an application form either via the website or by paper.
The agency will then review your qualifications and skills and invite you for an interview to ensure that you are both qualified and of sound character. Some agencies require few details to signup while others are very thorough in their application process. Here at SafeCircle Sitters for example, we only register childcarers of a high standard to promote our message of safe childcare throughout the service.
With a directory you will usually be able to sign up for free and start looking for jobs. However if you want to make contact with another user or parent you will often need to purchase a membership package. An agency does not need to charge a fee to its childcarers as they make their money by other means. This means that you can register and get work without it costing you anything other than a bit of time to complete your application and interview.
As a sitter you are pre-checked, which means you are background checked and interviewed once upfront by the agency.
2. They send you the work so you don’t have to look for it
Directory websites are great for getting in touch with parents who are looking for evening childcare but the onus is on you to trawl through profiles looking for parents who require your services. You can spend a lot of time reviewing profiles with no guarantee of work at the end of the day. Additionally, parents will often want to conduct their own interviews and checks – a process which you would need to repeat for every family you wish to work for!
On the other hand agency work is a lot easier. As a sitter you are pre-checked, which means you are background checked and interviewed once upfront by the agency. Parents don’t need to interview and check you individually, since they have paid a fee to the agency to do this on their behalf.
Agencies will also send you job offers as they come in. Each agency works differently – some complete a bespoke matching service which will match you with a family based on what the parents are looking for, whilst others will send you all available bookings in the area. This is what we do at SafeCircle, as we only have competent childcarers who are suitable for all ages and needs.
With an agency you are effectively linked to all families in the area.
3. Work when you want without losing out
The way that agencies operate mean you can work when you want and not have to worry about families moving to another childcarer if you can’t complete a booking. With an agency you are effectively linked to all families in the area. They will send bookings to all available childcarers nearby, so if you’re unable to accept one booking, you can simply accept another at a time which suits you best.
With directories however, childcarers will tend to only be linked to a handful of families. If they’re not able to complete a booking, the family can choose to go with someone else, which means you could also lose out on work next time they make a booking.
Agencies can link you to a greater number of families meaning that in the long run you will get more bookings per month and will earn more.
4. Good earning potential
Whilst using a directory means you can request a higher pay per hour, this can put families off and stop you from earning more in the long run – especially since they frequently look for lower costs when using a directory website. Agencies however will tend to charge families a standard hourly rate for babysitter fees alongside the membership fees which help support recruitment and running costs.
For the agency then, there is an art to balancing the babysitter hourly fees with membership fees to ensure an affordable and attractive service to parents, that also attracts high standard childcarers who meet parent’s needs. Some childcarers might find that the hourly rate is lower than they would like to charge. However, agencies can link you to a greater number of families meaning that in the long run you will get more bookings per month and will earn more!
Working with an agency can be safer, with support on hand to help you with issues which may arise whilst on a booking.
5. Support on the job
Working as an evening childcarer can be an isolated job. Whilst it is usually very nerve-wracking for parents to leave their children with a new babysitter, it can be equally nerve-wracking for some childcarers who are going to an address they have not visited before.
That’s why working with an agency can be safer, with support on hand to help you with issues which may arise whilst on a booking. The agency will have a log of where you are and at what date and time you should be there, as well as a phone number you can call. Not all agencies have these available for the whole evening, but SafeCircle Sitters have a 24/7 duty phone to ensure that childcarers are able to gain support and advice on a booking no matter what time it is.
These are only some of the benefits of joining an agency! As each agency is different and their offer to childcarers are varied, you should take a look at local agencies to find out more about what it is like working for them and how they can support you to start earning quickly.
SafeCircle Sitters have a rolling recruitment, so if you’re interested in joining an agency visit our website and register today.