How to start
Most girls start by looking after the children of friends or neighbours who know you and your family; if you do a good job, they might recommend you to others, or give you a “reference” (ie saying how good you are) if others ask.
You can try advertising locally – on Facebook (particularly if there is a local group or network) or by putting up a notice in your local shop. You can refer to any experience that you’ve had.
How much pay?
This will depend on your age, experience, duties expected of you, and area. If you are under school leaving age, you will not be entitled to the national minimum wage but most people will pay more than this anyway – current rates seem to be around somewhere between £5 and £10 per hour. Try to find a rate which makes both sides feel they have a good deal, and always agree it before you start.
Things to remember
Parents will have their own ideas about who they trust to look after their children. Some prefer you to be at least 16, especially if you’re in charge in the evening. Many won’t trust young girls with young babies, who have more particular needs. Make sure that you are happy and confident that you can look after this particular child in these particular circumstances.
Make sure you know beforehand:
- what you are expected to do while you are looking after the child (eg read a story, feed them, put them to bed at a certain time)
- if there is anything you are not supposed to do (eg take the child out of the house, invite your friends round, give them certain foods or drinks)
- if the child has any particular needs or conditions
- what to do in the case of an emergency (make sure you have a number to call)
- how you are going to get home safely
If you like working with children, you could think about it as a full-time career – perhaps as a nursery assistant or manager ; or a childminder. You might also think about becoming a primary school teacher or a social worker helping vulnerable children.
Have a look at our other ideas for part-time jobs: