Babysitter and coronavirus: babysitting is possible! But from a distance

Is it still possible to work as a babysitter in the days of the Coronavirus? Yes, if you are a remote babysitter (or virtual babysitter). The idea is new – after all, it is precisely in times of crisis that new ideas are born – but it is already spreading in the United States.

In a nutshell: smart working parents have difficulty working with children at home and if they cannot have a babysitter at home, they can call a babysitter who connects via video call and offers children fun activities. Let’s see better how it works.

What is a remote babysitter?

A remote babysitter (or virtual babysitter , or online babysitter) is a babysitter who plays with children without physically entering the family home, but by connecting via video call with a tablet, a PC or even simply a phone. Leaving parents some time to work peacefully at home without interruptions or to relax during these long days indoors with the children. The idea is new, but it is already taking hold in United States.

What activities can you do with children as a remote babysitter ?

The possible activities depend a lot on the age of the children. The bigger they are, the simpler it is. But things to do with children, even if you are not in the same room with them, are plentiful. A few examples? You can read them a story (you can find many children’s stories on the internet too), teach a nursery rhyme or a poem. You can put on some music and dance with them or memorize a song by singing it many times together.

With the remote babysitter you can also play chess, checkers, naval battle, names of things and cities, hangman or any other game that requires only pen and paper. And then, of course, there are the board games: any board game can be played remotely, as long as the babysitter has a dice to roll and the child will move the token and do whatever physically needs to be done. on the game board. So Goose Game, Monopoly, Ladders and Snakes, Scarabeo and much more.

You can play with dolls (if you have a doll there with you), organize a chore by first asking parents to have paper scissors and glue and other simple materials ready. (Check out our ideas for cardboard roll jobs for example, or straw jobs , or Easter crafts here ).

If as a “traditional” babysitter you have experience helping homework, or if you teach English or other languages, as a virtual babysitter you can continue to do so.

How to organize a virtual babysitting session?

Even to start working as a remote babysitter, the advice is to gradually enter the world of the child. During your first day as a virtual babysitter , you can ask your child to show you his or her favorite room and toys, introduce you to the pets, and then ask him what he would like to do together. 

Ask the parents, during the first interview, what the child likes to do, and first prepare three or four activities to do together. Of course, maximum attention to safety. Ask the parent to stay nearby at all times in case the child strays.

What do you need?

Better if you have a pc or a tablet. Just connect to a program that allows you to make video calls: Skype for example, or zoom. But even connecting via video call on Whatsapp from your mobile can be fine, if there is no other way. 

And the payment?

The fee for the remote babysitter must be decided together with the parent. As this is a remote service, the rate may be a little lower than the normal babysitting rates (please note that you don’t have to spend time traveling). But remote babysitting requires preparation, creativity and experience. So the rate shouldn’t be much different than traditional babysitting. You can set a package of sessions or an hourly rate.