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How to earn 5-star reviews as a sitter

We asked a 5-star sitter how to book high-quality, great-paying jobs.

As sitter Kelsey Rheney celebrates her 500th sitting job, she shares helpful tips on how to earn more 5-star reviews and boost your income as a sitter.

SitterTree: Kelsey, you’ve been babysitting for quite some time. What’s one piece of advice you wish you had when you started babysitting?

Kelsey Rheney: That’s a great, and tough, question. For most sitters, one of the biggest benefits of providing child care services is schedule flexibility (outside of baby giggles, obv). But at the same time, your schedule can quickly become unruly. It’s all about organization and setting boundaries for yourself. You have to control your schedule, so it doesn’t control you! 

ST: Makes total sense. How do you recommend sitters build their schedule?

KR: Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. Some families may request adjustments to job hours, so plan your schedule in a way that allows for those accommodations. Try not to plan any social gatherings immediately following a job—if the job runs over, you don’t want to be anxious or frenzied. Avoid booking jobs that start within an hour of any other job, class, or commitment. The more you can minimize stress for yourself, the more you minimize stress for the family and little ones you care for. 

ST: Those are really helpful insights. There’s a lot of conversation right now about how sitting and nannying can be a fulfilling, long-term career. What’s your take on that?

KR: Sitting is truly whatever you make it to be. Whether you’re a college student trying to save for rent money or you’re sitting full-time, the key is to be organized. Create a budget for yourself and stick to it. Map out how much income you need each week, look at your schedule, and make a plan to hit those goals by booking a certain number of jobs each week or month. 


"The best way to make more money is to book recurring jobs with specific families, schools, or churches. That all boils down to being a reliable 5-star sitter." - Kelsey Rheney, 5-star sitter

ST: Have any tips on how to book more jobs?

KR: In my experience, the best way to book more jobs is to book recurring jobs with specific families, schools, or churches. That all boils down to being a reliable 5-star sitter. There are also some really quick, practical things you can do.

In the SitterTree app, before applying to a recurring position, double-check your profile for quick fixes. Your profile photo is your first impression. Is it a selfie? Is it hard to see you in the photo? If so, grab a friend and step outside for a quick photoshoot. Put your phone on portrait mode, and have your friend photograph you from the shoulders up. Smile bright, and show families how friendly and inviting you are! Present yourself as someone you would trust to care for the loved ones in your own life.

ST: We STAN a practical tip, Kelsey! So helpful. You mentioned becoming a 5-star sitter. Do you have any advice for getting those 5-star reviews after each job?

KR: Of course. My top tips are:

  • Arrive energized! Make sure you’re dressed ‘Sitter Professional’—yes, I just coined that. Basically, nothing too fancy, but don't appear as if you just rolled out of bed. 
  • Engage with the parents and kiddos. Introduce yourself—be warm, genuine and hospitable. Sure, you’re in their home, but during those first few minutes, you actually want to make the family feel at ease.
  • Make an observation, get on the child's level. If you notice the child has a Superman obsession or is a bookworm, try to relate. For example, at a recent job, I was greeted by a kindergartener holding a lightsaber. Immediately I asked, "Who's your favorite Star Wars character?" Their eyes lit up and we launched into a fun conversation about how R2D2 is the coolest Droid ever.
  • Double-check details. It’s imperative. Even if the family’s profile is thorough, confirming their needs face-to-face goes a long way. Check for things like bedtime routine, house rules, and allergies. 
  • Clarify communication styles. Before the parents head out, I like to ask how often they’d like to receive communication. Some parents look for consistent updates, while others prefer minimal communication throughout the job. Respecting personal preferences is a huge win for families.

ST: Thanks, Kelsey. And big congratulations on your 500th job!

KR: Of course. Happy babysitting, everyone!

If you have any questions, we're happy to help. 

Not to brag, but we’re pretty good with names. As in, we're on a first name basis with every sitter on the app. So, what's yours?

Call SitterTree Support with questions.

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SitterTree does not employ any service provider nor is it responsible for the conduct of any service provider on our app. SitterTree operates an app for end users to book and pay service providers for child care services. Each user is solely responsible for completing necessary due diligence prior to booking child care services from any other user. All information provided in member profiles, job posts, and chats is provided by users and is not generated nor guaranteed by SitterTree.

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