Four Reasons Hiring a College Student to Babysit Might be Your Smartest Choice
Need a sitter?
Why not hire someone…
- Whose pay can be a tax-deduction for you both
- Who is mature enough to be responsible yet is still playful with your kids
- Whose schedule is flexible and can accommodate your non-traditional work hours
- Who is easy to trust…when they have a SafetyPIN?
All of this is possible when you hire a college student! Whether you need an after-school nanny, a date-night sitter, are required to work overtime or travel or need an occasional daytime caregiver so you can break away for a few hours, hiring a college student is a smart option.
College students make great babysitters for lots of reasons. But here are four game-changers:
- College Nannies and sitters are tax-advantaged employees.
Lucky for you, lucky for them: college caregivers are tax-advantaged employees! This means that a portion of what you pay your college sitter is a tax deduction for both of you. This is how it works: a family can reimburse a college student up to $5,250 for tuition, books, and fees/supplies, and have the entire contribution considered non-taxable. Of course, this can’t be a replacement for all the student’s wages, which by law must be at least minimum wage. But by structuring your payroll to capitalize on this strategy, both you and your new sitter will come out ahead. Want to learn more? Check this out.
- College students are old enough to be responsible, but young enough to be fun.
Beyond the tax advantages, college students are mature, make great mentors, and are highly motivated. They are also a lot of fun. In addition, many demonstrate the type of mastery in their babysitting skills that can only come from experience.
- Mature: College students are more experienced and mature than the average neighborhood teenager. They are young adults, eager to prove themselves.
- Mentors: Most college students are goal-oriented and have a good head on their shoulders. They make great mentors for your kids. Joe Keely, who founded College Nannies+Sitters+Tutors in 2001, says
“When I was still a college student, I took a summer job as a nanny for three children. I quickly learned that I loved my job—and that it was because I was more than a babysitter: I was tested every day to be a positive role model for these kids …”
- Motivated: Almost all of them need extra income, but their class schedules make holding down a regular job in retail or even fast-food nearly impossible. In the words of Rutgers college student Riley Dixon, babysitting for a family was “definitely better than any other job I held in college.”
- Mastery: Many college students earned their babysitting stripes under the careful eye of their local communities, their churches, and of course, their parents. By the time they are college students, they are masters at the craft, some with as many as five years of experience in babysitting before they arrive at your door.
- College students have a flexible schedule that can often accommodate your non-traditional work hours
There are a lot of reasons why your needs for childcare may not match the hours of standard daycare centers or relatives and friends. Maybe you work at a job that requires weekends or evenings — or have to work rotating shifts. Perhaps you travel or are expected to assist with after-hours events. What can you do with your children when these “after-hours” demands arise and your regular sitter can’t make it?
A college student could be your best choice. College students often stack their classes in the mornings or on certain days of the week, leaving themselves completely free on their non-class days, afternoons or evenings.
If you have the type of job that requires flexible hours, or if you work two jobs, a very smart option would be to cultivate a long-term babysitting relationship with a couple of college students who can schedule their classes to be free during the hours that you need them most.
- Look for a sitter with a SafetyPIN.
What is SafetyPIN? It’s like a background check on steroids — with two shots of espresso.
After all, how can you really know who’s coming to your home or caring for your kids when you’re choosing someone new? Recommendations are great. But what about when you have to try someone new? Some sites offer their own background checks, but they are incomplete and only cover convictions. And who knows when they were last updated?!
That’s where SafetyPIN™ comes in… as the only fast track to trust.
SafetyPIN includes a broader, more expansive criminal background check, an ID verification, a financial history screening, and our proprietary Beacon Behavioral Review. That lets us eliminate people that set off red flags, even if their criminal record doesn’t show anything.
Anyone 18 years and older can apply for a SafetyPIN for only $1. When someone is approved for a SafetyPIN, they are given a trust badge that can be shared on any profile they choose. It means they passed our strict screening requirements, designed by a team of security experts with over 80 years of experience in law enforcement and criminal profiling. You can verify SafetyPINs quickly and easily, so you can know if someone you met online is safe to meet and interview in real life. Our goal is to help you feel more secure when you take an online transaction offline. Or, as we like to say… keeping you safer from URL to IRL. For more on why you should ask your next sitter for a SafetyPIN, check out this two-minute video.
Most background checks only screen the “National Criminal Database,” which excludes 22 states completely, and leaves out a LOT of counties across 12 other states. Better background checks will screen down to the county someone lives in, and, in some cases, the counties they’ve lived in for the past 7 years. But we know criminals don’t stop at the county line – so neither do we.
Forty-year-old Phoebe was applying to be a house-sitter. Our review showed she’d been arrested for shoplifting when she was 33. That’s a little too old to write-off as a youthful indiscretion. When our experts asked Phoebe for more details, her answers became defensive and she refused to explain any circumstances around her arrest. Most background checks would overlook a single
This is a case we often talk about in our offices. Bill applied for a SafetyPIN in mid-June. From the beginning, there was something about his application and information that concerned us, but we couldn’t put our finger on it at first. It certainly didn’t help that he called customer service almost every day to ask about the status of his SafetyPIN.
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