What: Babysit for pay

Expected pay: $12 – $25 per hour

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: Parents pay $1.95 to $2.95 per booking; sitters pay nothing

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be over the age of 18 or over the age of 13 and have parental permission; must have a smart phone and a Facebook account; be willing to submit to a credit check and a cursory background check. If you are younger than 18, the site will also require that you share emails with your parents

Review: Bambino is a babysitting app that uses social media to find sitters recommended by your friends and neighbors. As a sitter, you download the app and connect it to your Facebook profile. You then set your rates based on your age and experience level. Junior sitters are between the ages of 13 and 15; “standard” sitters are between the ages of 15 and 18; advanced sitters are over the age of 18; and “elite”  sitters are both older and background checked.

You then ask families that you’ve sat for to sign up and recommend you so that your profile will show up in the app. If a family is looking for a sitter in your neighborhood, you can accept or decline their offer.  The good news is that parent/employers can’t reduce your rate just because, say, they don’t like paying $17 per hour. The bad news is that once you’ve set a rate, you can’t raise your rate, even if the family that wants to book your services has six children under the age 10. (You can, however, decline the job.)

The main complaints about the app focus on this seeming shortcoming, which Bambino brushes aside. The site figures that the simplicity of knowing what you’ll get paid (and what you’d have to pay, if you are the parent) is worth the occasional underpayment because of “additional complexities,” like a lot of children. The other complaint: The app has no method to tip, so unless a parent hands you a few extra bucks in cash, you get paid your rate without any extras. 

The site reserves the right to screen both parents and sitters with credit and background checks, but generally doesn’t. Sitters, who are over the age of 18, can voluntarily submit to background checks to raise their rates, however. When you sign up, you agree not to accept babysitting jobs outside of the app with families you found through the app. If you do, you can be kicked off the platform.

Reviews are generally positive, with a few complaints about the multiple-kid issue and about the requirement to sign up with Facebook. Given Facebook’s recent data breaches, booking your gigs via social media does give pause. That said, the app is pretty user friendly and, at present, only parents pay a fee, which makes it a better-than-average side hustle for sitters.

What their sitters say: (from Apple’s app store)

You are in complete control of what your profile details. Accepting and denying jobs is super easy and convenient because the app texts you for sittings. (I believe your have control to turn on and off notifications over text). As a sitter you have a wide variety of price ranges to choose from, but you have a fixed price no matter how many kids you sit for. I think an increase in number of kids should somehow increase the price of the sitter. And there should be a tip option for the parent so that they have the option to reward sitters for a great job.

Been using the app for about 2 months now. I have a full time job and I was able to make about $1200 just doing a few nights and weekends. It would be great to be able to see your areas average rate so one could gauge their competitors. Also a rate for 3 or more children would be grand or holiday rates. I also wish one could stop notifications at night there are a few that come in after midnight and it keeps ringing as text notification every couple of hours reminding you have not responded. Lack of response for requests after midnight also effects a sitters response and reliability score.

I get lots of requests for babysitting and am easily able to book jobs that work with my schedule. The best part is that there are no fees for sitters, so I get to keep all the money that I earn.

Love the concept and was so excited to use it. I was disappointed that it requires a Facebook account. I hope they will find another way to make this work.

Try Bambino