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Is It Okay for Me to Quit My Babysitting Job?

Tiffany Smith
July 24, 2017


In the best-case scenario, you are ending a babysitting job because you can no longer sit for the family. However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes the job is just not for you.

It is okay to quit a babysitting job. But when you do, you should end the relationship in a respectful way.  Some tips for a smooth and easy exit:

  • Be polite. You want to be respectful of the family regardless of any ill feelings that you may have.
  • Be honest. If a family asks why you are deciding to end the babysitting job, you should be honest about it. Maybe the job changed and the babysitting responsibilities are too much for one person to handle? Maybe you have another higher-paying job offer? Whatever the reason, speak up. The family may benefit from your feedback as they begin another sitter search.
  • Time the conversation. Ideally, you should have the conversation at the end of your babysitting shift. You should also give the family two weeks notice before your departure.
  • Be professional afterward. When you interview for another babysitting job, that family may ask about reasons you left your previous position. Even if the experience was a poor one, you don't want to say negative things about the other family. Simply state that the situation did not work out and you amicably parted ways.

>>Have more babysitting questions? Return to the main Babysitting FAQs.

Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter @tiffanyiswrite.


Hi. I am currently watching a 4 year old boy and have only just started. The boy has some issues that I wasnt told about clearly before working. I was told he has some abandonment issues however after watching him he resorts to some bad impulse control and hits me and pulls my hair. I was there for a 4hr shift and during that time we hit me and squeezed me serveral times. I have tried to use words and he seems to understand but still would get angry or excited and do the same thing again. I am not comfortable with watching this child because of these issues but do feel terrible by quitting before really getting settled. It is definitely not going to get better because he has this behavior with people close to him and belive he needs more help than I can give him. How can I politely quit on short notice?

User in Watertown, SD
April 6, 2017

You have to make a completely new profile. It's unfortunate but hopefully you have 2 email addresses. I learned this from reading the FAQs page.

User in Houston, TX
May 28, 2014

As for Patricia P.'s comment: yikes! I hate to even think about those things, yet she is right. We are in a somewhat scary position working in families homes and trusting we will be safe. We are each responsible for our own safety so if a situation becomes uncomfortable get out FAST!!! Taking classes in self defense is always a good idea. Care.com Patricia has a good point. Please post articles on personal safety.

User in Houston, TX
May 28, 2014

After six years with a wonderful family I decided it was in my best interest to leave. Many things changed about the job and it was time to move on. I gave my letter of resignation and stated I would leave at the end of my contract. This was two months away and would finish out the school year for the children. We had many great times together and now years later I can look back on the position and know I made a positive impact on the lives of those children. I left on a positive note and they were a great reference for me in my next job search. I'm sorry to say not all nannies or babysitters are as professional when leaving a job. I knew one to leave mid week in the middle of the night with no notice. The family woke up the following morning, the nanny was no where around, they looked in her room (live in) and all of her things were gone. No notice or letter. Just gone. VERY unprofessional. This complicates things for the parents who have high level jobs and don't have time to take off of work to care for their children when this was unplanned. If the girl had an emergency it would have been different. As I was preparing to leave the above mentioned family of six years I really tried to help the new nanny to make the transition as seamless as possible. I was asked to help her and because the children were so important to me and also because I know what it's like to come into a new job I wanted to make it easy for her. I gave her a detailed tour of the house, Children's schedules, food preferences, favorite activities, maps of the area(she was moving from out of state), phone numbers of the Children's friends and directions to their houses, basically anything I could think of to help. I spent my last week training her and taking her to the Children's school and letting her know what the parents would expect of her. Maybe I did too much!

User in Berkeley, CA
Sept. 28, 2012

Care.com should have more compassion for nannies and babysitters. You should have a article about keeping yourself safe in the parents home. Nannies do get raped and even killed. Care.com need more fraud alerts for families.

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