First of all, please introduce who you are and what you do when you’re not babysitting?
Hi, I’m Jamie I’m 24 years old originally from Northern Ireland but currently living and working in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. I currently work full time as an Early Childhood Teacher, and I absolutely love it! Childcare is a real passion for me. Every day I have a great big smile on my face knowing that I have taught a child another new life skill. I have a lot of patience for children and I enjoy every moment of working with them, sharing laughter & smiling together all day. When I’m not working with children I absolutely love making the most of the sunshine that Ireland never gets! I love hanging out with my friends and I also love to entertain. Listening to music is another thing I am always doing. I love a good sing along! Last but not least, I love washing, polishing and upgrading my car! I grew up around cars so I love doing lots of cool things to mine when I have the time.
What are some of the fun things that you like to bring in when babysitting?
I believe that music can play a huge part in a child development, helping with rhythm/coordination and confidence. I also love to bring lots of smiles with me! Smiles are extremely important! When it’s a great day there is nothing better than playing outside in the back garden or going off on a picnic at the park with our bikes & scooters! Please note: I loooove mud pies, water play and don’t mind getting my nails painted haha. I love imagination and dramatic play and can build a good fort!
Who has had a significant influence on your life?
Before being an Early Childhood Teacher I was an Au-Pair for almost four years. A lovely family gave me an opportunity to become an Au-Pair when I had no childcare experience at all. I was only 19 at the time. I hadn’t a clue how to cook (2-minute noodle sandwiches & $5 pizza were the best back then) and I only just knew how to do my own washing! This lovely family gave me a chance regardless and after a few days, it was confirmed that children were my passion. I kept going traveling from state to state in Australia being an Au Pair for lots of different families. It changed my life forever. Not only did I find my career path and whole future, but I learned how to look after myself and others. I believe being an Au pair and living with several different families over the years has honestly had a huge impact on my life and taught me so much.
Has a child or family taught you something as an adult that has stuck with you?
I am still in touch with almost all of my previous host families & their children on a regular basis. Some of the children I have not seen in years, yet they still give me a call, a text or even a photo every now and then. This means the world to me. From this, I have learned that if you give love in life you get 10 times more love back.
What is the proudest moment you’ve had so far as a babysitter?
I have had amazing feedback from the children & parents I have helped. I have found it so nice to get a message the next day saying ‘thanks again, the kids had so much fun’. As long as I have been able to provide the kids with lots of fun, that’s all that matters to me. Parents get to go out and have fun, so why shouldn’t we have as much fun as we can?
What has being a babysitter meant for your life?
I just love the one on one or one to a few that I get to experience when babysitting. I really miss being an Au Pair, so babysitting takes me back to where it all started for me.
What are your next big plans or dreams that babysitting will help you to achieve?
To study Early Childhood, to get residency, and see a few more places/ countries each year.
What would your advice be for anyone who is thinking of joining The Babysitters Club as a sitter?
Definitely do it! There are so many amazing families you get to work with, there is regular work and protection of an awesome company behind you. And it’s always lots of fun!
Finally any advice for people who are dreaming of doing what you did?
I really recommend traveling and being an Au Pair. It’s a fantastic way to travel, you get to meet so many amazing people and you get to create relationships for life around the world. When I went traveling I had absolutely no idea what career path I wanted, so I went traveling with the hope of finding it. Lucky for me, I found my passion.
What do you believe the advantages of being a male babysitter are?
Being a male babysitter I believe I can change perspectives and set a gender-neutral example for children, parents, and others who have considered working with children. I also believe that a lot of children need a lot more male influence in their life & I am so proud to be able to provide that. I am young, energetic and ready to have lots of fun by jumping on the trampoline; running races; hide & seek; climbing trees (don’t worry I’ll be there to catch them if they fall) and doing lots of fun, fun, fun things with your tamariki. Encouraging play and imagination is my specialty.