USF students are busy juggling class schedules, textbooks and apparently babies. It is not that they are having more children, but many students babysit after class as a way of earning extra money.
The USF Career Services Center (CSC) maintains a list of available student babysitters that they send out to interested parents. The list is popular with both students and parents. There are currently 107 students who have listed themselves as available to babysit with CSC. Christina Gonzalez-Lopes, a student assistant at CSC, said that the center receives about 10 new inquiries from parents every week and estimates that there are hundreds of parents who hire USF students to look after their children.
When they sign up for the babysitting lists students are asked to give their major and say whether they are CPR-certified or if they drive. Nursing students who put themselves on the list are particularly popular with parents who want to know their children will be in good hands in case of an emergency.
Erica Alvarado, a nurse who graduated from USF last spring, said she received frequent inquires from parents who were seeking a nursing student to nanny their children. “I think they just felt more comfortable knowing that if anything went wrong, as unlikely as that is, their children would be with someone who knew how to act in an emergency,” she said. Alvarado worked with several families while she was in school and continues to babysit for one family because she has grown attached to the children, even though she has a full-time job as a nurse at a hospital in San Francisco.
Many students prefer babysitting to other jobs because the hours are flexible – responsibilities can range from
Tuesday morning museum visits to late Saturday nights. The pay is also good; USF student-babysitters said they were paid in the $12 to $25 range and some parents tip or give money for cab fare.
Senior Ashton Bothman said lately she has been working 24-40 hours a week as a nanny, mostly on nights and weekends, and is thankful to have the job because school and an unpaid internship in media consume most of her daytime hours. She has also learned a lot about children. “I think it’s the best form of birth control. I’ll go eight hours and then I’ll be so happy to hand the child back to their parents,” she said.