How to write a reference letter for a babysitter

Updated November 21, 2016

Teenagers often get their first employment break by taking care of children as a babysitter. As a result, parents are often asked to write a reference letter when their babysitter tries to secure new employment. Reference letters are used for a variety of purposes, like employment or college admission. Within the letter, the writer makes a statement about the qualities and capabilities for another individual.

Ask the babysitter to whom the reference should be addressed and the date the reference letter needs to be completed. Letters can be addressed to "To Whom It May Concern" or "Sir/Madam," if no specific name is given.

Write the first paragraph of the reference letter. It should include the name of the person you are recommending, her relationship to you and the time she was in your employment. For example, "I am writing to convey my enthusiastic recommendation of Sandy Anderson's application as a babysitter. Sandy took care of my two elementary-aged children after school for the last nine months."

Write the second paragraph of the reference letter about specific duties of the babysitter. Be sure to include details about her duties and how she was as an employee. This will be the longest paragraph of the reference letter for a babysitter. For example, "Sandy always picked up my children from school on time every afternoon and brought them back to my house. She would prepare and feed them a nutritious snack. Throughout the afternoon, she would assist the children with their homework and create engaging activities for them to participate in. She is dependable, organised and excellent with children. Sandy's always followed my requests for the children's care, and the children would often talk about their desire to have Sandy watch them during my absence."

Experiences and certifications should be included in the third paragraph. If there are none, continue onto the last paragraph. For example, "In addition to helping with child care, Sandy is certified in CPR and an assistant Sunday School teacher."

Conclude the reference letter by stating what the potential employer will gain by hiring the subject of your reference letter, provide information for the prospective employer to contact you and sign the letter. For example, "I highly recommend hiring Sandy as a babysitter. She is great with children, knowledge of their needs and was a joy to have in my employment. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide any other information that would be helpful to your consideration of her application. Sincerely, Barb Swanson."

Scan and e-mail a copy of the signed reference letter to the person you are recommending. Provide the original, hard copy to the person by mail or in person.

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