A babysitter who asks for a letter of recommendation is counting on you to provide an honest account of your time together.

This can be difficult even for the most satisfied parent. Use this guideline to learn how to write the right letter of recommendation for a babysitter.

Quick Answer:

Writing a letter of recommendation doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. Speak honestly without giving too much personal information or use a template that you complete with appropriate details. Do not include descriptors that can be seen as discriminatory, such as race, religion, or gender.

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Writing Letters of Recommendation for a Babysitter

The day may come that your babysitter will ask for a letter of recommendation. If you don’t know how to go about this, you are not alone.

Writing a letter of recommendation for a babysitter isn’t something you do every day, but it is an important way to help someone who has been helpful to you.

Samples of Recommendation Letters

Read the following recommendation letter samples. These can be used to give you an idea of how these letters can be written depending on your situation.

You will find example letters that detail a long-term babysitter, a short-term babysitter, and a sitter that has not performed the job well.

Sample Letter #1: Long-Term Babysitter

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my recommendation for Lily T. Smith. Ms. Smith has worked as a babysitter for my two children for the last four years, beginning on August 1, 2017. She always arrives on time and serves as an excellent role model to my young children. They look forward to their time with Lily and are always very sad to see her leave.

I have known Ms. Smith to be a kind and responsible person. She has never given me reason to believe that she could not handle any situation that was put before her. You would be very fortunate to hire her as an employee.

If you have any questions about Ms. Smith, I am very happy to talk with you on the phone or answer emails. My contact information is below.

Sincerely,
Maria L. Gomez
(573) 555-9718
[email protected]


Sample Letter #2: Short-Term Babysitter

Dear Thomas Jones,

I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation for Mackenzie Davis. Ms. Davis has only worked as a babysitter for my family for a short time, but she has proven herself to be reliable, respectful and responsible. Ms. Davis has performed each duty that we have asked of her without issue.

My family decided to hire Ms. Davis as a babysitter based on her professionalism, eagerness and previous work experience. Thus far, she has been an excellent babysitter. I highly recommend her as a babysitter for your family.

Please call or text me at (417) 555-9999 with any further questions.

Sincerely,
Dr. Louise Martin


Sample Reference Letter #3: Unqualified Babysitter

Dear Dr. Miranda Webster,

I am writing to verify that Jeffrey Graves worked with my family as a babysitter from March 9, 2019 through May 15, 2019. Mr. Graves was hired to watch two children from 3:30 through 5:30 PM on school days.

Thank you,
Abram Pierce

Babysitter Recommendation Letter Templates

If you don’t have time to write a recommendation letter, you can use one of the following templates to provide an all-purpose recommendation.

Simply replace the words in brackets with your own.

Babysitter Recommendation Letter Template #1

Dear {First Name}{Last Name},

I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation for {First Name}{Last Name}. {Name} has worked for me as a babysitter from {Date} through {Date}. {Name} worked {number} days per week watching my {child/ren} for {number} hours each day.

During the time that {Name} worked for me as a babysitter, my {child/ren} {was/were} happy, safe and cared for in an excellent manner. I felt at ease knowing that {Name} was in charge.

I believe that {Name} would be an excellent addition to your company. The role that you are filling is ideally suited to someone with {Name’s} skillset. You will not be sorry if you offer {Name} this position.

Please do not hesitate to call, email or text if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

{First Name}{Last Name}
{email}
{cell phone}


Babysitter Recommendation Letter Template #2

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to provide a letter of reference for {First Name}{Last Name}. {Name} is an excellent student with a bright and promising future. Having worked for my family as a babysitter from {Date} to {Date}, {Name} is proven to be dependable, hard-working and very capable.

I have long been impressed by {Name} for always going above and beyond in every situation. I have every belief that {Name} will be a valuable part of {school}.

As an employer, I cannot speak to {Name’s} academic record, but I can tell you that tenacity and perseverance is vital when it comes to higher education. {Name} has both and so much more.

Please contact me if you have any questions about {Name}. I am happy to provide as many details as you need.

Sincerely,

{First Name}{Last Name}
{email}
{cell phone}


Babysitting Reference Letter Template #3

To whom it may concern,

{First Name}{Last Name} was hired as a babysitter for my {describe number and ages of children} on {date}. {Name} served in that role through {date}. Responsibilities of the job included {list}.

Thank you,

{First Name}{Last Name}

Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Letter of Recommendation

The previous examples show you different types of recommendation and how they can be personalized to fit the situation.

Now that you know what a letter of recommendation might look like, you’re ready to write your own.

Follow this step-by-step guide to write the perfect recommendation letter for your babysitter.

Style

The first question you should consider is whether to write the letter by hand or craft a typed copy.

Though it is more personal to write a letter, most potential employers prefer letters that are typed and easier to read. In many cases, they prefer that the letter be emailed rather than sent through postal mail or delivered by hand.

Recommendation letters that are written for college applications or scholarships may need to be sent through a specific portal.

In this instance, it is best to type the letter and provide the electronic file to your babysitter. They can then upload the letter as needed.

Greeting

The greeting of the letter depends on a number of factors. Do you know the name of the individual that is receiving the letter?

Is the letter a general recommendation for your sitter’s file or is it going to a specific person or a potential employer?

If you don’t know the individual’s name, it is appropriate to use the greeting, “To whom it may concern.”

If your babysitter has provided you with a specific name, you may address the letter as “Dear {name},” using both first and last names. If the person has a professional title, feel free to use this.

“Dear Dr. {name}” or “Dear Prof. {name}” is respectful and expected. Conversely, prefixes like Mr., Ms. or Mrs. should be avoided unless you know for certain which term the recipient prefers.

Length

A recommendation letter does not have to be long to be effective. You can generally share all of the details you need in three to five paragraphs.

Recommendation letters that are shorter than this convey a more negative tone. Those that are longer are unlikely to be read in full.

Information to Include

The ideal recommendation later would state the job that your babysitter has held with you, the length and/or dates of service, the duties that were a part of this position, and why you are recommending them.

This information changes on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if the babysitter has only been with you for a short while, it may not be necessary to include dates of service.

Likewise, a babysitter’s duties may be self-explanatory and not require additional information. However, you should expect the employer to follow up with you if you don’t provide those details.

Pro-Tip

If the caregiver has special skills or qualifications you have appreciated it might not be a bad idea to work it into your letter.

One way to think about this is if you were a prospective employer what kind of questions would you like to ask their previous employer.

Contact Information

You should always include your own, personal contact information when writing a recommendation letter. The recipient may have follow-up questions.

At a minimum, you should provide your personal email address. You could also add your cell phone, home phone, or even your home address if you like.

Legal Concerns and Obligations

There are few laws governing letters of recommendation. However, you should take care to avoid using any language that might be considered discriminatory. Avoid including any information about the sitter’s religion, race or any disabilities.

You should not explicitly state your sitter’s gender. In most formal writing, it is appropriate to use the person’s full name the first time they are mentioned, followed by their title and surname thereafter.

If you choose to be extremely careful with gendered language, you can drop the title and use only the surname. Example:

Alex Harris has been an excellent employee. Harris arrives to work early with a smile. The children are always happy when Harris is around.

Another option is to go the more casual route and use the babysitter’s first name:

Anne Rodgers is someone I am very happy to recommend. Anne is an excellent employee and a very good person.

A different issue with legal concerns is that of libel. Anything negative said against an employee, even a part-time babysitter, could be accused as libel or defamation of character.

Many Human Resources professionals suggest that letters of recommendation remain strictly as reference letters. They include the title of the profession with dates of hire and no further information.

This may not offer a glowing reference, but it does convey the information needed without going into detail about the babysitter’s flaws.

Specialty Recommendation Letters

There are some letters that are written with a specific purpose in mind these letters may need to be tailored to fit a specific goal.

Recommendation Letter for Potential Employers

Ask your babysitter to explain the job for which they’re applying. You can refer to the job title in your letter of recommendation.

You may also find components of the sitter’s daily duties to showcase why you think they would be a great fit.

For instance, if your sitter is applying for a job in which they will have contact with customers, you can focus your letter on the sitter’s personality and ability to get along well with your children.

Recommendation Letter for Educational Purposes

Recommendation letters are sometimes needed for college applications and scholarships. For these letters, you can focus less on specific job duties and more on personality. Explain what you like about the sitter and why you believe they have a great future ahead of them.

Handling Poor Recommendations

There may be a time when a sitter that was not adequate on the job asks you for a letter of recommendation. You could tell the sitter that you are not comfortable with providing such a letter, but if that puts you in an awkward position you do have other options.

Write a simple letter as detailed in the sample above. Include dates of employment and job title without providing a reason for departure or any other information.

If the recipient calls to ask you to provide more details, you can simply say that all you can do is confirm the job responsibilities and the dates of employment. You are not obligated to do more than this.

If you had a particularly bad experience with a sitter, you may want to go into extreme detail with the potential school or employer. Unless you have clear evidence of the sitter’s wrongdoing, it is best to keep this information to yourself.

Any negative words you say about the sitter may be cause for a defamation lawsuit if it inhibits them from being hired, accepted to a university, or denied a scholarship. It is best to protect yourself in situations such as these.

Final Thoughts

A babysitter letter of recommendation is a valuable tool. Writing a glowing reference letter that is easy to read, clear and concise will help your sitter in more ways than you know.

Have you ever written a babysitter reference letter? What are your tips? Tell us in the comments!

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