I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

There are many things to consider when working as a babysitter or finding one to watch your kids. One of the considerations for the babysitter is financial arrangements for compensation? What is fair pay for watching children? Would you charge differently for the number of children or for different circumstances? Should you charge extra when being asked to do other tasks such as cleaning, cooking, or staying past midnight?

HELPFUL TIP: All babysitters should take a basic first-aid course so they can be better prepared in case of emergencies. Having such training in areas such as cuts, broken bones, and drowning can make you feel more confident, too.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What impresses the man about the girl at the beginning of the conversation?

A. The girl arrives promptly on time.

B. The girl carries her own business cards.

C. The girl comes prepared to cook for the kids.
2. How often has Kelly babysat for Mr. Adams in the past?

A. never

B. one or two times

C. on a regular basis

3. According to the girl’s financial consultant, why should she charge more for babysitting?

A. She does some housework while the parents are out.

B. She purchases groceries for evening meals.

C. She provides special educational entertainment.

4. What specialized training has the girl received to become a babysitter?

A. educational

B. emotional

C. medical
5. What additional expenses does her rate increases need to cover?

A. investments

B. hobbies

C. recreational

Score =
Correct answers:

Kelly: Hi, Mr. Adams?

Mr. Adams: Ah, Yes. You must be Kelly. Thanks for coming.

Kelly: Here’s my card.

Mr. Adams: Oh, the entrepreneurial spirit. It hard to find a good babysitter on a Friday night.

Kelly: Well, I like watching kids, and I need the extra money.

Mr. Adams: Well, I heard you were one of the best and most affordable babysitters in the area, and . . .

Kelly: Uh, well, I’d like to talk to you about my new rate increases.

Mr. Adams: Rate increases?

Kelly: You see, Mr. Adams. I’ve consulted with my financial advisor [What?]. Uh, my mother, and she says I should charge more per child since I do cook and clean your house while you’re away.

Mr. Adams: Oh, I see. So, what do you have in mind?

Kelly: Well, as I see it, I’d like to ask a dollar more per child per hour, and overtime after midnight. Based on my calculations, that’s only 10.23% above the going market, and I’m now a certified babysitter with training in CPR.

Mr. Adams: Oh, I never knew there were courses and certifications in babysitting.

Kelly: Times are changing, Mr. Adams. I have to figure in expenses for a benefits package to cover college tuition, retirement, and my stock portfolio. Well, I tell my dad what to do.

Mr. Adams: Ah now, you’re pulling my leg. I mean, how old are you anyway?

Kelly: Old enough to be a tough negotiator.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • entrepreneurial (adjective); also entrepreneur (noun): a description of a person who decides to take certain risks to start their own business for profit or gain
    – To become a successful entrepreneur, you need a good business model, money, and connections.
  • affordable (adjective): a fair price, reasonable
    – I wish that buying a home was more affordable.
  • market (noun): the business environment where goods and services are traded, bought, or sold
    – Many businesses in this area are experiencing decreases in the market for new orders.
  • tuition (noun): money paid for education
    – I had to take out a loan to pay for college tuition.
  • you’re pulling my leg (idiom): try to persuade or convince someone to believe something that is not true
    – He was just pulling your leg when he said he was getting married.
  • CPR (noun) or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: a medical procedure used to restart the heart and breathing again in emergency situations
    – Although the man suffered a serious accident, emergency personnel were able to revive him using CPR.