Gianna Cosentino, a senior public relations major, found a source of income during the pandemic. She babysits on a weekly basis in her hometown, Chagrin Falls.
“I babysit my neighbor’s kids. I knew them before the pandemic, but work didn’t pick up until it happened,” Cosentino said.
Being the neighbor of the family, Cosentino knew the kids since they were born.
The parents have to leave their home for work. With daycares shut down from the virus, the family had to find a babysitter immediately.
“I’m thankful that they trusted me with the position. In my personal life, I continue to practice social distancing so I don’t put the family at risk,” Cosentino said.
Cosentino enforces health precautions as much as she can. She wears a mask around the kids while highly sanitizing all surfaces. She also changes her clothes before and after her shifts.
“It’s interesting having to explain this to kids. I tell them the severity of the virus, and why I’m doing so much cleaning around the house,” Cosentino said. “Kids carry so many germs. Adding to that would be irresponsible.”
Veya, five, enjoys her time with Gianna and misses her when she isn’t around.
“I love her. She gives us a lot of playtime when she cleans,” Veya said. “She’s the best babysitter ever.”
Her six-year-old sister, Harper, enjoys time bonding with her sisters and Gianna.
“Gianna is very fun and I like making crafts with my sister,” Harper said. “It’s better than going to daycare.”
The youngest child, Frankie, receives special attention because she is a baby.
“She’s the youngest child I’ve ever babysat in my life. The youngest I’ve babysat was four, but Frankie is two. At first it was a challenge, but now I’m thankful for the experience,” Cosentino said. “At first I was worried about being around a child so young during a pandemic. Babies can pick up illnesses very easily.”
To ensure good health, Cosentino gives temperature checks every visit.
“I feel like a second mom to the kids. I take my temperature with a touchless forehead thermometer before my shift, and then their temperatures when I see them. I make sure to feed them very well too, along with vitamins,” Cosentino said.
Cosentino babysits roughly 15-20 hours a week. Her part time job allows for her to pay her bills.
“I didn’t receive unemployment or a stimulus check. When my neighbors offered me the job, I felt so relieved about my finances,” Cosentino said. “The payment is just a bonus though. I love being around kids and it helps my family friends.”
Cosentino plans to babysit for as long as she can. She lives in Kent, but will continue to travel to Chagrin Falls to babysit.
“I’m sure I could find a babysitting job in Kent, but the pandemic makes it harder,” she said. “I’d be a random person to a family and I rather avoid that. I would understand someone not hiring me for that reason.”
Zaria Moore covers money. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.