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Small Business Ideas from Home: How to Start a Babysitting Service

Are you sure you want to be a babysitter? Whether you are a teen who is looking forward to a summer babysitting job or someone who would like a babysitting job as a regular gig, you need to know that babysitting is a rather challenging job. 

A person who engages in a babysitting job need to be someone who loves or enjoys being with children and has great patience when looking after them. If you have any relevant babysitting skills and experience like taking care of younger siblings, that is a plus. 

If you want to start offering babysitting services, you need to know several important things. So, here's a simple guide on How to Start a Babysitting Business.

Part 1: Learn Babysitting Skills

Before you take any babysitting jobs, there are certain skills that you need to know and learn. Enrolling in babysitting training classes are helpful in preparing a babysitter-to-be for the job. Babysitting training classes are usually offered by your local community center or community organizations. Check out the American Red Cross babysitter's training. Downloadable babysitting resources are also available on their website.

Though anyone who has babysitting skills from experience like moms can skip formal training, it would be helpful to look through the following babysitting skills that are necessary for the job.

1. Child Care

Know the different ways to care for the child of different age levels. Taking care of an infant is different from that of toddlers or even older children. Basic child care is a necessary skill. A babysitter needs to know certain skills depending on the child's age level. 

Some skills for caring an infant include how to hold a baby and how to change the diaper. For toddlers and older children, one needs to learn how to implement a structure/schedule including meal times, nap times and play times; how to bathe, how to feed a child, etc.

2. Child Safety

A babysitter is held responsible for the child's safety while he or she is under her care. So, it is a must that a babysitter knows what to do for special cases like when the child has asthma attack or when the child is choking. 

Be sure to know know the parents' contact numbers and emergency numbers. Know where important items are like the first aid kit or the child's medications, if any. And remember to never leave young kids unattended.

Here's a video of a babysitting training class from the American Red Cross 

3. Balancing Fun and Rules

Aside from the child care and safety considerations, parents would love a babysitter with whom their children can have fun. So, it would be good for the babysitter to know what the particular child likes to do and play. 

In addition, choose age-appropriate games and activities. If the parents would permit, you can also take the child outdoors - in the yard, to the park or community playground to have some fun and free exercise. TV programs, computer and/or online games are also allowed pending the parent's instructions.

Here are some Recommended Games and Activities While Babysitting

In the age of 1-3 years old, a toddler learns to walk, talk, sing, dance and do a lot of other things. Find out some fun activities that she can do from this article.

Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Infants (6-12 Months)
Infants aged 6-12 months generally have their particular signs of growth. With that in mind, this article shares helpful babysitting games, toys and activities that can further develop their physical body as well as their social, mental and communication skills. 

Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Infants (0-6 Months)
Babysitters can do more than just feed, change diapers and put the baby to sleep. This article lists some  babysitting games, toys and activities for infants 0-6 months old which can help them grow and develop.

Remember, although the child would love it if they could get away with what they love and have fun to do, a babysitter should never give in to everything they like. Know what the house rules are and implement them. The parents would appreciate it if their children learn proper discipline and obedience to rules. This is where being a good role model and exercising leadership skills come into play.

Part 2: How to Find Babysitting Jobs

Before you go out and find a babysitting job, here are some things you may need to guide you in your search for a babysitting job.

1. Ask yourself

What type of child would you like to care for? 
Choose either an infant, toddler or older children depending on your skill and comfort level. Don't accept jobs which you think you cannot handle.

Would you be staying in the child's house or the child will be dropped off in your place? 
If you would be going to the child's house, know how you will get to and from the place. In this arrangement, it would be more convenient for the child because she or he is staying in his zone of comfort. 

If the child will be dropped off in your place, then you would need to prepare you home. You need to provide enough space and the necessary things like toys, first aid kit, etc. Be prepared as well for probable more clean-up work afterward.

How much would your babysitting rates be? 
This depends on a number of factors like location, your experience, age and number of children, time of the day (day or night), number of hours and special requirements. Babysitting rates usually ranges from $8-$12 per hour. 

For your specific conditions, you may use this babysitting rate calculator how much you can charge.

2. Prepare a Simple Resume or Flyer.

You can put together a simple resume or flyer where you can include the following information:

  • whether your underwent a babysitting training class and/or a first aid course
  • babysitting experience like when you took care your younger siblings or a neighbor's kid
  • other skills like knows how to drive
  • babysitting rates and availability
  • and, of course, your contact information
You can find a babysitting flyer template online to make your own flyer easily. Here's a sample template your can use and edit on Canva. Create a FREE account on Canva (this is my affiliate link) and you can explore more templates there. 

3. Market Your Services

Spread the word to family and friends in your neighborhood or in church that you would like to find a babysitting job. Ask any babysitting friends if they know of anyone looking for a babysitter. 

You can also advertise using the flyers you made and put them in the mailboxes or doorsteps of your neighbors and post them in your community or supermarket bulletin board. 

If you're a teen, ask permission from your parents first and refrain from putting personal details like your full name or address.

4. Prepare a List of Questions to Ask the Parents Looking for a Babysitter.

When you get a call for an interview by a prospective child's parents, don't forget to be ready with your set of questions. Ask them the questions in case they have not been mentioned while they are interviewing you. Your questions might include:

  • How many hours would the babysitting be? What time will it start and end?
  • How many children will there be? what ages?
  • What do the parents would like you to do? any special instructions?
  • Know about other things you should be concerned about - pool, pets and house rules, medical conditions.
special instructions for babysitter
Special instructions for babysitter. Image by Amberdegrace.

Use these questions as a guide whether you would accept the job or not. Again, if you're a teen, ask your parents about it first.

I hope this simple How to be a Babysitter guide will help you find a babysitting job. And always remember to do your best, be on time, be responsible and you will gain the trust of the parents of the children you babysit.


AiringMyLaundry said…
This is some great advice. I would love to have a babysitter service to turn to if I needed one.
Julia Hess said…
This is a wonderful list for a babysitter. Whether starting out as a teen or just wanting to help out friends. I currently watch a friend's little guy and he has become part of our family and someone my little guys can play with.
Mom Knows Best said…
I did home day care when my first child was little. It was a great way to bring in some money
Meraki said…
Great post love to see your posts
Lydia said…
I used to do a lot of babysitting when I was at school. It was something I fell into as I had young brothers and their friends parents would come to me asking if I wanted to earn some money. This post has some really important tips so thank you on behalf of those looking to start a service!
I love the part where you mention like the fun games. It can be so useful for babysitters. Definitely great advice!
Monidipa said…
Very timely post. One of my friends who had been searching for a post like this. Perfect details about babysitting!

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