If you love children, you can earn money by starting a babysitting business of your own. Alternatively, you can also opt for nanny jobs or become an in-home babysitter.
Babysitting is a business that will always be in demand, with most couples working full time and needing someone to take care of their babies.
Whether you are a teenager looking for extra money by babysitting at home or a stay at home mom, you can start a childcare business within a short time.
You can opt for occasional babysitting services or a nanny agency that takes care of children either in your home or at the child’s home.
You can also start a part time business offering occasional babysitting for parent’s night out, holiday care and so on after checking out babysitting rates.
For instance, you can offer to babysit every Tuesday when mom has to go grocery shopping, yoga and lunch with friends or run some other errands. This babysitting service could be every week, once in a fortnight or just once a month.
Do you need a license to babysit in your home? After you have checked out the legal and zonal requirement in your state, create a babysitting business plan focusing on the following steps.
Tips on How to Start a Babysitting Business
Babysitting Business: Certifications
It is not mandatory that babysitters must be certified or have any kind of formal training. That said, potential clients or parents will be more confident of placing their children in your daycare or babysitting services if you have certifications, training and other skills under your belt. They might also be willing to pay more for the service in case of certified babysitters.
In a 2017 survey by Care.com on babysitters, 60% of parents participating in the survey said that they would be willing to pay more in case the babysitter had safety training certifications like CPR and First Aid.
- Make sure to get a certification in First Aid as well as CPR. Check out the American Red Cross baby sitting class.
- Joining such a program can help you to build a credible business in babysitting.
- A certification proves to parents that you are reliable and that you take your job of babysitting seriously.
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Rates for babysitting services depend on the city. For example, the highest rate is paid at San Jose in California, at around $16 an hour. Average baby-sitting rates hover around $13 an hour.
However, before you decide on the rate for your babysitting business, you can find out the going rates in your area. Check out profiles on babysitter websites to find out what they are charging for their services.
You can also charge based on experience; certifications and the number of children under your charge.
Finding Babysitters for Your Childcare Service
You can start the business alone to begin with and then expand later when you get more clients. Alternatively, start your business with one or two reputable sitters to begin with by advertising for baby-sitting jobs.
Tip: Learn about the mandatory staff/child ratio.
- Place ads and interview sitters about their child care background and references when you try to find a babysitter. See them in person.
- Put up advertisements on Craigslist and other such sites advertising your babysitting service.
- Make a background check of prospective babysitters you might employ; check them out on social media sites.
Getting Clients for Your Babysitter Agency
- Create your profile and post it on babysitting websites.
- Send flyers to neighbors, friends and acquaintances; Post ads in coffee shops and nearby stores and print babysitting business cards.
- Use Social Media. Advertise on your Facebook page. Send emails to contacts describing your new business.
- Advertise in churches; create door-hangers; publish in local newspapers. Approach local libraries. Create brochures and advertise on Craigslist and Indeed.com.
- Sign up at babysitting services / websites.
- Check out online resources for finding clients.
- Retain existing clients by doing something extra if you’re babysitting at clients’ homes.
Tip: For instance, you could clean up the dishes and the house after the kids sleep.
- Keep in regular touch with clients, so that you become their regular and favorite babysitter.
- Join community events to promote your babysitting service. Set up a booth at local festivals; offer stickers and gifts to children and distribute flyers to parents.
- Distribute flyers to local doctors and at toy stores and book stores to promote your babysitting services.
Create a Babysitting Website
An online presence is a must for babysitting businesses, as many parents look for such services on the Internet.
- List references for your babysitter business.
- Mention the facilities in your home.
- Detail the games and other activities that are performed; the menus, special meals and so on.
- List the charges for the service.
- Make sure to offer different payment options and offer an enrollment form.
Promoting Your Nanny Service
- Get references from the parents of children you are already taking care of in your babysitting service.
- Post these babysitting references on your website.
- Offer discounts for new clients brought in by your existing client to your babysitting business.
Skills Required for Being a Baby Sitter
(Source – care.com)
- Be imaginative and create fun games, crafts and activities for the babies/children. You don’t want the children to be watching TV all the time.
- Reliable and Responsible. This is a top skill every babysitter must have. Parents would only leave their kids with someone on whom they can totally depend on and trust.
- Be patient but authoritative. Enforce rules that parents have set out. For instance, if parents want teeth to be brushed before bed or No TV, then follow the instructions.
- Be on time and be sure to leave the house much cleaner than when you found it!
Baby Sitting Experience
- Get experience in babysitter jobs. Watch younger sibling/friends’ children and so on to get experience.
- Help out with friends and family by offering babysitting services for free. Or you could be a mother’s helper for some time.
- Offer to volunteer at local childcare services for free. You can get excellent experience with toddlers and small children and also get references!!
Flexibility / Deciding on Options
There’s a lot of flexibility here, based on your experience and comfort level.
- You could just opt for babies within a specific age group. For instance, you can offer the service for babies less than 3 years of age. Babysitting a small child of 2 or 3 years is different from babysitting a 10 year old. Infants need more attention while older children are generally more independent. On the other hand, you might even find that infants are easier to handle than an older child. Check out your aptitude and talents and decide the age range that best suits you.
- Also decide whether you would like children of different age ranges in your home. Are you comfortable with handling kids of different ages at the same time?
- You can offer transportation, pick up for the children from their school or home.
- Take the children on field trips.
Name Ideas for Babysitting Service
Select a good name for your business. Make it short but make sure it is easy to remember. It is easier for people to recommend such names to others.
- Put your first name while naming your business. For instance, if your name is Janet, call it Janet’s Babysitting or Fun Times at Janet’s.
- If you’re offering a niche babysitting service, like offering a fun time to children, you can call it Fun at Janet’s.
- Use Tags like Tots; Kiddies; Kiddos; Tiny Steps; Tiny Tots; Sweet Angels; Little Angels and so on.
- Use Nursery Rhymes for a little inspiration. For instance, Little Miss Muffet’s.
Activities / Toolkit for Babysitting
When I was a kid, I remember having a babysitter who would pull out all sorts of magical stuff from her bag. The time would just fly!! Develop an interesting schedule of activities.
- Get appropriate toys and educational kits according to the age range. Include board games, puzzles, books, some craft supplies, coloring books, crayons and some good quality toys.
Tip: Make sure that the toolkits, toys etc. are all safe for babies and appropriate for their age.
- Establish a fixed nap time, as it is easier to handle babies and children who are well rested.
- Plan nutritious snacks for the children based on their age.
- Safety comes first. Keep a first aid kit handy at all times. Plan for accidents and be ready with emergency procedures. Know about allergies, medical conditions of the children and their medicine schedule.
In today’s fast paced life, most professional parents are looking for a double income, thereby promoting the babysitting business. Your love for kids can truly be turned into a money spinning business by starting a babysitting business.
You don’t need much capital to start this childcare business and there’s plenty of flexibility as far as timings are concerned.
That said, when you start a babysitting business, be prepared for additional responsibility, because it’s a little more than just going to someone’s house and babysitting for them.
Remember to keep a list of the children’s names, their ages, their parents’ phone numbers and address and emergency contact numbers handy at all times.
You could start your babysitting business within a few weeks with just a modest investment. Start as a one-person operation to begin with and then expand it gradually.