MAKE MONEY #12: A Babysitting Business is BIG BUSINESS
Difficulty: 5 (MEDIUM)
Initial Investment: 2 (LOW)
Location: LOCAL, WORK FROM HOME
Good for: Students, Retirees, Parents, Others
How to Start a Babysitting Business
We’re not KIDDING around! Babysitting is BIG business, especially in large cities and their accompanying suburbs. One babysitter we talked to used their profit to pay for an expensive graduate school program. Another used it to buy a car, and still countless others have used babysitting business net proceeds to fund investing, emergency funds, and save up for fun vacations.
Are You Good with Kids?
IF you have been told that you are good or better, even GREAT with kids, this side hustle could really work for you. How to stand out in a sometimes crowded field of potential babysitters? Our tip is to SPECIALIZE.
Care.com is BY FAR the largest online site for listing babysitters and other caregivers. Signup is quick, but it will take some time to get your business going, because as most sites do, this one relies heavily on your REVIEWS and references. This takes time!
TIP: To get started fast, ask previous (outside Care.com) employers to vouch for you.
You can also put up flyers in the local grocery stores, or try any other local community boards or Facebook groups. You can offer a special Date Night or other coupons or deals for busy parents.
TIP: Like Twins or Triplets? Good with Little Babies? You could build and start a babysitting business specializing in just special kinds of children.
TIP: You can offer a special Date Night coupon or other coupons or deals for busy parents to get things going on your babysitting business.
What About Special Needs Kids?
Special needs children also need your attention, possible in different ways than abled children. Be sure you understand what the child or children needs by going over this with the parents before you babysit (not as they are running out the door to get somewhere). Parents of children with special needs usually require a respite more often than they are able to get.
Be sure to ask these things before you start babysitting a child with special needs:
- Are there any specific health problems? Swallowing problems? Problem foods?
- All kinds of behavioral struggles–what should I know? How should I handle them?
- What are the current developmental milestones? Should I encourage them to do certain things themselves?
- Are there things or tasks that I should support? How much help or aid should I offer?
- What kinds of things offer comfort if the child is having trouble?
Lead Fun Kid-Centered Creative Activities
College-educated sitters who lead kids in certain activities like art, music, acting, dancing, and homework help to differentiate you from the crowd. Some fun art activities from Wheaton Arts that use everyday and sustainable materials include these videos:
- Broken Pot Fairy Homes
- Polymer Clay Pots
- Pressed Flowers
- Collage Paper Portraits
- Recycled Paper “Quilts”
Depending on the age and interests of the child or children, you can also do outdoor nature activities, or fun things in the backyard. Rain Forest Alliance has a number of activities that are free and fun, and at home. Go here for these kid-friendly fact pages about rainforest species, and more. You could ask your child or children to pick a rainforest species. Depending on the child’s age, you could have the child or children draw a picture of the animal from that species.
NickHelps.com has a number of kid things to do when you are starting a babysitting business. They can help the kids experience stories, art, and lessons from a diverse range of communities and perspectives. Help build community and share common values while babysitting. Healthy and curious are two personal values that NickHelps likes to foster. They offer and cover fun topics like Sponge Bob’s hilarious tutorial on how to wash your hands properly, or they have many quizzes, puzzles, and polls about the rainforest and the environment.
TIP: Fluent in another language? Offer to teach children while babysitting. Consider charging a little more for this extra special talent.
Getting Started: Get Screened and Certified
All caregivers undergo a background check on Care.com: ALL Caregivers must complete the CareCheck process to begin interacting with families on our platform. Families can also purchase a suite of Supplemental Background Check options as an additional safety precaution.
Get CPR for Kids Certified
The Red Cross offers free or low cost CPR for Children classes. Showing the initiative that you are safety conscious goes a long way for parents, especially new parents with young children or babies.
How Much Can I Make?
MORE THAN Minimum Wage, in most cases. Babysitting business rates per hour (or job/day) depend on several factors: where you live, how many children you will be watching, whether you are required to use your own car, and more. Where you live is a crucial factor. According to UrbanSitter, the national average hourly rate for a babysitter in 2022 is $20.57 for one child and $23.25 for two kids.
Better than Fast Food Work
TIP: According to Parents.com—here are the average rates for each state. FYI, the highest is Washington State at $18.97/hour (minimum wage in Washington state is $14.49 per hour in 2022). NOTE that (Seattle and SeaTac) have higher minimum wages and different labor rules than Washington State. On the lowest end, Louisiana babysitters averages $12.49/hour, still above minimum wage for that state, interestingly enough, which is 11.65/hour (in 2022 figures).
Stay Safe Online and Out in the World
Keeping the kids in your charge is a BIG responsibility, but don’t overlook your own safety. Do not give out personal or financial information to families you don’t know or haven’t met or worked with before. When interviewing with potential employers in person, opt for a public space that you are familiar with. Also, ask to see identification to confirm that you’re meeting with the right people.
Check out any Meeting Locations First
If the meeting location is suggested by the potential employer, it’s a good idea to review the location beforehand– make sure the spot they’ve chosen works for you, too. A Starbucks or other public coffee house is a good bet. A public playground that is busy can also work.
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