Starting a home babysitting business is an ideal small business opportunity for individuals who would like to make some extra money without the hassle of a lot of start-up and overhead costs. Babysitting in your own home will require you to become licensed in your state, invest in a little advertising and buy some age-appropriate toys. Otherwise, the start-up costs are minimal.
Set aside an area of your home that will be devoted to your childcare. While this area doesn’t have to be especially large, it does need to be large enough to give the children enough room to move freely and play safely. Some babysitters have room outdoors as well as indoors, in order to provide their charges the opportunity to play outdoors when the weather is nice. Both indoor and outdoor areas need to be completely enclosed, in order to keep children in the appropriate areas. You will also need access to a restroom and an area where children can be seated for meals.
Purchase some basic necessities. The key to having a successful babysitting business is the ability to keep the children busy. This means that you will need to have a wide array of age-appropriate toys, books, movies and games available for your charges to play with. Toys should be sturdy, lacking small parts, and they should be easy to sterilize at the end of each day. You will also need to purchase some extra diapers, some snacks and some wet wipes. If you decide to keep infants, you will need a crib and a playpen, in order to keep the infant safe.
Become licensed. Licensing procedures vary from state to state, but most in-home babysitting businesses will need to register with the city in which they live, as well as with the Department of Children’s Services. Registering with the city will allow you to properly file and pay small business taxes, while registering with DCS will allow you to be listed on the state’s registry as an approved babysitting service.
You may not be required to register with DCS in some states, if you plan on keeping 4 children or less. As a babysitting service, you may also qualify for additional support in the form of free meals and reimbursement for purchasing educational toys through your state. Check with your state’s licensing body to find out more.
Advertise. One of the best ways to get the word out about your home babysitting service is word of mouth. Tell your friends and family. You can also place an ad in your local yellow pages, as well as in your newspaper. Social media is a great way to get the word out about your home babysitting business.
- Ellen Raby, The Kids's KlubHouse, owner Knoxville, TN
- Keisha Fields, Noah's Ark, owner Knoxville, TN