Whether you need a license to babysit varies by your location. Some states require a business license for anyone running her own business and that includes babysitting. Military installations require babysitters to be certified. People want to leave their children in capable hands. In addition to avoiding fines and penalties, acquiring a business license and certifications helps reassure parents that you are responsible.

Business Licenses

There are actually several different types of business license. There are city licenses, county licenses and state licenses. Typically, if you have a county license, that license is valid in any city or town within that county. State licensing regulates businesses that are in some way governed by state law. This can include babysitters if your state requires a babysitter to be certified. Licensing requirements vary state to state and sometimes from one county or city to the next. Often states require a business license if the babysitter is over a certain age or if there are multiple children being supervised.

Day Care Services

If you’re going to babysit in your home rather than at the children’s home, you may be required to get a permit. Depending on your local laws, that may mean having your home inspected for safety and hygiene. It’s a good idea to childproof your home, locking cupboards which contain dangerous items such as cleaners, installing protection in the sockets and storing away any breakable items. Keep first aid kits and contact information on hand.

Babysitting Courses and Certification

There are babysitting courses available both offline and online which can provide certification. Most take not more than a day or two to complete. While they cover caring for children of various ages, emergency care and problem solving, they are perhaps most valued for their instruction in making a business of babysitting. Additionally, courses can give you access to an experienced professional.

Emergency Certifications

No one wants the worst to happen, but emergencies do occur. A babysitter certified in first aid and CPR has an edge over babysitters. Parents feel reassured knowing their children are with someone prepared and capable. Becoming certified is relatively easy, with classes available in most places through the YMCA, Red Cross or sometimes your local fire station. Taking a fire safety class or instruction in the proper use of a fire extinguisher can be time well spent.