In the United States of America and of course in most countries of the world, starting a babysitting business is one sure way of making money whether you are skilled or not. As a matter of fact, you can start a babysitting business even as a pre-teen. Babysitting is all about temporarily caring for a baby or a growing kid. Babysitting can be a paid job for all ages, though it is usually a temporary activity for young teenagers who are too young to be eligible for employment in the general economy.

Babysitting business is a money spinner not just in the United States of America, but in most developed countries of the world. Come to think of it, with the growing population of working class parents in the United States and all across the world, there is no way babysitting businesses will not continue to experience remarkable growth on all fronts.

Please note that if you want to become a professional babysitter in the United States of America, you will have to acquire specialized knowledge in that regards and also acquire a professional license. This is why in some countries, various organizations produce courses for aspiring professional babysitters, with a host of them focusing on child safety and first aid appropriate for infants and children.

These classes or courses can be provided at local hospitals and schools. All these educational programs can help in equipping the babysitter with information to keep both the children being cared for, and the sitters themselves, safe in various scenarios. There are various ways of getting a babysitting license in the United States of America and each state of the federation has the right to come up with their own rules and regulations as it relates to issuing out babysitting licenses.

Many childcare licensing agencies offer free babysitting courses. It will pay you to check your local childcare licensing agency’s website or call in and ask if they have any upcoming courses. If you are looking towards getting a babysitting license in the United States of America, the process that cuts across most states in the US is that you are expected to take classes at the Red Cross center and you can contact your local Red Cross Center for inquiries.

Most Red Cross centers across the United States offer courses in “Babysitting Basics,” “Babysitting Training,” and “Advanced Child Care.” The Red Cross is a nationally-recognized and widely respected organization, so it is an excellent choice for babysitting training courses.

Basic Requirement for Babysitting 

In the United States of America, Babysitting Training is recommended for students aged between 11-15. Babysitting Basics is intended for students 11 and up and Advanced Child Care does not carry an age requirement, but it is geared toward experienced babysitters.

  • The Babysitting Training course

The Babysitting Training course focuses on developing leadership skills, developing a babysitting business, keeping kids safe, helping children behave, and learning about basic child care and first aid.

  • The Babysitting Basic class

The Babysitting Basics class focuses on staying safe, what to do in an emergency, selecting age-appropriate activities, and handling a variety of behaviors.

  • The Advanced Babysitting course

The Advanced Babysitting course focuses on how to take care of children outside of the home. It teaches students how to keep children safe and happy in a variety of situations. One good thing about earning a babysitting certificate is that you will not need to pass a test, all that is expected of you is to complete the course to be able to earn your certificate. Your certificate is part of the requirements that you need to obtain your babysitting license in all the states in the United States of America.

Please note that almost all the childcare licensing agencies in the US offer free babysitting courses. You would have to check your local childcare licensing agency’s website or call and ask if they have any upcoming courses. It is important to state that these free courses generally do not grant “certificates,” however, they may still offer valuable knowledge that will help you go about securing your babysitting license in each state of the US.

The truth is that becoming a state licensed babysitter or childcare provider, as it is called in many quarters, is more than just “babysitting.” It means that you are a small business owner responsible for the health, happiness, and development of babies and kids that are kept under your care.

In as much as the requirements for getting a babysitting license are similar throughout all the states in the US, it is expected that you contact the appropriate department in your state. In each state, there is a department that handles the licensing of babysitters. Each state is expected to have some unique or specific requirements for gaining your babysitting license (such as age and education requirements), so it is important to contact your state before you take any steps.

Ask the department for a childcare business application and review the application to ensure you, your intended program, and your property meet the requirements. Here are the basic requirements on how to get a babysitting license in different states in the United States of America;

*N.B: As earlier stated, most states have similar procedures except for fewer exemptions and it is not all states that issue babysitting license before you can work as a babysitter in the state.

How to Get a Babysitting License in Each State of USA

1. Alabama

The state of Alabama is one of the states that legally operate in one of two ways: Licensed or license exempt. All centers that require a license must be licensed by the Department of Human Resources and renewed every two years. The Department of Human Resources prescribes and enforces minimum standards for licensing approval. Consultation is provided to assist providers and parents. Every licensed center must be in compliance with licensing regulations as prescribed by the State Department of Human Resources.

– Any person, group of persons or corporation may obtain an application form for a license to operate a child care center by contacting the Department of Human Resources.

– An application for a license to operate a child care center shall be made to the Department of Human Resources on the required form(s) and shall contain all information requested on the form(s).

– An application for a license is not transferable from one person, group of persons, or corporation to another or from one location to another.

– After receipt of the completed application, a representative of the Department of Human Resources will examine the premises proposed for the center and will investigate the person(s) responsible for the center.

– The examination and investigation will be based on the minimum standards and regulations as prescribed and published by the Department.

– When minimum standards for the operation of a center have been met, a license will be issued.

– If an application is denied, the Department shall notify the applicant of the decision in writing, indicating the reason(s) for the denial.

– The applicant may withdraw the application either verbally or in writing.

Every licensed center must have a valid license, a current licensing evaluation, and fire and health department approvals posted in a conspicuous place for parents to see and not exceed, at any time, the number of children for which the center is licensed (stated on the license).

The Contact Information is as stated below

Child Care Licensing Agency

Alabama Department of Human Resources

Child Care Services Division

Gordon Persons Building

50 Ripley Street

Montgomery, AL 36130-1801

Phone: (334) 242-1425

Fax: (334) 353-1491

2. California

In issuing license, the state of California does not include child care that is provided for the children of only one family. For a small family child care home, the maximum number of children for whom care shall be provided, including children under age 10 who live in the licensee’s home, is: four infants; or six children, no more than three of whom may be infants; or eight children if at least two of the children are 6 years of age; no more than two infants are cared for during any time when more than six children are cared for; and the licensee notifies each parent that there may be up to seven or eight children in the home at one time.

During the time when there are more than 12 children in a large family child care home, no more than three infants may be present.

The Contact Information is;

Child Care Licensing Agency

California Department of Social Services

Community Care Licensing Division

Child Care Licensing Program

744 P Street, Mail Stop 19-48

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 1-800-952-5253 or (916) 651-8848

Fax: (916)-229-4508

3. Florida

If you want to obtain a babysitting license and you have obtained the basic requirements as stated above, you can visit the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to know the unique requirements for the state of Florida that you would have to meet before you get your babysitting license.

4. Illinois

If you want to obtain a babysitting license and you have obtained the basic requirements as stated above, you can visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), or the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to know the unique requirements for the state of Illinois that you would have to meet before you get your babysitting license.

5. Missouri

If you want to obtain a babysitting license and you have obtained the basic requirements as stated above, you can visit the Department of Health and Senior Services to know the unique requirements for the state of Missouri that you would have to meet before you get your babysitting license.

6. New Jersey

New Jersey is amongst the states that regulates childcare licensing. There are regulations regarding the registration guidelines of family home based care, and licensing information for child care centers. There are currently no laws in New Jersey regarding age minimums of providers, though The National SAFEKIDS Campaign suggests at the website Latchkey-kids.com, that providers be no younger than 12-years-old.

New Jersey defines a child care center as a location “that provides care to six or more children under the age of 13.” All providers meeting these requirements are legally charged with obtaining a special license. The center must meet all applicable requirements found within the manual provided by the state division of licensing: http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/divisions/licensing/

7. New York

In New York, before you can be issued babysitting license, the Heads of Groups: must have an AA in early childhood education, child development, or another child-related area; or CDA credential and 2 years’ experience related to caring for children; or high school diploma or equivalent and 3 years’ experience. Additionally, if caring for a group of children under the age of 3 years, you must have 1-year experience and/or training specifically in Infant and Toddler care.

You can contact Child Care Licensing Agency in New York at;

NYS OCFS Division of Child Care Services (Home Office)

South Building, Room 309

52 Washington Street

Rensselaer, NY 12144-2796

(518) 474-9454

Child Care Licensing Agency

Florida Department of Children & Families

1317 Winewood Boulevard

Building 1, Room 202

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700

Phone: (850) 487-1111

Fax: (850) 922-2993

8. Texas

In the state of Texas, a babysitter who is looking towards obtaining babysitting license must be at least 21 years of age and Caregivers in charge of a group must be at least 18 and must complete the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services approved introductory training course.

If you meet the requirements or you want to know more, you can contact Child Care Licensing Agency at;

Department of Protective and Regulatory Services

P.O. Box 149030

M.C. E-550

Austin, TX 78714-9030

Phone: Day Care Hotline: (800) 862-5252

or (512) 438-3269

Fax: (512) 438-3848

Uniform Requirements of Getting Babysitting License in US

In all other states not listed above (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming) and alongside the states listed above, before you can get a babysitting license, you would need to pass background checks. It is mandatory in all states in the US.

So also, before forwarding your applications for babysitting license, you must make sure that you meet the age and education requirements in your state and part of the requirements is that you will need to pass a criminal background check through your state agency. The license issuing department will also ensure that you do not appear on the national or state–level sex offender registries or within the Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System.

In each of the states in the US, you may be disqualified from obtaining babysitting license if you have been convicted of a felony and also, you will as well be disqualified if you have been convicted of a sex crime, are listed in any sex offender registry, or have been convicted of child abuse or neglect. In addition, almost all the states in the US may look into your driving record and general criminal history before issuing you babysitting license.

Wrapping Up…

In wrapping up, if you want to obtain a license to be able to operate a standard babysitting company with a good number of employees, then you are expected to pass an inspection on your facility. The truth is that in most states in the US, before becoming a licensed childcare provider in your state, your proposed location must pass an inspection. Whether you plan to open a daycare center or to care for children in your home, an inspector will need to come out and ensure that you meet all the standard health and safety requirements.

Once again, what is expected by the inspector when they visit your facility may vary by state, so it is very important for you to check with your local government agency. You can contact your local child care agency or related department to procure a list of safety requirements, and make any adjustments, before requesting an inspection.

Irrespective of the state that you want to operate from, one thing is certain, you must ensure that you have met the age and education requirements, passed the appropriate background checks, and passed the home/facility inspection, before you can be considered to be eligible to apply for a license in your state. Once again, you will need to contact the appropriate department in your given state and follow the requirements and application procedures of your state.

In conclusion, licensed child care centers are mandated to renew their licensing every three years. At the time of renewal, workers from the Department of Children and Families will inspect the location to ensure it meets all applicable codes and regulations.

Ajaero Tony Martins