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 2022
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
Table of Content
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Get Your Babysitting License?
First, you have to understand there is no standard government-issued babysitting license available in the United States and it is also not a must to have a license to babysit. However, you can choose to take a babysitting course through a reputable organization like the Red Cross which provides you a certificate of completion.
Most courses will print a certificate for you after you have successfully finished the required training. It will include your name, the date you completed the training, and other information. A good number of these also provide digital certificates. You can access these certificates to print, download, or share them at any time through an online account. Each digital certificate has a unique QR code and ID to confirm your license is valid.
What Is A Babysitting License?
A babysitting license is a license issued by a host of private and not-for-profit companies upon completing their babysitting course. These babysitting courses are primarily designed for younger babysitters, aged 11 to 15, with no previous experience. Note that completing the course and acquiring a babysitting license can be a wonderful way to show prospective babysitting clients that they are knowledgeable and reliable enough to be left in charge of their children.
What Is A Babysitting Certification Program?
Babysitting certification programs are programs that help babysitters have more understanding and knowledge in child care and ready for their new responsibilities as a sitter. A good number of these programs are offered in-person, although there are more and more online options now, too.
These programs are more or less designed by child care and first aid safety experts, with in-person classes normally taught by these experts as well. You can also find online courses that are self-administered, meaning you can follow the program on your own and at your own speed, while others are run by virtual instructors.
Who Should Consider Taking A Babysitting Certification Program?
It is particularly beneficial to anyone who will be caring for school-age children in a home environment. Even though most of these programs are specifically designed for young adults and teens, adults are always welcome to participate as well.
Also note that babysitting certification programs are beneficial if you are eager to make good money babysitting—with a certification, you may be offered jobs from families also eager for more knowledgeable and experienced sitters and you may be able to negotiate a slightly higher rate if, for instance, you are an expert in infant CPR.
What Are Your Responsibilities As A Babysitter?
According to Monster, your basic responsibilities as a babysitter include;
- Provides care to children inside and outside the home.
- Provides structure and communicates consistent behavioral expectations.
- Encourages healthy habits and hygiene, and helps with toilet training.
- Leads children in fun activities.
- Keeps children’s living and play areas tidy.
- Helps with homework and tutoring as needed.
- Prepares healthy meals.
- Maintains daily schedule.
- Performs light housework.
- Cares for infants, including feeding, diapering, and dressing.
- Meets the physical, social, and emotional needs of children in their care.
- Transports children, including school pickup and drop-off, play dates, and activities.
How Much Should You Pay For A Babysitter?
According to recent Sittercity data, on average, parents pay babysitters $17.73 for one child, $20.30 for two children, and $21.49 for three children.
How Much Can You Make As A Summer Babysitter?
In the United States, as of Oct 6, 2022, the average hourly pay for a summer babysitter is $18.75 an hour.
What Would You Learn In A Babysitting First Aid Class?
These training classes teach and prepare you to understand how to administer and recognize the need for rescue breathing and chest compressions. You will also learn the things or actions to take under certain circumstances or for specific injuries, such as cuts, burns, or falls. Check with hospitals, fire departments, CPR instruction companies, or community centers for the availability of first aid and CPR classes and their age requirements.
How Long Does Your Babysitter Basics Certification Last?
Ideally, your babysitter basics certification covers a 12 month period from the day you pass the exam.
How Much Do Babysitting Certification Programs Cost?
A good number of babysitting certification programs cost around $45 – $100. However, there are some that are more expensive, but this tends to depend on the course materials and resources included.
Do Babysitters& Nannies Need Insurance?
A teenage babysitter that is working occasionally for a family in their home is not expected to have any kind of insurance, although it still might not be a bad idea. However, an adult babysitter or nanny, whether they work out of their home or someone else’s, should source policies like general liability and professional liability to protect their assets in case they are sued. Babysitter& Nannie’s insurance more or less costs around $200 and $1,400 per year.
What Age Can You Start Babysitting?
In the United States, Most states do not have laws stating an age requirement for babysitting, and only some have guidelines for how old a child should be before they are left home alone. Howbeit, generally, kids can start babysitting siblings for short periods around age 11 or 12.
For most kids, anywhere around 11 and 14 years of age is a good time to start letting them babysit their siblings. However, the right age can depend on a number of factors such as the age and maturity levels of the child or children who need care and the maturity level of the babysitter providing the care are important to consider, and the amount of care required by the child or children who need care.
What Four Routines Should You Ask About When Babysitting For A New Family?
- Emergency numbers
- Any allergies and illnesses
- Any medication at a particular time
- Rules they would like you to enforce.
If I Will Go To The Child’s House To Care For Them Do I Still Need A License?
No, you will only need a license if you have at max 6 children at any point in time and it varies from state to state. If you haven’t acquired a license yet, the number of children may be limited to not more than three at a time, exceeding this number can cause trouble with the state authorities.
How Can You Get More Babysitting Jobs?
- Distribute Flyers
- Visit a Community Centre
- Talk to Everyone You Know
- Place an Ad in a Community Newspaper
- Volunteer at a Childcare Centre
- Check With Local Colleges
- Go Where the Parents Are
- Get Added to a Local Babysitting List.
Can You Babysit Without Qualifications?
Yes, it is legal to babysit without qualifications in many places; however, it is very important to acquire first aid experience. A good number of parents prefer that a babysitter be dependable, likes children, has previous experience, is patient, and creative.
Where Do You Go To Get Your License?
Notably, the Red Cross is practically the most likely organization to offer a babysitting license anywhere in the world. They have centers across the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and other countries which offer babysitting courses.
The Red Cross is an internationally recognized and respected organization, so it is a great choice for training courses. You can also search online to find an online babysitting course. If you register online, then you can log in and start working through your course material at your own pace.