At first the thought of being a babysitter and then getting a license to be a babysitter is a bit confusing. Why would anyone need a license or want a license to be able to babysit? The point is that a babysitter who would be getting a license is one who would be doing it on a very regular basis, likely with more than one child, and likely in one’s own residence. This is more than taking care of the neighbor’s kids for one evening while the adults go out for a dinner and a movie.
To be a licensed babysitter, the first thing a person needs to do is to find out what their state, county, and city or town has to say about it. Each one of these entities may have their own rules about what a person who wants to be a babysitter needs to do to get that license. Rules can limit the number of children the babysitter can take of if doing it alone. There are likely safety rules for the inside and outside of the residence where the babysitting will take place, if it is the babysitter’s residence. A social worker type of review might have to occur from time to time. Part of the evaluation is to determine if what the babysitter is doing is really running a pre-school nursery rather than simply babysitting.
Some experts and licensed babysitters recommend taking some child care courses or even getting a degree. None stated that licensing required any particular certifications or degrees, but it is always a comfort to the parent or guardian of the child being babysat if they know that the babysitter has some formal training in some areas. It is a selling – marketing point, also.
As a licensed worker there are records that the government entities may want the babysitter to generate and provide when inspected. The typical babysitter does it alone, so some of the preparation is thinking about the hours of availability, days of availability, what to do if pickup is late, or a child becomes ill, or some other scenario. It is very important to have a plan in case something goes wrong, knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. This is called contingency planning and in some cases the governing licensing entities can help in this type of planning.
Several experts and licensed sitters also recommended looking into funding by the state or local governments that support day care, nursery, and licensed babysitters. This funding helps in preparing the residence for the activity as well as pay the babysitter for the babysitting, especially if the parent or guardian is on welfare or government-supported work assistance. This financial help can make a big difference in the babysitter being comfortable with the financial situations of those who need someone to care for the child while they work. This assistance can also come as a voucher for food for those the babysitter cares for. It is well worth asking the questions and find out what assistance can be gained.