Starting a babysitting business as a stay-at-home mom will allow her to bring in some income while caring for her own children. There is never a shortage of working parents who need childcare. Since the stay-at-home mom is already at home, she can take advantage of this need by offering a sitter service. Babysitting for the stay-at-home mom is flexible, provides cash for the family budget, playmates for her own children and interaction with other adults throughout the day. However, there are a few preparations that need to be attended to before the stay-at-home mom can advertise her childcare services.
Hours and Fees
Hours of operation and the fee per child must be decided before opening a babysitting business. The hours chosen to work will be based somewhat on the stay-at-home mom's own daily schedule. For example, children may need to be picked up before a spouse returns home from work. Morning hours may be more flexible to when parents actually have to be at work. Any hours in between those times would be fine if part-time hours are preferred. Weekends could also be off limits for family time.
Before taking in kids to babysit, it is a good idea to have a fee per child worked out. Call other babysitters or daycares around the area to get an idea of what is being charged for full-time and part-time care. Around the Joplin area, the going rate at the moment is $15 per day per child for five or more hours a day, and half that amount per child for up to four hours of care a day. A common practice is to require pay for the entire week at the time the children are dropped off.
Addressing Safety and Liability Issues
Depending on the age of children in care, certain safety precautions should be taken. If children under three years of age are present, each room involved in care should be childproofed. Cords and small objects should be kept out of cribs and playpens. Medicines, cleaning supplies and all other chemicals should be locked up. Also, lock down toilet lids and drain tubs and buckets. Finally, keep breakables, pet food and small and sharp objects out of the reach of small children.
Other important safety precautions are knowing CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. CPR classes are usually provided by the American Red Cross, local Health Departments, or the local YMCA. Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be kept in working order, and emergency escape plans should be practiced. Post the number to poison control, parent phone numbers and local emergency numbers on the fridge or a cork board. To prevent burns, set the hot water heater at 120 F or lower, keep all matches and lighters out of reach, cover electrical outlets and do not use candles when children are present.
Since a regular home owner's insurance policy does not cover injuries or accidents related to a home business, adding home business liability coverage to an existing policy or seeking out an insurance company that specializes in business liability insurance is necessary to limit out of pocket expense and prevent lawsuits involving a babysitting business.
Food and Other Supplies
Plenty of food, toys, hygiene products and cleaning supplies should be stocked in the home prior to taking children in for care. Parents of infants should specify whether or not they will be providing baby formula and diapers. Parents should also provide a list of food allergies that their children have. A variety of age appropriate toys should be provided for the inside play area and the outside play area. It is also a good idea to keep a good stock of baby wipes, hand soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels, as well as extra antibacterial spray, antibacterial surface wipes and bleach to help keep the children, home and childcare provider clean and healthy.