Sometimes it's best to stick with the classics. Babysitting has been filling piggy banks for generations, but if you want to break into the baby-tending business, here are some things to know.
First, you need some experience. Start by babysitting your own brothers and sisters to see if you even like the idea of feeding and cleaning up after rug rats. Then you might want to work for neighboring families as a "mother's helper." A mother's helper is like a babysitter, but you watch the kids while a parent is still at home. This frees up the parent to work on other projects, and gives you experience in a safe setting.
Before you start advertising your babysitting services, consider taking a Red Cross babysitting safety course that covers feeding babies and kids, playing safely and what to do in an emergency. There is also a more extensive "Babysitter's Training" classroom course that includes certification in Pediatric First Aid and CPR [source: American Red Cross].
Once you get some clients, arrange for a "get to know you" meeting before the first babysitting gig. You will want to discuss the house rules about TV, food, computer use, bedtime rituals and so on. You can also make sure you have the parents' contact information and appropriate emergency numbers [source: PBS Kids].
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