What to Know About Freelancing in the Childcare Profession

Everyone has their own motivations for choosing a freelancing career. Whatever the niche might be, the focus should never be entirely on income. The world has never been more in need of caretakers, of people who honestly to accomplish something important each day. If you’re thinking about pursuing a freelancing career in childcare, know that it requires the highest levels of preparedness, responsibility, and compassion.

Build that background…

It’s obviously not enough to decide that since you like kids and want to stay on a freelancing schedule, then that’s all you need to start applying to jobs. Sure, you might get some responses, but more often than not they’re in unsafe situations (which should immediately be reported) or are actually bots (which should be reported and/or ignored). Think about it this way: would you hire someone with no experience to watch your children?

So, first thing’s first, get yourself a First Aid/CPR/AED certification. That’s at the top of the list for families looking for childcare. It’s preferable to take an in-person class for this, usually through an organization such as the Red Cross. However, there are online options, too, an example of which is CPRToday!

Recognizing your role…

Another thing to consider is enrolling in an early childhood education program at your local community college or university, thereby earning another certification that families will take note of. If teaching and taking care of groups of children is of interest to you, than this might actually be the easiest route to take. There’s usually onsite training through local childcare centers that can lead to employment at those locations.

However, if you’d prefer to care for, let’s say, one or two children at a time, then a nanny or babysitting freelance opportunity might be what you’re looking for. Two well-known job sites for these purposes are Sittercity and Care.com. Stand out from the competition by creating thoughtful, creative profiles (complete with a background check) at each site.

Nanny opportunities are, more often than not, more of a full-time commitment as opposed to freelancing. Some parents (often freelancers themselves!) will want only part-time nannies, but even then, the time commitment is more than would be expected of a babysitter.

Productive positivity…

Although there should be a schedule (mealtime, playtime, homework, etc. depending on the age), things will have to shift around a bit when necessary. You’ll need to have patience not just with the children, but with the parents as well. School cancellations, parents running late at work, travel trips – you must patiently adapt to every situation. Make it a learning experience for yourself as well as the children. The more upbeat you are, the better everyone will respond in stressful times.

Work wisely…

Remember, never allow yourself to be taken for granted, be it as a childcare provider, or a freelancer in general. When you enter into discussions with a family, be sure that you have something in writing – will you be preparing meals? Will you be using your vehicle or the family’s vehicle? Yes, you’re there to make sure the children are safe and taken care of, but job requirements and reimbursements as necessary need to be clearly outlined for your own safety, too.

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