How to Get Certified for Home Babysitting in Pennsylvania

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In Pennsylvania, you must become certified if you babysit more than four children in your home.
In Pennsylvania, you must become certified if you babysit more than four children in your home. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania has specific regulations regarding home daycare and babysitting. You must become certified if you care for children in your own home. If you care for three or fewer children you can operate without becoming certified, but if you are caring for children besides your own, you must also include your children in the number. You are allowed to care for a maximum of six children if you become certified.

Attend an orientation session for family childcare providers through the state of Pennsylvania. This training must be completed in the 12-month period before you open your childcare. The session will go over the specific application process and standards set forth by the state of Pennsylvania.

Complete the application for your home to become certified. You will need to submit a background check for yourself and any adult family members that live in your home. You will also need to pass a health assessment and TB screening test.

Prepare your home for the family childcare. You will need to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. You should have a first aid kit, and all hazardous materials and medicines should be locked up and out of the reach of children.

Purchase toys and supplies for your child care home. You should have age appropriate toys in both indoor and outdoor areas. Art and craft supplies should be included in your supplies. Sleeping mats or blankets need to be purchased for each child in your care.

Set up a schedule of daily activities that you will complete. This schedule should include both indoor and outdoor playtime as well as meals and naptime. If you are planning on doing early educational activities such as circle time or crafts with the children you should include these times in the schedule. It needs to be posted where parents can see it each day.

Create a record keeping system that keeps on file the contact information and medical history for each child in your care. You should also keep a record of fire drills, and your daily activities. If you have any staff, their medical history and background forms need to be kept, as well.

Pass the home inspection to receive your license. Display your license in a place where parents can see it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The best way to advertise is through word of mouth, but you can hand out fliers in your neighborhood and advertise online as well.
  • A monthly or weekly newsletter will help you communicate with the parents of the children in your care. The newsletter can discuss the items you cover in circle times.
  • A packet that explains your family childcare’s policies regarding drop off and pick up times, payment, absences and illness will make operating your business easier.

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