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How to start Vacation Child Care business to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Take up temporary residence in a client’s home and accept responsibility to
care for children while the parent or parents are traveling.
• Prepare meals, perform ordinary housecleaning, and maintain the security
of the home.
• Get children to school and other scheduled appointments.
• Be ready to arrange for emergency medical services and home repairs,
based on permissions and instructions given by parents.
The Need
Working parents are sometimes called on to travel for business. Even loving parents
sometimes need a break from their children for a long weekend or an out-oftown
trip. On occasion, a husband or wife may be able to take along a spouse on
an extraordinary business trip.
If they are lucky, some parents can count on family or close friends to take
care of their children when they travel, but it is increasingly common for young
families to be hundreds or thousands of miles away from the extended family. The
worst case of all is a single parent with young children and no family or friends
available to help out.
Challenges
Taking responsibility for young children is not an easy job. If you have children
of your own, you already know that. If you don’t have kids, sit down and talk
with someone who does. Make sure you are emotionally, physically, and mentally
up to the task.
Decide whether you are willing to accept the additional responsibilities and
demands of taking care of an infant or whether you prefer to accept only children
who are old enough to attend school. Some children may require special
medical care or have physical disabilities or other special needs; be sure you
understand the situation and decide whether you are capable of caring for them.
You’re not discriminating against them if you feel you are not able to give them
the help they need.
It may be possible to take this sort of job while maintaining a full-time or
part-time job elsewhere, although you will need the same sort of flexibility that
any parent requires, including being on call for emergencies for your surrogate
family. One good career mix: a school teacher who will work more or less the
same hours as his or her young charges.
Will you be expected to use your own car, or will the owner provide permission
to use a family car? If so, you should obtain written permission to use the
vehicle. Ask about insurance coverage and the registration.
Know the Territory
The job description for parent, and surrogate parent, includes a sense of structure
tempered with a great deal of flexibility; also required is the willingness to accept
responsibility for supervision and care—and a nearly bottomless well of patience.
You’ll begin with the basics: getting the kids up in the morning, getting them
dressed, fed, off to school, met after school, fed again, focused on homework,
and back to bed. Mix in after-school activities, sports, playgroups, and pets.
Then come the weekends and holidays, when the kids may be home all day
or may need to be shuttled about to sports, to clubs, and to play with friends.
Finally, there are unexpected responsibilities that cannot be planned: illnesses,
accidents, and problems with the house.
The key to success in this sort of job is to spend enough time with the parents
and the children to learn all the rules and responsibilities before you take over.
Among the questions you need to have answered:
• Are you expected to be at home all of the time when the children are there,
or are they old enough and responsible enough so you can take a few hours
to do some personal business?
• What is the schedule for wake-up calls, meals, and bedtime?
• Are there any foods the kids are not allowed to eat? Any significant allergies?
• What sort of food will be stocked in the house? Will there be prepared
meals in the freezer? Will you need to shop for food? What sort of a budget
will you be given for food?
• Are there any significant medical conditions or special needs you will have
to deal with? Will you be expected to administer medication or deal with
doctors or other providers?
• Are the children allowed to spend time at the houses of friends? Are friends
allowed to come over to the child’s house?
• What is the schedule for the traveling parents? What are their cell phone
numbers? How can they be reached at hotels or conferences?
• Who are the available next of kin and relatives, and how can they be
reached? What are the names of responsible friends and neighbors, and
how can they be reached?
• What sort of housekeeping tasks will you be asked to perform?
• Are there any pets? What responsibilities will the children have for their
care?
Before you accept a job, you should ask the parents to do the following:
• Give you a letter granting you permission to authorize necessary emergency
medical care, and providing full details on health insurance (including
an insurance card or a photocopy of the card) and the names of family
doctors, dentists, and other health care providers
• Provide a to-whom-it-may-concern letter granting you permission to enter
their home and reside there
• If it’s part of the deal, give you written permission to use the family car,
along with its registration and insurance information
• Notify neighbors, schoolteachers, and others that you will be in the home
while the parents are away
How to Get Started
Post flyers at schools, community centers, and retail stores. Place ads in newspapers,
school newspapers, and shopping guides.
Contact the principals of area schools and ask if they would keep your name
on file as a child care resource. They may not be willing—or able—to make recommendations,
but they might pass along your card. Ask friends and neighbors
to recommend your services; offer a bonus or commission for work they send
your way. Do the same for satisfied customers.
Up-front Expenses
The principal up-front costs are for advertising and promotion.
How Much to Charge
Charge by the day for each day you are in the house; typical rates range from
about $100 to $200 per day.
The client is responsible for stocking the refrigerator and kitchen and providing
a pool of cash for additional food, if needed, and for school lunches,
allowances, and the like. If you use your own vehicle for shopping or transportation,
you should charge a reasonable mileage rate.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: Your contract should identify any safety and security responsibilities
of the client and limit your liability for accidents, errors, and omissions.
If you are making yourself available to care for a sick child, make sure it is
clear who is to pick that child up from school. Most schools will not release a
child to anyone but a parent unless they have written authorization.
Your attorney can give you blank forms that grant permission for you to obtain
emergency medical care, drive the family car, and identify you to police and other
authorities as having permission to live in people’s home while they are away.
An insurance agent can advise about necessary liability coverage and offer
suggestions about proper coverage if you will be driving children in your own car
or in the family vehicle.

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