Many kids babysit growing up, whether for younger siblings or other families. It’s a great way to learn life skills — not to mention earn a little cash.
Avery Dahl from Spearfish is taking babysitting to the next level. While most kids find jobs solely by word of mouth, Avery is actively building her own babysitting business model. She has a stack of resumes ready to hand out and premade forms for parents to fill out if they’re interested in hiring her. Avery has even been working on her own logo and a website so local parents can easily find her.
“I want to start saving for college and family trips, so I started my own business,” she says. “It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.”
It all began a few years ago when Avery started babysitting her younger sister, Emma. Soon she was babysitting for other families and quickly realized she enjoyed it.
“I like hanging around kids. They’re fun, and I feel like I have more energy around them,” she says. Avery signed up for a babysitting class and got her CPR and first aid certification. The certifications aren’t required, but she wants parents to know she can handle emergencies. “I carry my CPR mask keychain with me in my bag, so I always have it just in case,” she says.
Avery prioritizes safety for the kids she watches, but also for herself. When parents use the site to ask about availability, the message goes to Avery’s mom, Lauren.
“It’s just a safety thing,” Lauren says. “She’s totally capable of scheduling things herself, but I just want to make sure she’s being safe, so I help out.”
Otherwise, Avery runs the business on her own, which her mom thinks is impressive. “She’s probably the most responsible 12-year-old I’ve ever met,” Lauren says. “Her drive to do her own thing and succeed and grow her business is awesome. I’m really proud of her.”
Looking to the future
The hardest part about starting a business? “Keeping everything organized!” Avery says. “I have a good method now, where I keep all of my notes in my planner, and I have my binder with all the forms in it so everything is in one spot. That way, if someone wants to know if I can babysit, I can check really quickly and see if I’m available or not.”
Any solid business model has the potential to grow, and Avery is already looking to the future. “I want to have at least seven families that I babysit for,” she says. “Working for different families helps me learn new skills that I wouldn’t learn if I only had one or two.” If her business really takes off, Avery is even considering including other babysitters she knows. “I have a few friends my age that babysit too, so I could expand in the future,” she says.
If other kids think about starting a business — even if it’s not babysitting — Avery has some advice: “Just go for it,” she says. “If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but you’ll still learn something. You also have to be safe, be professional, and stay organized!”