My tween daughter is taking a Safe Sitter babysitting class this week. Her first three-hour session yesterday was full of good, important information, and there's even a test at the end of the class that they must pass to get a certificate of completion.
Don't worry, the test is open book (or handbook, in this case) and they've been encouraged to bring the Babysitting Handbook with them when they are babysitting so they have a handy reference guide in case they should need a quick refresh.
I love references books of all shapes and sizes, and love this one is full of all kinds of important information, from how to greet both parents and children when first arriving at a job to first aid charts.
That alone is enough to make me a fan of Safe Sitter, a nonprofit organization that offers babysitting classes. Pediatrician Patricia A. Keener, M.D. founded the organization after a colleague's 18-month-old choked to death while under an adult sitter's care. Classes focus on injury prevention and choking rescue as well as child care essentials and safety for the sitter.
When my daughter was telling me about the class, steps to ensure the safety of the babysitter was a big focus of the first day, which included a presentation from a local police officer.
Many of the safety steps involved parents, because your role as a parent when your child is babysitting is to keep your kid safe.
The handbook also includes a letter to parents that contains important reminders for parents of tweens and teens ready to hit the childcare market with ways to do so, including:
- Be sure you are fully informed about each babysitting job before giving your child permission to accept the job;
- Ideally, you will know the family for whom your child will be babysitting, and if you don't, check out their references (yes, Safe Sitter says they should have references, as should your child);
- Talk to your child about safe marketing and do not permit kids to advertise for babysitting jobs in pubic places - and definitely not online;
- Come up with a safety signal that your child can use that means you will come pick them up immediately, no questions asked; and
- Review how the job went with your child soon after they return home and if it did not go well with the family, encourage saying no to future requests from them.
More information is available on the Safe Sitter parent pages here. And nope, this post is not sponsored in any manner, shape or form. I just appreciate that they're keeping our kids, both those who are the baybsitters and the babysittees, safe.
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Filed under: Parenting