Is Your Summer Sitter Certified?

Today’s Small Business Saturday is especially for TEEN entrepreneurs, as well as their employers. Maybe you’ve decided to enlist the summer babysitting services of the neighbor girl down the street, or you finally want to schedule a regular date night with your spouse and need a reliable sitter. Or maybe your own daughter or son wants to earn some extra summer cash. In either case, taking the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course is a must.

Not too terribly long ago, in 1991, my sisters and I all took the Red Cross Babysitter’s Course to help us build our summer family babysitting business. Three teenage girls with first aid certification were an unstoppable entrepreneurial force in our little community. I was able to help buy my first car with that mountain of money, and was introduced to the workforce with the 8 AM – 5:30 AM sitter shift.

A recent poll conducted by the Red Cross found that parents want to entrust their children to babysitters trained in first aid, CPR and childcare skills, and more than 80% of parents believe that teenage babysitters should be paid more if they have these skills. It also found that in the past 24 months, 55 percent of parents surveyed decided to stay home because they couldn’t find a babysitter. The survey revealed that nearly a third (30 percent) of parents rejected a potential babysitter because of safety concerns.

To cut to the chase, more than three in four parents (77%) with children younger than 17 feel teenagers should receive some training before they begin babysitting.


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Be a part of the ULTIMATE Babysitter's Club with the Red Cross Training Course.

The Red Cross babysitting, CPR, and first aid courses teach teens how to care for young children and handle emergency situations. The American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course gives youth the knowledge and confidence to care for infants and school-aged children. It’s a great investment for parents who have opted for in-home care this summer; sending your sitter to this training course could actually mean the difference between life and death in a rare accident scenario.

Cindy Weaver is Huntsville’s resident expert and Red Cross babysitter’s training instructor. She gives potential students in her class a glimpse of what a typical day taking the course is like on the Red Cross blog, with a post titled “Baby (Sitter) on Board”. Cindy loves to see both girls and boys in her classes, and says sometimes boys are her star students. In addition to safety and CPR, the class teaches teens how to start their babysitting business and communicate effectively with their employers. “Conducting a family interview before accepting a job is smart for both the babysitter and the family. You have an opportunity to orient yourself to the house and the family’s dynamic,” says Weaver.


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Babysitters Training is a one day class; $85 per student and is recommended for students ages 11 – 15 years. The local Red Cross also offers a 2-day Babysitters Training Bootcamp for $140 that includes Babysitters Training the first day and Pediatric First Aid and CPR the second day. The first aid and CPR certification is good for two years. To register, parents can call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit www.redcross.org/takeaclass.

The following is the schedule for upcoming classes; all local classes are 9 AM – 4:30 PM and are conducted at the 1101 Washington Street location in Huntsville.

  • June 4
  • June 4 & 5 (Bootcamp)
  • June 13
  • July 12 & 13 (Bootcamp)
  • July 16

There is also have a class scheduled on July 27 at the Limestone County office, located at 1300 Armory Street in Athens.


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Susan Sparks, our local Service Delivery Manager for Preparedness, Health and Safety Services wants to pass along a little tip for teens interested in the class:

“[We are offering] a special promotion (15% discount) that is available to American Red Cross Blood Donors in our area. When someone donates blood during May or June, they are eligible to receive a coupon that is good towards a 15% discount for a CPR/AED class, Babysitters class, or First Aid/CPR/AED class through Nov 30. The coupon can be shared with friends and family and used multiple times.”


RCM SYNOPSIS:
Go give blood and get your 15% discount to send your babysitter to get Red Cross certified. It’s a great investment in the health and safety of your family, and maybe it will get you out of the house more on Date Night. Teen entrepreneurs can easily add to their skill set and credentials by signing up for just one day of official training, and then you’re one step closer to some cool summer cash!