To better help parents select those who would care for their kids, the Redwood Area Community Education program recently offered a babysitting certification class; prospective babysitters sat through nearly 10 hours of training to learn the best ways to be caregivers for toddlers and babies.
Leaving a child with someone else can be cause for anxiety for parents. Finding that right person for the job can be just as disconcerting for them. To alleviate concerns and to better help parents select those who would care for their kids the Redwood Area Community Education program recently offered a babysitting certification class. Prospective babysitters sat through nearly 10 hours of training as led by Pat Stevermer of Sleepy Eye, who has been offering a babysitting certification clinic for 35 years. “It started when I was having my own children,” she said.
Stevermer said it was when she realized there was nothing available that helped prepare babysitters for their task that she began offering a program to give them that important information they need for the job. “I wanted to offer my community with quality babysitters who knew how to handle situations that might come up,” said Stevermer. As interest in the program grew, she began offering it through other community education programs, including the one in Redwood Falls. During the most recent program through Redwood Area Community Education 15 youth ages 10 and older learned about the kinds of issues they could encounter when they take care of kids. Topics included the role of the babysitter, understanding child development, how children of different ages are unique, how to play with kids, how to take care of kids – from feeding them to getting them to go to bed – and the potential dangers, such as choking, fire, cuts, strangers and similar issues. During one of the nights members of North Ambulance came in and brought some infant dolls to the class to help the participants learn about CPR. Stevermer said that was a valuable lesson. Hailey Mohr, one of the course participants said she learned a lot during the program. “I learned how important it is to be organized,” said Mohr, adding the lessons about keeping kids safe were very important for her as she continues to offer her services as a babysitter. Mohr, like her counterparts, had done some babysitting, es-pecially for family, before taking the class, and now she is hoping to branch out in the community to offer what she now knows as a certified babysitter to others. “I want to start earning money for college,” said Mohr. Mohr said she likes babysitting, because she enjoys being with the kids. Mohr and her fellow certified sitters now have the task of marketing themselves and getting the word out that they are available.