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Gulf & Main Magazine

Watching Over the Little Ones: Red Cross Training for Babysitters and Child-Care Workers

Sep 08, 2022 02:12PM ● By Ann Marie O'Phelan

As all parents know, finding properly trained caregivers for their children is crucial for safety and peace of mind. With proper training, caregivers should understand how to solve fundamental problems when children are in their care. They should also have basic first aid skills. 

The American Red Cross offers a variety of babysitting and child-care training options through online and in-person classes. From age 11 through adulthood, participants learn valuable real-world skills they can use on the job and at home with their families. Some parents enroll their older children in the classes to learn how to watch their younger siblings while the parents are away, at work, or running errands. Other participants are seasoned care professionals who are looking for certification. 

“The Red Cross utilizes industry-leading simulation learning, an immersive learning experience that delivers engaging case-based scenarios involving typical child-care situations. This helps ensure the skills stick with the participants long after the completion of the course,” explains Spencer Stelljes, regional manager of American Red Cross training services. 

Babysitting Basics participants (age 11 and older) learn a variety of decision-making and problem-solving skills that are critical to responding safely and responsibly in various situations. They learn how to deal with emergencies, keep the young ones occupied, handle a range of behaviors, and get started as a babysitter. 

Babysitter’s Training (11-15 years old) builds on the Basics class and includes learning emergency and first aid skills such as treating bee stings, allergic reactions, burns, and choking, and dealing with illnesses such as asthma. Participants also learn how to help children behave, deal with emergencies, and build a babysitting business.  

Other courses include Advanced Child Care and First Aid/CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) certification. 

“All of our courses provide participants with the confidence to handle any emergency situations that may arise when caring for children,” says Stelljes.  

The classes can also prepare students who are looking for work in the child-care field. They learn how to draft resumes and interviewing techniques. According to, a platform for finding and managing family care, the national average rate for babysitters is $13.97 per hour. Also, according to, “[Parents] say they’ll pay extra to help them get through the chaotic hours before and after school; when they’re in need of a last-minute sitter; and for babysitters who have additional skills, education, and training.” 

Once training is completed, participants can earn a Red Cross certification—a valuable asset for babysitters, nannies, and parents. 

Visit for more details and to register.  


Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.