Red Cross trains babysitters

Published 9:41 pm Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross teaches more than just first aide and CPR. Last week, they also taught five girls ages 11 to 15 the skills they will need to start their own babysitting business.

“I’m here because I want to take care of babies because I love them,” said 13-year-old Allyson Moseley.

Training skills: Yasmenne Scott demonstrates one of the skills she learned in babysitter training. Scott was one of five girls who attended babysitter training last week, where they learned all the skills they would need to start their own babysitting businesses.

The girls were taught how to burp a baby, perform basic first aid, change a baby, hold a baby, interact with parents, write a resume, how much to charge for their services and more.

Email newsletter signup

“The babysitter training program gives students, particularly ages 11 to 15, the knowledge and skills and confidence to take care of an infant or school-age child in the absence of a parent or guardian,” said Lisa Harrell, instructor.

The girls at the class said they attended in order to become better babysitters.

“I’d like to show a lot of responsibility and take care of children the correct way and be responsible with it,” said Kaneesha Ballard, a 14-year-old babysitter.

“They need a role model,” 12-year-old Nia Johnson said. “Whether it’s a sister, a brother or a parent, they need to feel like someone’s there for them.”

Nia said despite the fact that she will be able to make money with the skills she learned in this training, she has a higher purpose. She plans to use her training when she goes on a mission trip Baja, Mexico. She plans to work with the youth there and make sure that they feel loved and cared for.

Ballard was excited to learn a new discipline method, what to do when a child is choking, the correct way to hold a baby and how to feed babies.

Harrell explained that her instruction goes beyond the classroom. She is available to her students even after they have their certification to answer questions.

At the end of the class, students were given a book bag with a first aid kit, rubber gloves, a CD with a template for a resume and business cards, a reference guide, sanitizing wipes, a flashlight, a pen and notepad and more.

“It’s a really good program,” Ballard said. “I recommend it to anyone.”

“I think if you are trying to babysit, you should take the program because there are a lot of things I learned today that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” Moseley said.

There will be a Babysitting Training Boot Camp in April during spring break, Harrell said. During that two-day session, students will be able to earn their First Aid Certification in addition to their babysitter certification. They will also learn water safety and disaster preparedness, Harrell said.