The National Safety Council expanded its babysitter training courses in the Omaha metro this summer after seeing a growing demand last year. Kids told us they're eager to make money and to land more jobs, though the training leaves them with a much broader skill set.
Twelve-year-old Nick Knudson is among the growing number of boys enrolling for the course. He said babysitting "can be more of a girls job," though he thinks it's a good thing for most anyone to do as their first job. "I like kids a lot, and I'd like to think that I'm really good with them," Nick said, going on to tell us how he makes up games and tries to stay active with the kids he babysits.
Nick already has experience watching his brothers and cousins, but he wanted to "know what to do if a child is in danger or in trouble." The National Safety Council says that's the most important aspect of training; preparing young sitters to handle the variety of scenarios they may face while caring for young kids.
The training courses cover everything from mixing up formula for an infant to choosing age-appropriate toys to dealing with serious problems like an intruder or accidental poisoning. Some courses also cover leadership styles and tools for more effective decision-making.
Trainers say young sitters need to be smart and safe about marketing themselves, and parents should stay involved in the process. They recommend being careful when it comes to social media and never letting kids post personal phone numbers or addresses to promote their babysitting services. Kids can practice direct marketing by designed flyers or emails and sending those directly to friends, family, or close neighbors.
Babysitter training is available through the National Safety Council, Nebraska and the American Red Cross. Most classes are one day and cost $80-85.