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Babysitting & Babysitter's Training: More benefits than meet the eye

CPR Seattle is proud to now offer regularly scheduled Babysitter’s Certification Classes at our facility in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. The class covers topics that include:

  • Starting and growing a babysitting business
  • Safety and injury prevention
  • Playtime with the children
  • Basic caregiving skills
  • First aid & CPR basics

While we are thrilled to be able to teach young teens the essentials they need to be competent babysitters, we feel this class offers so much more to the 11-15 year olds who will be enrolling. Below we have outlined what we feel are valuable benefits from this 4.5 hour class that are above and beyond the babysitter’s certification card earned.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

In an economic climate where jobs are no longer guaranteed for those with a diploma, entrepreneurship is an option open to all those with the grit to pursue it. While college graduation may seem far away to parents, a taste of entrepreneurship in the teen years can spark a long-term interest in business ownership.

“Congratulations on starting your own business”. This is one of the first things said to your child at their babysitter certification class at CPR Seattle. Many children have not viewed their interest in babysitting as entrepreneurial, and they will beam with pride at the realization. In class the students will learn that providing outstanding service to their clients leads to high client satisfaction (and therefore repeat business) and word of mouth referrals. While seemingly simple in conception, customer satisfaction is something all businesses struggle to master. We will teach your child many strategies to achieve customer satisfaction:

  • Meeting customer expectations (being on time, dressing well, as well as making eye contact and communicating clearly with parents).
  • The importance of enjoying the work they do.
  • Being genuinely interested in the children they watch.
  • How to communicate well with small children
  • How to have fun with the children while babysitting

Want to learn more about raising your child to be an entrepreneur? CPR Seattle highly recommends this TED Talk.

Responsibility for Others

Babysitting training at CPR Seattle emphasizes the tremendous responsibility it is to be a caregiver for young children. For some teens, having another person relying on them for direction, structured play, meal time, emotional support, and even bed time, can be a completely new experience. It takes thorough training to gain the confidence to take on this new experience, and the babysitters training course does just that. The instructor will spend a good amount of time teaching the student to meet the needs of a young child, and more importantly, how to empathize with them. Role-play exercises during class help the new babysitter know what to say to the child as well as how to say it. There are few other experiences in the teen years that can so rapidly teach responsibility and empathy for others as babysitting does.

Building Confidence Interacting with Adults

Babysitting is an outstanding opportunity for children to learn to interact with adults on level they rarely get to experience. Most teens have a subordinate relationship with adults, whether it be the relationship with parents, teachers, or coaches. As a babysitter, other adults become the client of your child. Learning how to interact, and gaining confidence speaking with adults on this level is an essential skill to prepare your children for their future years.

How does a babysitters training class at CPR Seattle help prepare your teen to interact with adult clients? The most difficult part of babysitter/client interactions is knowing what to ask of the parents and how to ask it. We provide prospective babysitters with a script for three specific times they are required to gather information:

  • The initial interview (on the phone or in person). This will take place before the actual babysitting job. The initial interview allows the babysitter to find out essential information about the child’s favorite activities, any food allergies, contact phone numbers, and other important pieces of information.
  • The safety walk-through. This is a brief survey of the house when the babysitter arrives on the job before the parents leave. The babysitter will ask the parents of any hazards/special circumstances in the house they need to know about (i.e., a door that is difficult to lock, a table the child likes to climb up on, where the snacks are kept, etc).
  • The debrief. We teach our students to give parents an honest summary of the evening. This is a great opportunity to learn more tips from the parents about the child’s routine, and how to handle certain situations that might have been challenging for the babysitter.

During babysitting training at CPR Seattle we will not only review these scripts with your future babysitter during class, but students will also practice the initial interview, safety walk through, and the debrief with their peers, as well as with the instructor.

Money Management Skills

Maybe you give your child a weekly allowance and they have some experience with money. You will likely find that when they work hard and earn money as a babysitter, they see that money differently than they do an allowance. It is likely the first time they earn money outside of the home. There is great pride in bringing home that money, just like mom, dad, or both parents do. It marks a significant step in becoming an adult; participating in the economy for the first time.

Earning their own income gives teens a chance to practice what to do with money; how to budget, how to save, how to much to spend. It also gives you, the parent, an excellent opportunity to open up a dialog with them about money. Here are some great tips from a US News and World Report article on talking to your teens about finances.  

Click here to see our schedule or to enroll in an upcoming babysitters training certification class at CPR Seattle.

Please note, the Babysitters Course does include an overview of CPR and first aid skills. To further your knowledge, take a CPR & First Aid Class with us!


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Published on September 18, 2015