A babysitter is like a consultant–anyone can call themselves one. This doesn’t mean there aren’t throngs of well-qualified babysitters available; it just means formal training isn’t a requirement for getting the job. Babysitters and their qualifications range widely, from the old woman next door who raised her children during the Nixon administration, to the tri-lingual exchange student or the first aid-certified nursing student who lives around the corner. Depending on your needs, all or none might be qualified for the position.
Your job is to examine your own situation and determine which qualifications you most desire in a babysitter.
Although it’s not required, many teenage babysitters take babysitting certification courses through the YMCA or Red Cross. These courses typically cover CPR, basic first aid, and preventative child safety, like avoiding feeding toddlers whole hotdogs or popcorn. The babysitter’s age and personality also come into play.
A loving mother of five and grandmother of eight probably has more practical experience in safety and first aid than could ever be taught in a course. And just because a babysitter has completed the certification class doesn’t necessarily means she’s patient or energetic enough for your kids.
A babysitter’s level of education can range from GED to doctoral student. How educated your babysitter should be depends on your preferences and the needs of your kids. For example, if you have a child with special needs or a particular disorder, such as ADHD or OCD, you may very well want someone with formal education or a degree in that area. However, many kids just need a babysitter who’s bright and educated enough to engage them in stimulating activities and answer their questions accurately–and you don’t need an advanced degree for that.
Caring for toddlers and preschoolers is a physically demanding job. A good babysitter must have enough agility and strength to catch an 18-month-old briskly toddling toward the stairs or carry a preschooler who fell off her bike and scraped her knee. Physically fit babysitters come in all ages and sizes, but make sure she’s able to keep up with your kids and participate in their activities without injuring herself or allowing them to be injured.
Experience caring for children the same ages as your own is definitely an advantageous qualification for a babysitter. Kids’ development changes rapidly, so it’s important your babysitter understand the issues and risks associated with a particular period of development. For example, a babysitter who’s cared for dozens of preschoolers isn’t necessarily qualified to care for a 14-month-old toddler who’s constantly trying to stick things in his ears and the heating vent.
Her lack of experience caring for a certain age doesn’t automatically make her disqualified, but it’s something worth considering, especially when comparing her with other babysitters. Equally important is her experience with multiple children of specific ages. Caring for 14-month-old twins and a 2 1/2-year-old requires a different set of safety and behavioral knowledge than babysitting kids who are 3 1/2 and 5 years old.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More