Early Babysitting Manual and Certificate

Date / Period
2003
Place
Ottawa
Object Type
Books, Guides and Manuals
Credit
Canadian Red Cross
Topics
First Aid Youth Innovation

“If you are going to babysit, an awareness and understanding of the needs of children is most important, along with knowledge of what babysitting entails,” advised an early 1960s edition of the Teen Nursing Manual. While for some youth babysitting is a way to make a few extra dollars, for others it develops key employment and life skills and awakens their interest in taking care of others. Since 2003, the Canadian Red Cross has offered extensive babysitting training courses to prepare generations of caregivers for any emergency. 

“If you are going to babysit, an awareness and understanding of the needs of children is most important, along with knowledge of what babysitting entails.”

The courses cover topics including basic childcare for various ages such as feeding and diapering babies as well as CPR, first aid, dealing with outside phone calls and unexpected visitors, risk management, and leading entertaining activities and games. The courses – often held in schools or community centres - also build management skills, teaching babysitters how to question clients and create their own business card and resume. 

Those signing up for babysitting courses have changed over time. While classes were once overwhelmingly female, by the late 1980s instructors in the Toronto area noticed a 50/50 split with males. As older teens pursued fast food and retail work, the target age dropped to the present 11-to-15 year old range. 

Early Babysitting Manual and Certificate

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