Helping Hands News

Babysitting Course: Great Skills for Any Youth

As a Training Partner with the Canadian Red Cross we are proud to run babysitting courses throughout the year all over the Ottawa area. The Red Cross curriculum is based off of learner centered teaching styles which means most learning is done through hands on activities and games instead of an instructor lecturing all day long. By having youth work in groups in a directed manor they can often learn and improve from each other’s previous experiences all while having fun with new found friends. The main objective of these babysitting courses is to build confidence as a future babysitter meaning there is no stressful exam at the end of the course. Skills learnt are beneficial well beyond simply babysitting and I would highly recommend them for any youth. As a father, a firefighter and a first aid instructor I cannot stress enough the value in taking a Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course.


So what all do the participants learn?


  • Being a Responsible Leader: being a strong leader and knowing when to implement various leadership styles is a key responsibility of a babysitter. The skills that your children will learn are invaluable as they grow and venture into various activities and eventually into the work force.
  • Childhood Characteristics: as a group we will discuss and focus on the characteristics and behavioral traits of various ages and how to plan appropriately for each age group.
  • Creating Safe Environments: As advocates of prevention, all Red Cross babysitting programs teach and advocate preventing injuries. Through discovered learning we work with the youth on how to create a safe environment both in and outside the home.
  • Caring for Children: Has your child ever changed or dressed a baby? Had to plan activities or discipline a younger child? These are just some of the topics covered in our caring for children section.
  • First Aid: Although prevention is key, we understand accidents happen sometimes. Our experienced instructors will give your children the tools to handle a wide variety of first aid situations.
  • Business of Babysitting: We wrap up our day with discussing the business of babysitting and how to find jobs, as well as expectations for themselves, the family they are caring for and their own personal family.


It may seem like a lot of information. No need to worry though as each participant goes home with not only their certificate of completion but their own copy of the Canadian Red Cross Babysitter’s Manual. The resources section of our website also has useful links to allow the participants to continue to be successful with their babysitting jobs for years to come.

Register online at


Helping Hands News

10 Guidelines for Parents Hiring a Babysitter

Here are some great tips the consider when hiring a babysitter for your household.

We highly recommend the use of our Canadian Red Cross Babysitter interview form available under the resources section  of our website to facilitate a lot of these.

  1. Money: Let’s get this out there right off the hop. Although we cannot suggest an exact rate consider things such as year of experience and number of children to be cared for. Always agree on a rate before the job to avoid the awkward conversation at the end.
  2. Extra Jobs: There are certain tasks expected of a babysitter such a cleaning up used toys and dishes. It is not the babysitters primary job to take care of mess or chores they did not create. It is ok to ask your babysitter to complete these tasks but further financial compensation should be offered.
  3. Rules: As every household has their own set of rules please explain yours to your babysitter before you go. This will not only benefit you and the babysitter but also your children as well.
  4. Food: If you expect your babysitter to feed your children please be considerate and provide enough food for them to eat as well especially if your children have any food allergies.
  5. Update: We get it. Sometimes plans change and you end up coming home later than planned. Please inform your babysitter of this and make sure it is okay with them first.
  6. Another contact: Sometimes emergencies do happen. We highly recommend you provide your babysitter with the contact information of another trusted adult nearby if the need should ever arise. Please make sure that adult would be available if needed.
  7. No surprises: If your child is sick, needs medication administered or anything along those lines please let your babysitter know beforehand. Nothing worse than showing up to find out you have to take care of head lice as a babysitter.
  8. Scheduling: Sometimes being proactive is great but if you want to schedule way in advance it is always best to confirm a week or two before the scheduled date. Also as much as possible try not to leave everything last minute. One to two weeks is always a great lead up time.
  9. Cancellation: We understand that sometimes things change but if you’re going to cancel on your babysitter last minute, some form of compensation is always appreciated.
  10. Trust your gut: If you are hiring a new babysitter at the end of the day trust your gut. If they do not seem like a good fit for your household or children, consider another sitter. At the end of the day your children’s safety is your top priority.