Becoming a Better Babysitter: American Red Cross offers classes for tweens

. April 2, 2018.

Summer will be here before we know it, and that means barbecues, swimming and tweens available to babysit the neighborhood kids in their free time. Allowing tweens to watch younger children may be a concern, due to their inexperience, but with a little training, tweens can act responsibly in caring for little ones.  The American Red Cross offers online and in-person classes to help current and future babysitters gain important knowledge and skills to turn the novice babysitter into a pro.

From the comfort of your home

Youth ages 11 and up may enroll in the Babysitting Basics online course anytime and complete it at their own pace. This web-based course covers how to care for infants and children, how to stay safe, what to do in an emergency, how to choose age-appropriate activities and how to recognize and handle a variety of behaviors. Course participants will also learn the basics of starting a babysitting business. The course only takes about four hours to complete and can be broken up over multiple days to fit student  schedules.

Learning with others

The American Red Cross’ Babysitter’s Training in-person course is a perfect option for 11-15-year-olds for more in-depth and in-person training.  Similar to the online course, the Babysitter’s Training  enhances the experience with “hands-on instruction, the opportunity to practice the skills with each other and with the instructor guiding them,” states Todd James, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross of North Central Ohio. This one-day course is offered several times throughout the year.

The skills that are learned through both the online and in-person classes are important for providing good and safe care. “Tweens, teens or even adults who are babysitting and haven’t had this kind of training – it’s beneficial to them,” remarks James. “Every kid I know that has gone through it really enjoyed the class and used the skills well beyond their tween years.

To get more information about taking a babysitting training course through the American Red Cross, call 419-422-9322 or visit