Healthy Communities

Becoming a babysitter

29 December 2023 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto

Does your child want to start babysitting to earn some money and gain independence? 


Babysitting is a rite of passage — a first job for many young people. You may have grown up at a time when popping over to your neighbour’s house to watch their kids without having any training was the norm; nowadays, preteens have the option of being more prepared. 


Taking a Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course at the YMCA of Greater Toronto equips your child with the knowledge and skills to be a top-notch babysitter. They learn leadership and first aid basics and become confident in their ability to face any babysitting situation. Plus, with their certificate, they’ll be in high demand and be able to charge higher rates. 



Qualifications for babysitting  

great babysitter respects and cares about younger children. They know how to entertain and have fun with little ones and, most importantly, how to keep them safe. 


A good babysitter should: 

  • Be responsible and dependable 
  • Be trustworthy and caring 
  • Understand what activities and games are appropriate for children of different ages 
  • Know first aid and what to do in an emergency 


While there’s no law requiring babysitters to have training, getting a certificate from a reputable program proves to client families that your child has learned how to care for younger kids properly and how to handle crises. 



Where to get certified as a babysitter 

Choose a course for your wannabe babysitter that’s highly regarded, such as the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course 


Conveniently offered at YMCA Health and Fitness Centres throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course costs $75. It is available as a day-long or three- or four-part series of shorter sessions. 


To register for the course at a time and location that works for youvisit the Y Guide. 



About the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course 

Meant for beginners ages 11 to 15this program covers the following topics: 

  • First aid skills 
  • How to recognize and prevent unsafe situations, make safe choices, and promote safe behaviours 
  • How to be responsible and demonstrate leadership 
  • How to make good decisions and manage challenging behaviours 
  • Children’s developmental stages and specific strategies for each stage 
  • How to feed, diaper, dress, and play with children and babies 
  • The business of babysitting 

While accidents are rare, you never know what can happen when kids are involved. That’s why the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course emphasizes first-aid knowledge and draws on the organization’s history of delivering first-aid training to teach new babysitters what to do in a situation that requires medical care. 


The first aid content includes: 

  • The “Check, call, and care” approach 
  • When and how to phone EMS/911 
  • Conscious choking for adultchildbaby, and when alone 
  • CPR for babies and children 
  • Illness 
  • Asthmaincluding use of inhaler and spacer 
  • Anaphylaxis, including use of an EpiPen 
  • Poisoning 
  • Insect stings 
  • Wound care for minor cuts and scrapes, splinters, nosebleeds, bumps and bruises, life-threatening bleeding, and burns 
  • Head, neck, and back injuries 
  • Broken bones 
  • Seizures 

Participants receive a workbook to help guide them through the lessons, which becomes a handy reference guide after the course. Once your child has successfully completed the programthey receive a certificate. 



How much do babysitters get paid? 

Rates vary depending on location, age, experience of the babysitter, how many children need looking after, and whether it’s a special occasion like New Year’s Eve. 


On average, babysitters in the GTA should charge between $16 and $20 an hour for taking care of one child. Certified babysitters with a lot of experience are in high demand and can charge higher rates. And your child can charge more for watching extra kids or doing additional tasks like housework. 


During the course, your child learns business skills like promoting themselves as babysitters to potential families. 



Babysitting promises to deepen and enhance the responsibility that your youth feels when caring for younger children. To ensure they feel confident to deal with any situation in their first job, sign up your soon-to-be babysitter for the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. 



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