SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted the base’s first-ever Safe Sitter babysitting class, Friday, for Schriever youth.
Six and a half hours’ worth to be exact.
The training provided multiple benefits. The training was free for the seven children, who ranged from 11 – 15 years of age. The class also saved the youth a trip to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, to receive the same training. In addition, having trained babysitters on base gives parents local options to maximize their time on their next date night.
The instructors explained to the students how serious babysitting really is.
“We really hammered that you are responsible for this child’s life – so you need to be focusing on the children you are caring for and how important that is,” explained Cheryl Jensen, A&FRC work life specialist and course facilitator.
To stress the gravity of such a responsibility, the course included CPR, choking rescue, first aid, how to call 911 and other vital childcare skills.
Additionally, instructors taught the youth how to stay safe as a babysitter themselves.
“We went over things like, ‘The parent that you’re babysitting for comes home drunk – what do you do?’” said Jensen.
Instructors also touched on ways to safely search for babysitting jobs.
The babysitters to be worked together to take on challenging scenarios throughout the course.
“Because there was a wide range of ages, some of the older kids were helping the younger kids who were kind of nervous or scared at first,” said Kendra Humphrey, A&FRC work life specialist.
Ultimately, these youth may find themselves in tough situations while taking care of children. The A&FRC is determined to make sure they are confident and prepared for what may come.
“It was giving them the skills and education to know how to handle a situation on their own. And I think that’s important for a lot of these children,” said Humphrey.
Hailey Johns, one of the aspiring babysitters, explained that the class was important for her personal skill development, as well as a lucrative opportunity.
"The class was great because they gave us many strategies to use when babysitting, especially regarding behavior of young children," she said. “(I also) wanted to take the class so (I) could legally babysit and make some cash."
The A&FRC hopes to host another babysitter course later this year.
For more information on Schriever’s Safe Sitter course, contact the A&FRC at 567-3920.