Instructor Guide

Time Framework
Course Outline


Babysitting Basics is a program for beginning babysitters (ages 9-12). The program focuses on safety, child-tending skills and first aid. The program utilizes the workbook, Babysitting Basics - A How-to Workbook for Beginning Babysitters. The workbook is designed for independent study or can be used in a classroom setting. This guideline sheet suggests ways the workbook can be used in a classroom setting or in conjunction with a babysitting course. Other uses include sitter-saturday, health fairs, PTA special events, safety week, child abuse prevention events, etc.

Time Framework

Four to six hours total instruction time with minimum allocations of two hours to child-tending skill and two hours to safety and first aid. In addition to in-class assignments and activities, five additional practice activities are requested for successful completion.


Instructors are required to have teaching and leadership experience with the specific age group they are teaching. Instructor guidelines are for use by teachers, teacher's aides, first aid instructors, nurses, youth leaders, trained community volunteers, health educators, etc. American Red Cross training in Standard First Aid and CPR certification is recommended.


Required Student Textbook - Babysitting Basics - A How-to Workbook for Beginning Babysitters.

Optional Materials

Telephones - cell and touch tone. Baby Resuscitation Manikin (available at the Red Cross or other community resources). Large baby doll. Baby clothes (diapers). Bandages.

Guidelines - Suggestions

The first five chapters focus on safety, child-tending skills, and first-aid. Repetition, questions and learning activities reinforce the concepts taught. Answers are provided at the end of each chapter to ensure that the material is learned correctly. However, encourage children to try to answer the questions and complete the activities without first looking at the answers. They will learn more if they carefully study the material and find the answers for themselves. In the last chapter, the babysitter is instructed to practice many of the techniques taught in Chapters 1 through 5. Practical experience helps the sitter solidity his or her knowledge and develop useful skills.


I. Be a Super Sitter, Chapter 1

  • Discuss when a sitter is and is not ready to be a babysitter
  • Assign the students to ask a parent if they are ready to babysit
  • Complete all activities of Chapter 1
  • Check all answers. Reinforce concepts taught

II. Think Safety First, Chapter 2

  • Be careful not to frighten the students
  • Role play telephone conversation and answering the door
  • Read story on page 8 (outside noises) and discuss Kristi's options
  • Assign students to develop a fire plan with their parents, based on what they learned on page 9
  • Complete all activities including review activities
  • Complete practice activity 2 in Chapter 6

III. Handle With Care, Chapter 3

  • Reserve and obtain a baby resuscitation manikin for use in demonstrating the procedure taught. If unavailable, a large baby doll can be used
  • Demonstrate and practice baby-tending skills taught on the manikin or baby doll
  • Have a mother bring her small baby to class and demonstrate baby-tending skills
  • Discuss why babysitters should not bathe a baby if they are not experienced and are not comfortable with this procedure
  • Read and discuss the information on page 24, second column, about crying babies. Emphasize that it is okay to get help if the baby will not stop crying.
  • Complete all activities including the review activity. Assign students to do practice activities 1 and 3 in Chapter 6. Students may also bring their own large baby dolls to practice on.

IV. Sharpen Your Skills, Chapter 4

  • Discuss the issue of toddler's attention span, interests, problems, etc.
  • Role play the story of David and Jason
  • Have students tell about experiences with younger brothers or sisters
  • Teach songs and games that toddlers and young children would like
  • Discuss and assign practice activity 4 in Chapter 6. Have students report back on what they experienced.
  • Have students check their answers to all Chapter 4 activities

V. Accidents Will Happen, Chapter 5

  • This unit should be divided into two teaching sessions due to the amount of material covered in Chapter 5. The first session should cover pages 32 through 37. Second session to cover pages 38 through 42.
  • Contact local Red Cross or other health professionals to give assistance to you in teaching First Aid skills and CPR.
  • Stress that the first rule of First Aid is to STAY CALM!
  • Have students read each story silently, then have them read the story aloud. Discuss stories and have students complete activities.
  • Have students role play stories either in front of the class or with a partner in small groups. Emphasize the proper skills used in each story.
  • Do not instill overconfidence in performing these skills.
  • Baby resuscitation manikins may be available through the Red Cross or other health education providers. Check with the manikin owner for specific decontamination procedures. Give each student the opportunity to practice on the baby manikin.
  • Have the student complete practice activities in Chapter 6. Complete it in class under proper direction.
  • Show students the "quick look-up" at the end of the book. Have students practice looking up First Aid procedures.

VI. Course Completion

  • Upon completion of the workbook and all accompanying activities a parent, teacher or adviser is asked to sign the completion award at the end of the book. This award serves as a reward for sincere effort. Mounting or framing it will enhance its importance to the babysitter.
  • You may want to have a Special Awards Presentation where parents may attend.
  • Encourage students to review their workbook often and to have the workbook with them when they babysit.