Babysitting/Child Care Class Graduates!
A graduation celebration was held on January 5, 2013 for participants of Babysitting/Child Care Class offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Fremont County. Twenty-three youth in grades 4 through 8 were given certificates of completion for attending a 6 hour course on December 8th. During instruction, participants learned about safety, child development, discipline, nutrition, entertaining children, SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome, first aid, personal safety, and the business of babysitting. The course was taught by Mandy Maher, Extension & Outreach Program Coordinator, and Heidi Lowthorp, Growing Strong Families Parent Educator. The curriculum that was used was developed in support of Army Child & Youth Services and National 4-H outreach efforts, and emphasized the pillars of good character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.
“During the class, the kids learned a lot about taking care of younger children, but even the 4th graders, who are not yet old enough to babysit independently, gained skills that will make them better helpers with younger siblings or cousins. One participant even commented that she felt more confident staying home by herself, which shows that not only did they learn about caring for others, but they also learned about personal care and safety,” said Maher. “The effects of programs like this are far-reaching, “ continued Maher. “These kids are developing confidence and good citizenship skills, all while learning how to serve others through caretaking. These are the kinds of skills that will help them be better employees, better parents and better community members long after they’ve outgrown evening babysitting jobs. We’re really proud of the way our Youth Development programs impact Fremont County youth.”
Each of the class participants was asked to complete an evaluation. They assessed their knowledge of various topics at the beginning of the class, as well as at the end of the class. Based on the evaluations, measurable growth was achieved in areas such as The Characteristics of a Good Babysitter, Things to Consider Before You Babysit, Child Development, Entertaining Young Children, Discipline, Bath & Bedtime, SIDS & Shaken Baby, Making Healthy Snacks, Bottle Feeding, First Aid, Fire Safety, Poison Control, Personal Safety, Home Safety and the Business of Babysitting. Participants noted that some of their favorite things were making Boo-Boo Bunnies and role-playing emergency situations. They also enjoyed the opportunity to practice using fire extinguishers under the direction of Sidney Fire Department volunteers, Cherie and Brandon Van Scyoc.
Following the graduation ceremony, Michelle Bolander, a volunteer with Sidney Fire and Rescue, instructed the group on Infant, Child and Adult CPR. Seven youth took the initiative to be tested on their new skills and become certified. “I was so impressed that these kids were willing to take on the responsibility of knowing how to save lives. We just provided a whole new pool of young people who know what to do in an emergency situation, “ said Maher. “How amazing is that?!”
Babysitting/Child Care Class is just one of many programs provided by ISU Extension & Outreach-Fremont County. It is offered to area youth every other year and rotates with Farm Safety. Both programs are part of Fremont County 4-H and Youth Development. Any child in grades 4-12 interested in joining 4-H is encouraged to contact the Fremont County Extension Office by calling 712-374-2351, emailing email@example.com, visiting our website at www.extension.iastate.edu/fremont, or finding us on Facebook by searching Fremont County 4-H, Iowa.
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