Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Extension 4-H Youth and Family Development Babysitters' Program!
The goal of the 4-H Babysitters' Program is to keep children safe by educating participants to become responsible, caring, trustworthy, respectful, competent babysitters. When these participants care for children and eventually have children of their own, they will have learned, through this course, the skills necessary to create a positive child care cycle.
The 4-H Youth and Family Development Program empowers youth to develop knowledge and life skills which will enable them to attain their full potential and enhances the capabilities of individuals and families to care for and nurture children.
Cooperative Extension has a 75-year history of successfully developing youth potential through its educational 4-H youth development programs. Babysitting is only one of hundreds of programs we offer. The strength of those programs is based on:
We hope you and your participants enjoy learning through this program.
The 4-H Babysitters' Program is a curriculum designed to better prepare young people for babysitting and child care by educating them to become capable, caring, responsible babysitters. This program is recommended for youth 12 years of age and older. The program consists of six sessions, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours in length. The objectives of the program are to:
The enclosed curriculum includes an outline for each session and suggestions for resources, activities, and preparation for the following session. We encourage you to involve the participants actively in each session and to involve outside resource people who have a reputation of working well with youth - nurses, firefighters, police, etc. are all possibilities. Hopefully, you will be able to locate some parents with young children who would be willing to be part of a session or two. The sequence we have used is one that we feel flows smoothly. If for some reason you are unable to schedule your resource people in that order, change the sequence of sessions. Be aware that you will need to change the assignments noted at the end of the sessions you change.
Working with groups of young people can be challenging at times. Here are some tips from the 4-H Because Youth Matter Self Study Course.
Overview of program.
Discuss babysitter's responsibilities.
Introduce "Babysitters' Magic Bag."
Guest Speakers from fire and/or police department who work will with youth
Discuss home safety, security precautions, fire prevention and safety.
Guest Speaker - first aid instructor, emergency medical technician, or nurse who is experienced in working with youth.
Demonstrate and practice first aid procedures.
Discuss safe and unsafe toys.
Guest Speaker - early childhood educator, pre-school teacher, day care provider, or someone from the community who has an established reputation of working well with children.
Other guest - baby, toddler, and/or child.
Discuss children's behavior and ages and stages of child development.
Demonstrate feeding, diapering, dressing, and holding a baby.
Guest Speakers - pre-school teacher or librarian; dietitian or someone with a background in nutrition and who works well with youth.
Participant's explain their "Babysitters' Magic Bag" and its contents.
Discuss feeding and entertaining children.
Prepare a nutritious snack.
Guest Speaker - parent and/or nursery or kindergarten teacher.
Discuss the parent(s)' expectations of a babysitter and working with children.
Role play some possible babysitting situations.
Conduct graduation - distribute participation certificates and wallet cards to those who successfully complete the course.
Encourage your guest speakers to bring any films, videos or other resources that they feel would be appropriate for their subject area.
Contact the local Cooperative Extension office, libraries, Red Cross, pediatricians, local schools, etc. for potential resources to enhance your program.
Write to or call companies which provide products for children. (Many have 800 numbers you can get by dialing 1-800-555-1212.)
Have participants look at teen magazines for related articles.
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