QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
'Tis the season for gatherings and New Year's celebrations and local experts remind parents to make sure their babysitters are qualified.
American Red Cross officials say more people will be looking for babysitters as we wrap up the holiday season.. Adams County Red Cross Executive Director Pam Shaffer says to make sure your babysitter is trained and has experience.
Shaffer says the Red Cross offers a class to teach babysitters how to handle many situations.
"Babysitters that are trained that have taken the course will know how to feed, diaper, how to play games and activities," Shaffer said. "How to keep them safe for ages up to 10 years old."
The American Red Cross says about half of all parents choose a family member to watch their kids and 55 percent of families stay home because they can't find a babysitter. Shaffer says the Red Cross training course makes older children more qualified to babysit, offering valuable life lessons that extend beyond babysitting.
"It also teaches the kids who have taken the training how to build a resume," Shaffer said. "It also teaches them how to talk to parents and find out what the parents are expecting from them when they are gone."
If you want to get your child trained in babysitting, Shaffer said the American Red Cross holds babysitting classes every other month. The Red Cross also offers an online course that teaches 11 to 15-year-olds the basics. The online course takes about four hours to complete. To find out how to sign up for the babysitting course, click here.