The Kelowna & District Safety Council is now accepting registrations for its fall Babysitter Training Courses at the People Place in Vernon.
These classes have been scheduled to coincide with Vernon School District Pro-D Days, and will offer a fun way for kids ages 10 to 12 to learn a new skill while providing parents with an option for keeping their kids busy on a day off from school.
“This is our first year offering the course in Vernon,” says Tania Meyer executive director. “In addition to Vernon residents, kids from Cherryville, Armstrong, Enderby, and even Salmon Arm have been registering for these courses.
“We started with one pilot course over spring break to test the waters and that ended up developing into nine courses this year. So far, we’ve had over 200 children from the North Okanagan participate in these courses and we still have two courses to go. It has been really exciting to see the program grow, and it’s obviously something that is needed and wanted in the community.”
The two-day courses are scheduled for Sept. 21 and 23 and Oct. 25 and 26; both courses encompass a Saturday date as well as a Monday or a Friday that fall on the school district Pro-D Days. Open to boys and girls ages 10 and up, the course offers a full 10 hours of actual training.
Many important topics will be discussed, such as the rights and responsibilities of the employer, the child, and the babysitter, and the developmental and behavioral characteristics of children of different ages. Basic child care, nutrition, injury prevention, emergencies, age-appropriate play, and basic first aid procedures will also be covered. A special component of the course will prepare babysitters for handling the special needs of children who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, speech impaired, and mentally challenged.
Online registration is available through KDSC’s website at www.kdsc.bc.ca or toll-free at 1-888-580-7233. When registering by phone, the cost is $65, but parents can save $5 by registering online for $60. As KDSC is a non-profit organization, there are no taxes on its children’s safety programs. Cost includes a KDSC Babysitter Tote Bag, a comprehensive student reference manual, a graduation certificate and wallet card.
“Although the Canada Safety council recommends that children don’t start babysitting until they are 12 years old, the reality is that many 10 -to 12-year-olds help care for their younger siblings, and this course will give them the skills and information necessary to be much safer and aware babysitters and helpers,” says Meyer. “Many parents also register their children in this course as an alternative to Home Alone classes, as the curriculum covered in this Babysitting course is much more in-depth than Home Alone curriculum.”
KDSC is a non-profit organization and operates the Little Travellers’ Safety Village as well as a motorcycle and driver training facility. Visit www.kdsc.bc.ca or call 1-888-580-7233 for more information.