For teens who like kids, babysitting is a perennially popular way to earn money. But before venturing off to take care of other people's children, there are quite a few things to learn and questions to answer. This week's crop of websites will help put you on the path to babysitting success.
The American Red Cross offers babysitting training through their local chapters. To find a class in your town, follow the local chapter link, and enter your zip code in the search box. Although the class is not offered online, the American Red Cross site does provide eight valuable printables, such as a three-page Babysitter's Report Record (an easy way to communicate successes, problems and telephone messages with parents) and a one-page Family Information Card (important data and phone numbers for parents to leave for a sitter.)
Googolplex is an online magazine for teens, from University Credit Union, with an emphasis on making money. This page deals with treating your babysitting as a business. Visit to learn about creating a business plan (How often do you want to babysit?), finding investors (who will pay for a first-aid class?) and advertising. Click on any of the brown-highlighted phrases to view more details in a popover window.
"A good babysitter is: mature, trustworthy, patience, safety-consciousness, organized, prepared, fun and punctual. If you feel you have these qualities you may be cut out to babysit." The Kids' Turn Central introduces babysitting with five pages about finding jobs, safety, and keeping the kids busy. Best clicks are the five printable checklists that should be filled out before you sit. They include General Information, Children's Information, Safety Information, Emergency Numbers, and About You (a place for the sitter to leave phone numbers and other contact data for the parents.)
"Babysitting might be the number one way other people your age are earning some bucks, but that doesn't mean you should automatically enjoy it or be ready to do it. How do you know if it's right for you?" PBS Kids helps you answer this important question with a step-by-step guide to becoming the best babysitter you can be. In addition to the advice articles, there are polls, games about making and managing money, and printable journal pages where you can record your own thoughts and babysitting experiences.
Developed by teachers at the University of Illinois Extension, this is the most comprehensive babysitting guide available online at no cost. The site is full of excellent tips, such as this one filed under Good Business Practices: "Tell your parents immediately if a parent acts inappropriately with you. And do not babysit there again." Best clicks include templates for flyers to advertise your babysitting business, and the Putting It All Together babysitting puzzle.