I was reminiscing about my first job recently. Though my parents had provided an allowance for completing certain chores, the first time I worked outside of the home and received pay from a non-relative was at the age of 12. Our neighbors had young children and needed a night out every once in awhile. As the responsible oldest sibling (out of 4) they felt safe enough to allow me to put their kids to bed and go dinner. My reward for playing with kids and putting them to bed was $10. I was then hooked on earning money!

This first job opportunity taught me a lot. I learned how to manage young kids in a calm, yet playful way. I also learned about time management, being respectful of an employer, advocating for my needs (when they had a 3rd child, I asked for a raise), and how to save the money I earned (for a pair of LA Gear sneakers). While age 12 was a long time ago, the lessons learned from obtaining and maintaining this first job I still use to this day.

Child care is often a job that teens seek out. The hours can be flexible, parents with children need help so there’s always a demand, and often the teen is able to offer their services to family friends who they already know and trust. However babysitting does require skill.

Better Babysitters is a course offered for 11-14 year olds to give them skills needed to be safe and successful babysitters. It was recently highlighted in ParentMap magazine and offers courses in Seattle & Bellevue, & Everett with a course coming to Federal Way soon. Register for upcoming classes here!

In this class, students will learn about:

  • Responsible babysitting
  • Basic child development
  • Infant and child care
  • Safety and injury prevention
  • How to handle emergencies
  • Age-appropriate toys
  • Business tips
  • What parents expect

I would have loved a course like this when I was 12! If you or your teen are looking for ways to remain busy, opportunities to earn money, or have an interest in learning how to take on a bit more responsibility I recommend a course like Better Babysitters.