Are Babysitting Certifications Important? Which Ones Should Sitters Have?

July 28, 2016

Child care expert and founder, Martha Scully, explains the importance of babysitting certifications. In addition, she defines what babysitting certifications are, what type of training is typically included and the benefits for families and sitters.

Hiring a Qualified Babysitter Is Not Something to Overlook

Hiring a babysitter is an important decision for parents. You want someone who not only gets along with the kids but has experience and credentials. Babysitting certifications help prove a sitter’s credentials.

While an older sibling or family member is preferable, it’s not always an option, and parents need to look externally for a babysitter. Good news is, there are lots of babysitters in your area, and you just need to know where to find them. (Hint – is a great place to start!)

Knowing that your kids are in good hands when you are away from them is paramount. The last thing you want to be worrying about during date night or at a work function is whether or not the kids are safe and with the right person. This is why hiring a sitter who has babysitting certifications is so important.

From a sitter’s perspective, taking a babysitting certification course ensures that you know how to handle common and uncommon babysitting situations. It also makes it easier for parents to trust you, something that can lead to a regular babysitting gig!

So What Are Babysitter Certifications, Anyway?

Gone are the days when you leave the baby with their older brother or sister and don’t think twice about it. Today, parents are more cautious about whom they leave their children with, and many prefer leaving the kids with a person who has taken a babysitter certification course or has comparable experience. Can you blame them?

Babysitting certifications are courses that are offered through a number of organizations such as

  • Community groups
  • Charities
  • Schools and churches

Many of these organizations offer babysitting courses for people aged 11 and up, and many courses are even offered online for your convenience. One of the best organizations for training and one that offers courses across the country is the Red Cross.

These courses provide caregivers with the training and skills they need to be a responsible and effective sitter. Typically, the courses are divided into a number of sessions, and upon completion, individuals will be educated and prepared to handle a variety of situations that will/could arise during childcare.

Babysitting course participants will learn:

  • Babysitting duties and responsibilities
  • Childcare procedures
  • How to care for one or more children
  • Crisis and emergency response training
  • Abuse recognition
  • Other topics related to babysitting and childcare

While there are some free babysitting courses, they do not offer certification. Babysitter certifications range from $20 - $40 on average.

The Importance of Babysitter Certifications for Parents

Hiring a certified caregiver is important to parents for a number of reasons:

  • Peace of mind: The simple fact that you know someone with experience and someone who is educated about babysitting best practices will give you peace of mind in knowing your kids are in good hands.

  • Better care for your kids: Caregivers will be able to provide better overall care for your kids. They will know how to keep them occupied, safe, and happy.

  • A level of expectation: When you hire a certified babysitter, you know that you can expect a certain level of care.

The Importance of Babysitting Certifications for Caregivers

As a sitter, having as much experience and training as possible is important. It also is beneficial for many reasons:

  • Preparedness: The truth is that you never know what could happen when babysitting. Having a babysitting certification will help you be prepared, give you a game plan, and ensure you know what to do and how to react in a variety of situations that could arise.

  • Confidence: Taking a babysitting course will reinforce your skills and knowledge and give you the confidence you need to be a successful caregiver. You will know what to do, how to handle situations, and be ready for anything.

  • Increase in pay: One of the overlooked perks of getting a babysitter certification is that you can ask for more money because you have more experience and skills. Many parents are also more willing to pay more for qualified babysitters.

These are all good reasons why you should consider taking a babysitter certification course if you plan to babysit.

Other Forms of Training to Complement Babysitting Certifications

In addition to babysitting certifications, there are many other complementary training courses that babysitters can take to improve their knowledge and skills, including:

  • CPR and first aid training: Important to have in general, but especially important to have as a caregiver for kids of all ages.
  • Infant care training: This will provide you with specific information for how to care for infants and younger children.
  • Water safety training: Always good to have, especially if you are caring for kids in and around water – lakes, ponds, beach, swimming pools.
  • Driver training: Important if you will be driving children around.

You can never be too prepared when it comes to childcare. Anything and everything can and will happen, and having some or all of the above training, coupled with a babysitter certification, will make you a prepared caregiver.


Babysitting certifications are a great thing to have. Whether you are a teenager looking to make some extra money, an older sibling watching brothers and sisters, a full-time nanny, or someone who watches the kids occasionally, this form of training will prepare you for the things to expect and how to handle situations. It will make you a better sitter, and make your job easier. If you babysit regularly, consider getting a babysitter certification.

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