Best Babysitting Certification Programs

Safe Sitter offers the best variety of safety courses and babysitting lessons

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Babysitting is a young entrepreneur’s dream job: You get to set your own hours and choose who you work for, all while gaining valuable experience with kids and building your skills in things like time management, multitasking, conflict resolution, and patience. Whether you’re working your way through college, trying to supplement your income with a side job, or looking for a full-time career, a love of kids isn’t enough to get you the kind of quality sitting gigs you want.

To be successful, you must be a confident, knowledgeable, and qualified babysitter. You not only need to be a big hit with the kids, but also someone who can truly handle things while the parents are out. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is with a certification or training class. Aside from the child care and safety knowledge you’ll acquire, babysitting certification programs look good on your resume. Here's a roundup of the best babysitting certification programs available.

The Best Babysitting Certification Programs of 2023

Best Overall : Safe Sitter


Safe Sitter

 Safe Sitter

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: Safety, first aid, child care skills, behavior management, business tips
  • Student ages: 11+ (young teens grades 6-8)
  • Pricing: Varies, depending on course, facility, instructor
Why We Chose It

We love the variety of options offered through Safe Sitter, including the ability to take classes online or at a local community facility (where available) and the ease with which you can become an instructor yourself and assist other sitters in your community.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Interactive courses led by registered instructors

  • Virtual and in-person classes available

  • Teaches safety, life, and business skills for young sitters

Cons
  • Can be difficult to find in-person classes in search feature

Overview

Safe Sitter was founded by Dr. Patricia Keener in 1980 after she learned that the child of one of her colleagues suffered a fatal choking incident while in the care of an adult babysitter. When you sign up for an in-person or online Safe Sitter course, you can learn from a number of qualified educators in all 50 states; these instructors always have at least two years of experience in either health or child care and have completed Safe Sitter’s instructor training.

In the courses, you’ll learn safety skills for indoor, outdoor, and online settings, child care skills such as behavior management, business skills like wage-setting and meeting employers, and first aid skills including injury management and choking rescue (CPR is available as an added component). There is also an introductory babysitting class, as well as a short course on staying safe at home alone for kids in grades six to eight.

Best for Sibling Sitters : American Red Cross Babysitting Basics


American Red Cross

 American Red Cross

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: Safety, emergency preparedness, age-appropriate activities for kids, babysitting business basics
  • Student ages: 11+
  • Pricing: $45
Why We Chose It

The Babysitting Basics course is a perfect introduction to the world of babysitting and a great way to introduce responsible kids in this age group to babysitting for their younger siblings.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Online class allows kids to work at their own pace

  • Teaches the basics of babysitting safety, emergency, and caring for young kids

Cons
  • No in-person component or hands-on instruction

Overview

The American Red Cross is well known for its health and safety training programs and it currently offers three levels of babysitter courses online. Based entirely online, the Babysitting Basics course is made up of six training modules featuring games, activities, videos, and a final exam. Participants will learn how to care for children of all ages, stay safe and manage emergencies or injuries, entertain their young charges, and get their babysitting business off the ground.

The course takes about four hours to complete and can be done on your own schedule. When you successfully pass your final exam, the Red Cross will send you a digital certificate with a unique identifying code, so anyone can easily verify your certification from a smartphone or computer.

Best Budget : Kidproof Babysitter Training Program


Kidproof

 Kidproof

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: How to get a babysitting job and how much to charge, activities for kids, safety, accident prevention, first aid, emergency response
  • Student ages: 10+
  • Pricing: Varies, approximately $40
Why We Chose It

Considering that you receive comprehensive materials, assistance, and flexibility for a reasonable cost, Kidproof training is our budget pick.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable program cost

  • Flexibility with online curriculum

Cons
  • Difficult to find classes listed online

Overview

Just like Safe Sitter, this program was founded by a community member wanting to provide a much-needed service. As a police officer with expertise in child and family safety, Samantha Wilson created Kidproof in Canada in 2000. The company has since expanded, with the Kidproof Babysitter Training Program now available internationally online.

Enroll in the training and you’ll follow a five-step program to becoming a better babysitter. It involves learning how to present yourself as a knowledgeable sitter to families, select the best jobs for your skills, care for kids of all ages, prevent and respond to accidents or emergencies, and perform basic first aid measures.

When you sign up for the Kidproof Babysitter Training Program, you get an e-handbook, virtual teacher assistance, and six months to complete the coursework at your own pace (it takes about 130 minutes).

Best for Pediatric CPR : American Heart Association’s Heartsaver Training


American Heart Association

American Heart Association 

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: First aid, emergency response, preventing injuries, treating injuries and illnesses, how to respond to choking, burns, allergic reactions, drowning, broken bones, sprains, and more
  • Student ages: 14+
  • Pricing: $20 for virtual class, plus additional cost for in-person session
Why We Chose It

If you’re looking to supplement your babysitting education with medical training, the American Heart Association is our top choice for emergency response and CPR training.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Options for hybrid learning (online and in-person) or in-classroom

  • Comprehensive first aid and response courses

Cons
  • Must re-certify every two years

Overview

The American Heart Association's pediatric Heartsaver training not only teaches people who work with kids how to provide care in a cardiac emergency until help arrives, but it also covers numerous aspects of first aid, from accidental poisoning and burns to allergic reactions, nose bleeds, and broken bones.

Most appropriate for teen and adult caregivers, the pediatric Heartsaver training is a comprehensive course in choking rescue and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which includes airway ventilation and chest compressions) for children and infants. Since these lifesaving procedures are different for babies and kids than adults, it’s important to have specific pediatric training. Completing a program like this one as a babysitter can give you and your employing families extra confidence in your ability to provide care in an emergency until professional help arrives.

Because of the physical nature of learning correct CPR procedures, there is a necessary in-person component to the AHA’s training. You can complete the majority of the training online, but you will need to arrange for a hands-on skill session with a local AHA instructor before you receive your completion card, which is good for two years (contact your local AHA training center for renewal requirements).

Best On-the-Spot Certification : Babysitting Certification Institute


Babysitting Certification Institute

 Babysitting Certification Institute

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: Safety, emergency preparedness, responsibility, caring for young children
  • Student ages: 14+
  • Pricing: $95
Why We Chose It

The Babysitting Certification Institute program is a completely web-based option designed to give you everything you need to start babysitting.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ideal for first-time babysitters

  • 100% online course can be completed at your own pace

Cons
  • Must re-certify every 12 months

Overview

The course was created by people with childcare and babysitting experience. It also includes up-to-date CPR and first aid information. Evaluation and instant certification make this program really shine.

The Babysitting Certification Institute says it teaches "the four B’s of child care: Be Prepared, Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Fun.” It recommends the course for first-time babysitters or anyone wanting to get more comfortable with caring for children. But the main advantage here is convenience: The course and certification exam are 100% online and can take just a few hours.

For $95, you’ll receive everything you need to work through the course. If you pass the test with at least 80% correct responses, your certification will immediately arrive via email. If you don’t pass, you can retake the test as many times as needed until you score 80%. Your certification is good for 12 months and the institute offers recertification training at a discount of $65 for returning sitters wanting to refresh their credentials.

Best for Advanced Sitters : American Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training


American Red Cross

 American Red Cross

Key Specs
  • Topics covered: Advanced babysitting skills, child discipline, leadership, professionalism, child safety, and emergency preparedness
  • Student ages: Adult
  • Pricing: $45
Why We Chose It

Appropriate for older kids and adults with some experience babysitting, the advanced course from the AHA moves past learning about age-appropriate activities and teaches you how to conduct your babysitting gigs with professionalism and safety in mind.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Teaches advanced techniques and babysitting skills

  • Develops professional babysitting business expertise

Cons
  • Not an advanced certification for child care providers

Overview

For sitters who are ready to move to the next level of babysitting (longer hours, more kids, more responsibilities), the Babysitting Basics course offered by the American Red Cross won’t be comprehensive enough. The organization's Advanced Child Care Training course kicks your preparation up a notch, however, allowing you to more confidently handle complex babysitting scenarios.

You’ll learn how to manage challenging child behaviors, present yourself as a confident and competent sitter to parents, and implement disciplinary practices when necessary. There are even opportunities to make choices in real-time during the course and see how animated characters respond to your decisions.

Like the Babysitting Basics class, the modules are available completely online for you to work through at your own pace. The cost for the course is $45 and you’ll receive a unique digital certificate of completion that can easily be verified by your employing families.

Final Verdict

With classes available online and in-person across all 50 states, Safe Sitter is our pick for the best overall babysitting certification program. The organization offers courses that teach babysitting business skills, safety for childcare, CPR, and important first-aid lessons. The variety of classes, including a separate course for children staying home alone, make Safe Sitter's selection of lessons a great certification for any young adult looking to begin babysitting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Babysitting Certification Program?

There’s no one standardized “babysitter certification,” but there are many organizations offering their own programs to help babysitters become more knowledgeable in child care and prepared for their new responsibilities as a sitter.

Many of these classes are offered in-person, although there are more and more online options now, too. They are typically designed by child care and first aid safety experts, with in-person classes usually taught by these experts as well. Some online courses are self-administered, meaning you can follow the program on your own and at your own speed, while others are run by virtual instructors.

Who Should Consider Taking a Babysitting Certification Program?

Anyone who will be caring for school-age children in a home environment would benefit from taking a babysitting certification class. Although they are geared toward young adults and teens, adults are usually welcome to participate as well.

It’s especially beneficial if you are hoping to make good money babysitting—with a certification, you may be offered jobs from families looking for more experienced sitters and you may be able to negotiate a slightly higher rate if, for example, you know infant CPR.

What Will You Learn From a Babysitting Certification Program?

The material covered depends on the class. Some are simply introductions to child care, teaching you basic infant and newborn care, activity planning, and what to do in an emergency. Others are more in-depth, adding in education about setting your babysitting rates and presenting yourself confidently in family interviews. Most include simple first aid and safety education, though not all have certification for infant and child CPR.

How Much Do Babysitting Certification Programs Cost?

Most babysitting certification programs run about $45. Some are a bit more expensive, depending on the course materials and resources included. None of the programs we researched cost more than $100.

The only exception is if you’re incorporating a CPR component or taking a separate CPR course; because of the level of expertise needed to certify you in lifesaving procedures with qualified instructors, this can add another $100, on average, to your overall training expenses.

What Do Most Babysitters Get Paid?

Though rates vary by location and expertise, the average rate for babysitters nationwide is $20 per hour, according to Sittercity. The rates can increase depending on your certifications, number of children under your care, and the activities planned with the kids. Typically, parents also tip babysitters in addition to the hourly rate.

Compare the Best Babysitting Certification Programs

Organization  Topics Covered Student Ages Pricing
Safe Sitter: Best Overall Safety, first aid, child care skills, behavior management, business tips 11+  Varies
American Red Cross Babysitting Basics: Best for Sibling Sitters Safety, emergency preparedness, age-appropriate activities for kids, babysitting business basics 11+ $45
Kidproof Babysitter Training Program: Best Budget How to get a babysitting job and how much to charge, activities for kids, safety, accident prevention, first aid, emergency response 10+ Varies, approximately $40
American Heart Association’s Heartsaver Training: Best for Pediatric CPR First aid, emergency response, preventing injuries, treating injuries and illnesses, how to respond to choking, burns, allergic reactions, drowning, broken bones, sprains  14+ $20 for virtual class, plus additional cost for in-person session
 Babysitting Certification Institute: Best On-the-Spot Certification Safety, emergency preparedness, responsibility, caring for young children  14+  $95
American Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training: Best for Advanced Sitters Advanced babysitting skills, child discipline, leadership, professionalism, child safety, emergency preparedness Adult $45

Methodology

If you want your babysitting credentials to make an impact with families, you’ll have to get them from a reputable source. With that in mind, we chose programs offered by well-known organizations, like the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, so you know your course has been designed by knowledgeable experts. We also looked for programs that provide you with a certificate at the end, so hiring families can verify your credentials.

To make things a bit easier, we tried to only select courses that were available in full online. This is the case for every training on this list except for the hands-on session required to complete the AHA’s Heartsaver training. We also strived to select certification programs that are affordable.

a babysitter holding a book and reading to two small children

FatCamera / Getty Images

Article Sources
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  1. Sittercity. Average Babysitting Rate.

By Sarah Bradley
Sarah Bradley is a freelance health and parenting writer who has been published in Parents, the Washington Post, and more.