Safe Sitter classes at capacity...

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Baby-sitting looks like it's going to be as popular in the coming century as it was in the last. For many it was the way they earned their first money, and for even more American families having a babysitter was the only way they were able to make it to the PTA meeting, private anniversary dinner, or a night of square dancing while the kids were growing up.

As a community service here on the Peninsula, Central Peninsula General Hospital (CPGH) has sponsored a Safe Sitter program for the last several years. The program has proved huge success. Under the direction of Michelle Banta, CPGH Safe Sitter Coordinator, classes have been filling up in advance.

Classes are held for girls and boys 11 to 13 years of age. Last week's two-day program at the Church of God in Soldotna was filled several weeks in advance and Banta is already taking registrations for the next class to be held January 3rd and 4th.

The Safe Sitter Program is a medically accurate program that teaches young adolescents how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children. The maximum student to instructor ratio is 8 to 1 to ensure personal guidance. The goal of Safe Sitter is to reduce the number of avoidable and unintentional deaths among children being cared for by babysitters.

During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic life saving techniques and learn safety and security precautions. They also learn about the business aspects of babysitting. To successfully complete the Safe Sitter program the students have to pass a practical and written test to show that they have mastered the key components of the course.

The cost is $50 for the two-day class. Registration for the January class is available at the front desk at CPGH, or by contacting Michelle Banta at 262-8172. Information is also available on their web site at

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