There was a time when the only qualification for being a babysitter was willingness. Sometimes a convenient relative could be talked into the job, or a teenage girl from next door would do. Pay was usually minimum wage or lower because the babysitters were only trying to augment their allowances a little anyway.

Now things have changed for both the babysitters and for their customers. Parents feel justified in requiring a higher skill level from the sitters they hire, and online rating and babysitter training services have sprung up in response to the demand.

At the same time, the demographic profile of the average sitter has changed radically since the olden days. Many of them are no longer teenage girls looking for pocket change. Since higher skill is now required, babysitters can ask higher pay than they once did, and the job has become more attractive for adults. The term “professional babysitter” once seemed a bit ridiculous, but it is now a viable occupation enjoyed by thousands. More will certainly follow.

Because of these changes, sitters are asking some of the same questions asked by job-seekers in other lines of work. They are aware that better babysitter training will look good on their resumes so they are wondering where they can get it. They are wondering what parents are looking for in a babysitter, and how they can increase their chances of getting hired. They want to know how to get repeat business, good references, respected credentials and all the other things that lead to a prosperous, long-term occupation.

Sources of training and information for sitters are appearing in many places including some names that will be familiar. Babysitter training classes are often offered by gyms, churches, hospitals, civic groups and private companies. Fees are usually low, and there is also a lot of free information out there to help the newcomer to the field.

One of the best sources of sitter training and information is the Red Cross. Their website is a goldmine of information including a free online babysitter training handbook and babysitting training classes sold for very reasonable prices. When Red Cross babysitter training classes are successfully completed, the students get printable diplomas providing an industry standard that parents can trust.

As with all highly respected industry standards, this one is the key to jobs. A job-seeker with a diploma from an impeccable source like the Red Cross can be assured of employment and ask top pay. Parents will know they’re getting a well-trained professional, and they will pay accordingly.

Babysitting is a real profession now, and that trend will only increase. Those who get babysitter training classes now will be congratulating themselves in the future.