Overlake's teen/tween babysitting class makes a comeback

Education coordinator Susan Higley holds baby dolls that are used in the Overlake Hospital Medical Center’s Super Sitters babysitting class. - Katherine Ganter/Redmond Reporter
Education coordinator Susan Higley holds baby dolls that are used in the Overlake Hospital Medical Center’s Super Sitters babysitting class.
— image credit: Katherine Ganter/Redmond Reporter

A comprehensive babysitting course developed by Overlake Hospital Medical Center in 1983 has evolved through the decades and is making a comeback in Redmond this summer.

“Super Sitters” will be offered from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, June 26 at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, 16600 NE 80th St.

It’s designed for ages 11-17, with most participants between the ages of 11 and 14, according to Susan Higley, education coordinator for Overlake. Fee is $40 for Redmond residents and $48 for non-residents.

Presented either at the hospital or in “road trip” versions around the Eastside, the course covers basics such as feeding, burping and changing a baby, security in the home and the business of babysitting, such as how to find and retain clients. The old method of posting cards on a grocery store bulletin board is no longer recommended, for safety reasons.

“We’ve always tried to invite speakers from police and fire regarding safety measures and we’ll have a community member bring an infant or toddler in, to talk about what parents expect,” Higley explained. “It’s very useful for first-time sitters or those with very little experience. A trained 11-year-old who is interested can be a better sitter than a 16-year-old who wants to be on the phone with friends. Last year, we trained more than 1,400 sitters all together.”

The summer edition of Healthy Outlook, the Overlake Hospital publication, includes a feature about a girl who saved her younger sister from choking after learning the Heimlich maneuver in a Super Sitters class.

“We don’t teach CPR — that’s a separate, three-hour skill class,” Higley mentioned, “but we teach basic first aid and triage, when to call to parents or 911, what to do about a bruise or a bloody nose. Bedtime and discipline issues also are covered.”

Super Sitters is just one of Overlake’s many classes for teens and pre-teens this summer.

“Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Etiquette: Ages 7 to 10” is on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Bellevue Community College (BCC) North Campus 10700 Northrup Way, with a fee of $35. “Starting Points: Polish Your Social Skills: For girls and guys ages 11 to 16” is Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 12:30-4:30 p.m., also at BCC North, with a fee of $40.

These focus on building confidence in social situations, as well as including table manners and making good first impressions, said Higley.

“Mother and Daughter Safety Training,” from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, is for females age 14 and up and is useful for dating or going away to college.

“There are tips such as taking your iPod off when walking on campus — so you can be more alert about your surroundings — trusting your instincts, using buddy systems at a party, keeping your drinks close-by (so no one can drug them),” said Higley.

Fee for that class, at the BCC North Campus, is $55 per mother/daughter and $45 for each additional daughter.

If you miss the June 26 Super Sitters class in Redmond, the course will be repeated in other Eastside parks facilities this summer. For information, call (425) 688-5259 or visit

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