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Area youngsters look to babysitting for summer income.

Now that area schools are out for the summer, thousands of Central Ohio youngsters are looking for ways to stay busy. Some of them are foregoing summer camp and trips to the neighborhood pool for a jobs. One of the more popular options is babysitting. WOSU's Marilyn Smith reports. Eleven-year old Natalie and thirteen-year old Nathan Yoder have completed a training program at Childrens' Hospital and are ready to launch summer careers as babysitters. The Westerville siblings are making posters and putting up signs to alert local parents they're available to provide childcare. Natalie completed the training course in March.

Natalie says she learned how to feed and dress babies.

Nathan says he usually makes three to five dollars for babysitting and he spends most of his time playing with his young charges.

Nathan says he mostly watches movies with the smaller children.

That's typical according to Marcie Reimar. She is the Director of Educational Programs at Chilrens' Hospital and oversees the babysitter training course.

Reimer says Childrens' Hospital has offered the training class for more than twenty years. Beginning at age eleven girls and boys can take the class downtown or at the hospital's Dublin location.

Reimer says in addition to teaching the young sitters about age-appropriate activities, the class offers tips on basic child care.

Just north of downtown in Victorian Village six-year old Jack Blasko lives with his parents Joe and Stacey and his two younger sisters. Jack says he too, likes watching videos with his babysitters, especially Sponge Bob.

Stacey Blasko says the family usually requires babysitting services only once a month. But sometimes it's as often as twice a week. Stacey Blasko says she pays babysitters, typically students she has recruited from Ohio State, twelve to fifteen dollars an hour. She especially likes to recruit education or physical therapy majors.

Stacey Blasko currently stays home with her children. But that will change in August when Blasko, a lawyer, begins what she calls her dream job: teaching legal research and writing at Capital University's School of Law. She says she's a better Mom when she also gets to spend time with other adults.

While firm figures are hard to come by a spokeswomen in the Department of Child Development in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State says at any given time ten to fifteen requests for babysitters can be found on the department's job posting board.

Marilyn Smith WOSU News