A well-trained sitter is worth her weight in gold. According to a Red Cross survey, more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills.

In this competitive job market, adding additional courses and certifications to your resume will not only help you stand out from the pack, but also increase your bargaining power during pay negotiations.

While there are tons of great professional development courses and certifications to choose from, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorites. Check them out!

1. CPR and First Aid Certification

Since you’ll be responsible for the day-to-day safety of your charges, these are unarguably the most important certifications you can earn. Being fully trained and capable of acting in an emergency is vital to being a caregiver. Many families won’t even consider hiring someone who has not had this type of training.

Register for a Red Cross class in your area.

2. Lifeguard Training

Swimming is easily the most popular summer activity. If you’re going to be watching some water babies and spending most of your days at the pool or beach you should consider brushing up on water safety by taking a lifeguarding course. The Red Cross offers a few lifeguard training course options. Learn more and sign up for a course.

Also, be sure to check out these swimming safety tips from the Red Cross before you go to the pool or beach.

3. Defensive Driving Course

If your job requires you to drive your charges, look into taking a defensive driving course. This will not only give your driving skills a tune up and improve your driving techniques, but this course will make your resume more attractive to parents (and as an added bonus you may even earn a discount on your car insurance premiums).

Find traffic schools in your area along with information on fees, program start dates and curriculum options.

4. Kid’s Nutrition

Did you know that nearly one in three children in America are considered overweight or obese according to Let’s Move? This sobering stat makes childhood nutrition a big issue.

With iPads and video games replacing bike rides and kickball games, kids are leading more sedentary lifestyles than they did 30 years ago, and it’s starting to catch up to them. Therefore, having a solid knowledge of nutrition and healthy cooking will make your resume stand out.

While there are several online courses to choose from, check out either SuperKids Nutrition or National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA).

Also, take a look at all the awesome resources offered on the USDA’s food and nutrition site, here.

5. Early Child Development Courses

Taking a few courses on early childhood education and development will provide a ton of great information to add to your caregiver arsenal. (This is especially helpful for new caregivers.)

In addition to professional development, these courses are a valuable resume boost and make you attractive to parents with young kids. For a list of courses visit the Childcare Education Institute. 

Completing some or all of these classes will set you apart from the competition and make your resume stand out in a sea of job applications.

Are there any classes or certifications we missed that you would recommend for sitters or nannies?