FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker Child and Youth Services offers youth the chance to become entrepreneurs with its babysitter training course Dec. 20.

The course will equip youth with the necessary skills to become providers in the childcare field, according to Sasha LaForge, youth center assistant director.

"The course provides youth with a better understanding from the viewpoint of a toddler or child," she said. "There will be interactive challenges for the youth to spot dangers inside and outside of the home that toddlers and children might get into.

"For example, silverware close to the end of the counter that a child can reach, bathroom doors left open and tools left out in the yard," she added. "These are things that youth may not think about when they are watching children."

The course takes place at the youth center, located at 7th and Division Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Participants must bring a sack lunch. A wide range of topics will be covered throughout the day, according to LaForge.

"The training course will cover home and fire safety, American Red Cross and first aid training, basic childcare and feeding, diaper changing and basic child abuse reporting and prevention," she said.

A valid CYS registration is required, but the process is simple, according to LaForge.

"They can sign up at parent central services located in Bldg. 5700," she said. "All they have to do is fill out membership forms and return it to PCS. Request to be put in the babysitter's course and, if there is space available, they will enroll the youth."

Deadline to register for the course is Dec. 19, but space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Additional course will be available in the future, but no dates have been set, she said.

LaForge offered a few tips for youth potentially babysitting for the first time.

"Think of it as a real job," she said. "Put the cell phone down and focus on the children. Be observant, get to know the children. Do not be afraid to ask the parents question about the children, especially if there is a concern. Interact with the children. Play games with them, read them a book or let them read to you. Pay attention to the environment. Look for things a child can pick up and put in their mouth.

"Do not open the door for strangers," she added. "When you are babysitting and someone knocks on the door, don't open it -- it is not for you. The family has your number and you have theirs. Keep emergency numbers where you can find them."

For more information, call 255-9638 or 255-0621.