Twins Sapphire and Elizabeth Esmay (at left), Bailey Skan, Steven Bautista, Bella Schmidt, and Teagan Woodcock discuss the best ways to entertain young children during the 4-H Youth Babysitting Certification Course sponsored by the UAF Cooperative Extension Service. Other coursework included first aid, nutrition, and business management. (Photo/Jasmine Shaw)

The childcare crisis in Sitka isn’t just about a lack of places to enroll a child, or a lack of money – it’s also about finding someone reliable and qualified just to babysit.

A group of middle school students is  working to change that dynamic. Eleven girls and three boys are taking a 15-hour babysitting certification course offered by 4-H, through the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service.

KCAW reporter-at-large  Kari Sagel accompanied the students as they studied first aid, nutrition, discipline, entertainment, and business management, and sent this audio postcard.

Fourteen students will graduate with certificates on February 27, and will hold a Community Meet & Greet for families and potential clients following the ceremony.