Babysitting Safety Tips For Babysitters
Babysitting can be an excellent way to give children safe and affordable child care right in their homes. Babysitters should consider the following safety tips:
- Learn as much as possible about the family.
- Minors should receive their parents' permission before sitting for a family.
- Learn the child's medical history, likes, and habits, and the parents' rules.
- Plan for emergency situations. Look for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and a fire escape plan. Become familiar with the house, and find alternate ways of getting out.
- Post emergency telephone numbers for fire, police, rescue squads, poison control, and family doctors, and the number where the child's parents can be reached.
- Your parents should be the only people who know you are babysitting. Keep all doors locked.
- When answering a phone call, explain that the person they wish to speak to cannot come to the phone now and offer to take a message.
- Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking.
The many resources available to teens and young adults who babysit include:
Child Care Center Operational Requirements
Parties wishing to operate child care facilities within the City of Irvine must meet strict State and local operational requirements before they can admit children. A child care center must first receive a State license to operate a facility for fewer than twenty-four hours a day for the care of children who are not related to the owner, operator, or manager of the facility. The facility may be operated with or without compensation for such care and with or without stated educational purposes. Twenty-four hour care may be provided in day care centers on an emergency basis only. Child care providers are required to meet and adhere to State and local regulations, such as a protective service and criminal records check, TB skin tests on all facility members, and a home study. Regulations are enforced by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, which is responsible for periodic inspections of all child care facilities. Child care centers may operate either in business districts or in residential districts with a conditional use permit. For more information about opening a child care center, please click here.
Child Care Coordination Office
The City of Irvine's Child Care Coordination Office provides a variety of services designed to enhance and maintain the quality of child care in the community. Members of our City staff work with individuals, agencies, and businesses to help provide quality services for children.
Services and programs provided by the Child Care Coordination Office include:
1. Resources and referral for families with children ages 0-12 years.
2. Lending library to Child Resource Center members
3. Professional growth opportunities for early childhood education professionals.
4. Child care business and site development support.
For further information, contact the Child Care Coordination Office at (949) 724-6632 or visit their Web site at w w w dot irvine child care dot org www.irvinechildcare.org. Once again, that number is (949) 724-6632.
Child Care Programs in Irvine
The Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, and the City of Irvine Child Care Coordination Office aspire to keep parents informed about the best ways their children can receive quality, safe child care.
To access a full list of licensed child care centers located within the City of Irvine and information about choosing quality child care, please click here.
Child Resource Center
The Child Resource Center provides residents with a member-based lending library that includes: child development, parenting, curriculum, child care administration and family child care business books, DVDs and training materials; children's books, music CDs, and educational toys; and, lamination and die cut machines. Please visit Child Resource Center's website, or call (949) 724-6721 for further information.
Child Safety Program/Safe Escape
The Safe Escape Program is a very important presentation that will help teach families the "Velcro", "Bicycle", and "Windmill" techniques (among others) that can help children reconize and/or escape from potential predators . Families participate with their children in role-playing to ensure the children understand and become proficient in these techniques. For more information, contact the Irvine Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at (949) 724-7079.
Child Seat Inspections
Perhaps you've heard the statistics: four out of five car seats are not installed correctly. What could possibly be so difficult about installing a car seat? Many times the car seat just doesn't fit the inside contours of the automobile, says Pamela Bryant, R.N., Manager of Community Education at Children's Hospital of Orange County and Orange County SAFE KIDS Coordinator. Without a snug, tight fit, the car seat cannot provide full protection during a collision. The result may be fatal, even at speeds as low as 30 miles per hour.
Irvine Police participates in countywide Child Car Seat Inspection Days sponsored by Orange County SAFE Kids, Orange County Health and CHOC Hospital. They are held throughout Orange County and hosted by area businesses. These events allow parents to have their car seats installed properly, learn information on recalls, and are staffed by trained, knowledgeable people able to answer questions that arise. Car seats are also available to those in need at a reduced price. Find out about the next Inspection Day at:
Basic Car Seat Information
Installing the Car Seat
Before installation, check your car owner's manual as well as the instructions that come with the car seat. Your owner's manual will indicate the best location for the car seat. It will also identify what type of seat belt restraint system your car has and whether a locking clip is necessary. Install it per the car seat manufacturer's instructions. After installation, test the seat. Pull it as hard as you can sideways and from front to back. It should be rigid. If there is more than one inch of "give", the car seat is not safely installed.
Other Important Do's and Don'ts
- Do not put blankets or pillows between your child and the seat
- Buy one car seat for each car. Once it's installed correctly, why move it?
- Complete the warranty card
- Never buy a used seat
For More Information:
These web sites can be trusted to provide updated and concise information about Child Passenger Seats. Check them regularly for updates!
Day Camps at Community Parks
A variety of Day Camps are offered during the winter, spring and summer school breaks at many of the City of Irvine’s Community Parks. The world of discovery and creativity await Irvine’s children and youth with activities including; sports, games, arts and crafts, nature, science, special events and off-site excursions. Program content, day options, fees, times, dates and ages vary from site to site. Please refer to the following website for more information www.IrvineQuickReg.org. or call (949) 724-6610.
Early Childhood Sports Classes
The City of Irvine offers a variety of staff led sports classes for early childhood ages (3-6 years old). These classes offer opportunities for children to experience sports basics in a fun non-competitive atmosphere. Some classes may require parent participation. Classes may include: Saturday Ice Cream Leagues, Fun Time Gymnastics, All Sorts of Sports, Tiny Tigers, Soccer Basics, Half Pint Hoops, Sports and Fitness, Baseball and Basketball Basics, Wide World of Sports n' Games and Soccer Starters. Classes are offered by Community Services staff at the following park sites: Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, Deerfield Community Park, Heritage Park Community Center, Northwood Community Park, Turtle Rock Community Park and University Community Park. For more information about staff led activities at Community Parks please call (949) 724-6610, or visit the website at: www.IrvineQuickReg.org
Irvine Child Care Committee
Mission and Purpose
The primary functions of the Child Care Committee are to serve as a resource and to make recommendations on child care issues to the Community Services Commission and the City Council.
The Child Care Committee works in a cooperative relationship with the support of the Child Care Coordination Office, the Community Services Department, and the Community Development Department to identify child care needs, early care and education concerns, and to promote the availability of quality, affordable child care within the community.
Current subjects being discussed by the Committee include community awareness and education, programming and training for child care providers, and the economic impact the child care industry has on the business sector in the community.
The Child Care Committee is comprised of 14 members: five City Council appointees; two community child care providers; two parents/guardians; and five Agency Representatives.
For further information, please contact the Child Care Coordination Office, 14341 Yale Avenue, Irvine at (949) 724-6632 or visit their website at www.Irvinechildcare.org. Once again, that number is (949) 724-6632.
Irvine Child Care Project
The Irvine Child Care Project (ICCP) is a joint powers authority between the City of Irvine and the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD). The ICCP works with non-profit organizations to provide before and after school child care on elementary school sites serving children in kindergarten through sixth grade. For a listing of ICCP programs, visit us at www.irvinechildcare.org or call (949) 724-6632.
In 1994, seven year old Megan Kanka was tricked into Jesse Timmendequas' house in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. Jesse Timmendequas, the neighbor, was a convicted sex offender with two prior convictions for sexual abuse of a child, but no one in the neighborhood knew that. Once Megan was inside, Timmendequas raped and murdered her. Eventually, Timmendequas was convicted for the murder of Megan Kanka.
Following the death of Megan a grass roots movement led to the removal of the prohibition of law enforcement notifying the public of the presence of serious and high-risk sex offenders living in their community. On May 17, 1996, President Clinton signed the Federal "Megan's Law." This law permitted law enforcement to release relevant information to protect the public from sexually violent offenders.
For the past fifty plus years California has maintained a record of those individuals convicted of sexually related crimes. In 1995 California instituted the Child Molester Identification Line, which was expanded in 1996 with the passage of California's Megan's Law. This law, allows for the first time, public access to information on serious and high-risk sex offenders.
In California sexual offenders are classified by the Department of Justice into one of three sexual offender categories, High Risk, Serious, or Other. The criteria for each of the categories is defined in the California Penal Code.
In summation, a High-Risk registrant is a Serious sex offender who has been convicted of a combination of offenses including a violent sex offense and other crimes. High-Risk status must be determined and verified by the Department of Justice. Generally, these "High-Risk" sex registrants pose a greater threat of re-offending based on their prior criminal acts.
A Serious Sex Offender is required to register with law enforcement if they have been convicted of:
- Assault with intent to commit specified sex offenses
- Lewd and lascivious conduct with a child or dependent adult
- Oral copulation
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Foreign object penetration
- Child molestation
- Kidnapping with intent to commit specified sex offenses
- Felony sexual battery
- Felony enticement of a child for purposes of prostitution
- Abduction of a child for purposes of prostitution
The Other sexual offender category consist of persons convicted of possession of pornography, spousal rape, indecent exposure, or misdemeanor sexual battery - OR - juveniles adjudicated in juvenile court. Persons falling within the Other category are NOT subject to public disclosure.
For a complete list of all crimes which require registration go to the California Department Justice link: Sex Offender Registration & Exclusion Information. The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against the offender. It recognizes that public safety is best served when registered sex offenders are not concealing their location.
Parents may enroll their preschool-age child or children in any one of a number of private preschools and day care centers in and around the City of Irvine. A full list of licensed day care centers may be obtained by visiting Child Care Coordination website or calling the City of Irvine's Child Care Coordination Office at (949) 724-6635.
Youth Employment Services
The Irvine Youth Employment Services offers FREE employment assistance and job referrals to persons of all ages, with a focus on youth (ages 16+). Job listings for mid-level, part-time, full-time, temporary, and seasonal work are available via the office job board and the program website. Employment counseling, resume assistance, workshops, and mock interviews are provided to enhance job-seeking skills. In addition, Youth Employment Services hosts two annual job fairs.
The program offers job counseling, job referrals, interviews, assistance with job applications, one-on-one resume assistance, and employment workshops. Job opportunities include entry to mid-level, part-time or full-time, temporary and permanent positions.
Irvine Youth Employment Services is located at Heritage Park Community Center, 14301 Yale Avenue, Irvine, CA 92604. Please call to make an appointment, or for more information, call (949) 724-6741.
Visit our web site at www.IrvineYouthEmployment.com.
Youth Safety Tips
Youth safety is one of the most important aspects of what the Irvine Police Department does. That is why the department offers programs for both children, and parents or guardians. These programs teach children about ways they can protect themselves from strangers or attack, tips for safe bicycle and pedestrian travel, and techniques to avoid drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure. They also help parents learn about the dangers their child faces while home alone, while at school, and while in the community. For more information about youth safety programs, or to receive safety brochures, contact the Irvine Police Department at (949) 724-7000.
The City of Irvine offers a variety of programs tailored to meet the needs and interests of youth in the community. In addition to a number of recreation activities offered citywide, the following special programs are available:
Irvine Youth Employment Services offers employment assistance to persons of any age, with a focus on employment assistance for youth. All services are free. For more information please call (949) 724-6741.
High School Youth Action Team offers programs for high school aged youth. Youth Action Team is comprised of students representing each of the Irvine high schools. For more information please call (949) 724-6739.
The Middle School Program offers activities and services for middle school youth with a focus on recreational, educational, and community service activities after school, during holidays and intersessions. For more information please call (949) 724-6749.
Youth Services: High School Youth Action Team
The High School Youth Action Team, comprised of students representing each of the Irvine high schools, offers programs and services for high school-aged youth. Specific programs offered include the Annual Teen Summit, teen forums, and tobacco, alcohol, and drug prevention activities.
Youth Action Team Offices are located at 14351 Yale Ave. (in the Heritage Park complex). For more information about activities and services available through the High School Youth Action Team, contact staff between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling (949) 724-6739.
Youth Services: Middle School Program
The Middle School Program offers programs and services for middle school-aged youth. The program focuses on recreational, educational, and community service activities after school, and during holidays and intersessions. Activities include after school sports, special events, drop-in activities, and a Teen Camp program. Most activities are initiated at each of the five middle school campuses. Teen Camp is a daily excursion program offered during the summer, winter, and spring intersessions.
Offices are located at 14351 Yale Ave. (in the Heritage Park complex). For more information about services available through the Middle School Program, contact staff between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling (949) 724-6749.
For information on the Middle School Program link to www.irvinemsp.com. Connect to www.hsyat.com for information on the High School Youth Program.
Youth Sports Organizations
Youth Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Football, Basketball, Lacrosse and Track - Irvine has it all!
Irvine is home to many exceptional youth sports organizations. These sports organizations are all not for profit organizations and most are managed and operated by a group of dedicated volunteers. Many practices, games, and tournaments are provided for Irvine Kids on City sports fields throughout Irvine. Check out our listing of organizations on our Irvine Athletics website at Youth Sports Organizations.