I am the oldest of five kids. The youngest will be six in January. I have been helping to care for him since he was a couple days old. At the time I was seventeen and a half.
In addition, I started working as a mother's helper at the age of eleven for a family that had three kids and now has eight. I babysat kids from a year old up to about five years old throughout middle school. In high school, I babysat for various families, usually they had one or two kids and were elementary school age or younger. In high school, I volunteered in a third grade classroom, I taught fourth grade religious education for three years (one as an assistant, two as the lead teacher), and I ran a storytime for preschool age children at a local library. I also worked in a preschool classroom as part of two courses in child development that I took. Senior year of high school I tutored a 14 year old boy with Autism and taught both him and his seven year old cousin art lessons. I also worked as a respite care provider for a student with disabilities. Starting the summer before senior year of high school, I have worked as a camp counselor at an all girls Catholic Residential camp in NH. In this position, I have lived with three of the four age groups. (6-10, 11+12, 13+14) During the day I worked with ages 6-15. Occasionally there would be a five year old as well. I primarily taught the religion program, but have also worked in Arts and Crafts and help out with various camp-wide activities.
Throughout college, I have worked as a mother's helper. babysitter, and part-time nanny for several different families. The number of kids and ages has ranges from under a year to ten years old. Currently I am working as a child care provider at the Havuarat Shalom in Somerville on weekends and am working as a part-time nanny for two boys who are five and seven years old. I pick the boys up from school, serve snack and/ or dinner, accompany the older boy to sports practices, supervise homework, host and arrange playdates, as well as laundry (when there is time), general tidying of the kitchen, and some food shopping. During playdates, it is not unusual for there to be four kids at the house, engaging in both structured and unstructured activities.
In addition, I have spent three semesters working in Special Education classrooms in Brookline, MA.
Finally, while I don't see him on a regular basis, I am still involved in my five year old brother's life. He visits for "playdates" with me on weekends. Plus, because he is the same age as the kids I care for now, he will occasionally come for playdates with them. I also babysit for him on occasion and grew up helping to care for my younger siblings and cousins.