What Is the Legal Age a Teen can Start Babysitting?
Most states do not regulate the age that a teen must be to be allowed to baby-sit. Illinois and Maryland do have rules that govern babysitting, and other states have considered or are considering similar legislation. In addition, if the teen will be babysitting for you for more than 20 hours a week on a regular basis, minimum wage and other employment laws may kick in.
Some girls become interested in babysitting around the ages of 12 or 13. They see babysitting as a way to earn some extra money, and is an excellent way for a young person to participate in entrepreneurship. Most teen babysitters are in the 13-15 year old age range. By the time teens reach their later teens, they tend to find other jobs that they can drive to, so there are fewer babysitters in the 16-19 range.
The most important factor to consider before hiring a teen babysitter is whether or not that teen is mature enough and capable enough to care for a child or children. It can be difficult to be certain just how responsible a teen babysitter is. Interviews with the teen as well as the teen’s parents can help you determine just how capable she might be to baby-sit your child or children. If the teen has done babysitting for other families, you should ask for a reference. Call the other family, and see what their experience with the teen was like. Teens can take the American Red Cross Babysitting certification course to help them fully understand the responsibilities that are part of babysitting.
Another important factor to consider is the age of your child or children. A younger teen may not be the best babysitter for a newborn or a child under the age of 2. In addition, if you have more than one child, you should be certain that the teen is able to monitor both of them at once. Here again, the potential babysitter’s parents or other references can often be of some help in determining this.