Choosing a Teen Babysitter

Most parents need a break from time to time. Unless you’re supermom or superdad, chances are pretty good that you could benefit from a night out. In some cases, you may need a babysitter for other commitments, such as those that come with work or with being part of a community organization.

Teenage babysitters can be one of the most inexpensive and practical ways to make sure your child is being cared for when you’re not around. Still, there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to choosing a teen to babysit:

  • Teens usually become interested in the idea of babysitting at around the age of 12 or 13. They see it as a way to make some money, and maybe become an entrepreneur. The most common age for teen babysitters is in the 13 to 15 year old range.
  • Most states have no regulations regarding teen babysitting. Two states – Illinois and Maryland – have laws that apply to babysitting. Some other states may have regulations based on how many hours per week the babysitter works.
  • Maturity is key. The best thing you can do when choosing a teen babysitter is decide whether or not the teen is responsible and mature enough to babysit. Often, a single interview just isn’t enough. It can help to talk to the teen’s parents, and possibly to discuss the teen with other references or clients she may have.
  • Babysitter training is helpful. The American Red Cross Babysitting certification is a way for a teen to learn many of the important parts about babysitting, and you might consider asking if the teen has completed this course.
  • The age and number of your children matters greatly, as well. Children under the age of two years old require a great deal more care than older children, for example. In some cases, you might want to have two teens babysit, for example if you have a large number of children.

Babysitters are an important part of caring for your children. Make sure you are diligent in the process when choosing a teen babysitter.