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Sensible 12 year old girl babysitting

(34 Posts)
pingu2209 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:27:16

I have had a note through the door from someone near by who is touting for babysitting work. She is 12 years old (13 before Christmas) and quite sensible. She has asked for day time babysitting work at £2.50 an hour. I am quite tempted to let her as I am going to have a big operation next week and think that I will need to rest, perhaps a sleep in the afternoons to get over my operation. However, am I correct in thinking 12 is too young and actually may be illegal?

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Aug-11 21:29:03

well i was babysitting at 12, in the evenings, just down the road. my parents would have nipped down if anything was wrong though.

i would say you have nothing to lose if you just want her to keep an eye on the children while you have a nap, or while you just rest upstairs. tell her to wake you if there is a problem?

nickschick Wed 10-Aug-11 21:29:12

I dont know if its illegal as far as im aware its ok to leave children in the care of anyone you think is responsible but if things went wrong you may then be in trouble for doing that.

12 is in my opinion way to young.

roquefort Wed 10-Aug-11 21:29:45

Fine if you are in the house asleep I would have thought.

bogwobbit Wed 10-Aug-11 21:29:49

I would say 12 is way too young and also I think it's illegal for a child under 13 to work. Might also be too young on child safety legislation too.

squeakytoy Wed 10-Aug-11 21:29:59

Do you actually know her, and her parents?

I babysat at that age, but only for a family friend whose child was 5.

Although if you are going to be in the house, and she is just there to keep an eye on things, then it sounds fine anyway.

LolaRennt Wed 10-Aug-11 21:31:10

I baby sat at 12, I was fine but looking back I realize in a genuine emergency I'd have not had a clue (this is what you pay for in my opinion the 1% of the time when the person really needs to be reliable)

Will you actually be in the house when the girl is home? If so I think this is fine, same as letting an older sister look after her siblings.

LineRunner Wed 10-Aug-11 21:31:59

I have posted before somewhere that my daughter's school run babysitting courses, from age 13 onwards. I think it's 6 weeks and leads to a certificate.

NSPCC advice is different; and in my view a bit 'rose tinted spectacle-y'.

There's so many variables involved, though. Age of sitter and sittee; where you will be; if sitter has nearby parent; if sitter has had experience or training; etc etc.

Goodynuff Wed 10-Aug-11 21:32:04

My DD, who is now 14, started babysitting at 12. She is very sensible, and has taken a babysittinf course, as well as first aid and cpr. There are good ones out there smile
What if you had her come for a days trial run, while you were there?

AnyFucker Wed 10-Aug-11 21:32:43

too young, sorry

if you are incapacitated by surgery, you should have reliable adult help, not cheap child labour

Sidge Wed 10-Aug-11 21:33:09

I wouldn't.

My DD1 is 12.8 and very sensible but I wouldn't dream of leaving her to be responsible for my own other 2 DDs, her sisters, let alone someone else's children. It's an immense responsibility.

How old are your children? If they're not little children, and you would be in the house too then that's different to leaving her with younger children.

spiderpig8 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:33:42

Nope.Sitting with them while they are asleep is one thing, but wahat you are suggesting is childcare and 12 is way too young for that IMO

EllieG Wed 10-Aug-11 21:34:52

Too young. Might be illegal re paying her to work, plus if anything happened whilst children in her care, SS could investigate you for neglect for leaving your children with another child (I'm a social worker and know of cases where this has happened).

Sariah Wed 10-Aug-11 21:35:00

I think it really depends on the child. I know 12 year olds that I would trust and that are capable and trustworthy and I know 17 year olds that I wouldnt leave looking after a goldfish. I think if you leave things set up properly and if she doesnt have to actually do too much like feed them. Also it depends on your children. There was a while there when I would only leave my two littles ones awake with one of our older children. Ds was 17 at the time and trustworthy but he couldnt manage the two of them awake so I only left him at night time when they were both settled. He can manage them now. You could have the girl over and see how the children are around her and then maybe try her for an hour to see how she gets on.

spudulika Wed 10-Aug-11 21:36:17

My dd is 12 and she's the dogs bollocks when it comes to dealing with small children. Better than me actually, and I'm 45 and have a teaching degree. grin

Where do you live? She'd babysit for £2.25 (I've asked), thus undercutting other girl.

mummymeister Wed 10-Aug-11 21:36:53

We looked in to this. the advice on age limits is not terribly clear but whilst she is under 16 it is not a good idea imo. There'll be loads of posts on here telling you that people did it when they were 12 but are you really willing to leave your most precious thing (your kids) with someone that gets less than your cleaner/pizza delivery man? If you need help then go to one of the agencies and get a properly qualified person. loads of places offer flying nanny type placements to help in situations like this. 12 is way too young my DD is 13 and i don't leave her on her own or to babysit.

specialmagiclady Wed 10-Aug-11 21:37:19

I have used a 12 year old girl for baby sitting. She lives across the road and knows my kids really well. She's very sensible and I only use her when I'm going out to meetings - rather than parties etc. Crucially, her mum is always always in across the road when she's sitting!

pingu2209 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:41:51

Well I am surprised by the fact she is looking for day sitting work. I would have thought that sitting at night is better than during the day because the children are asleep. However, her note is clear about day time sitting. I think perhaps because she is so young herself her bedtime may well be 10 to 10.30 so she doesn't want night babysitting that may be too late for her/her parents to feel comfortable with.

My children are 4, 6 and 8 and are a handful. I would not leave her alone but would be asleep upstairs and would be looking to her to ensure they don't wake me up for about 2 hours. Wipe the little one's bottom (yes I know she should be able to do so herself at 4), get them a drink, and on the whole play referee between all of them as they row constantly.

I admire her willingness to work and earn her own pocket money though! She has earned brownie points in my books just by getting herself out there.

bellaisgoingtoHawaii Wed 10-Aug-11 21:42:28

I used to babysit at 12 <<sensible>>

I would say go for it, but perhaps ask to speak to the mum first to put your mind at rest?

rookiemater Wed 10-Aug-11 21:42:48

12 is very young, but you do need rest after your operation. Could you perhaps get her to entertain them in the house so that you get the rest you need but can be called upon if there are any emergencies.

ALso depends on the age of the DCs. If they are 5 or over then its a different question than looking after a baby or pre schooler.

youarekidding Wed 10-Aug-11 21:47:16

My friends DSD took our 3 DC's (6 & 7) to the park on holiday. Only about 3 minutes walk away on resort but she was great. She had a mobile on her and baring in mind my DS has allergies she is sensible enough to call if she becomes at all concerned. She has also taken them to our local corner shop about 500m away.

I would agree if your going to be in the house maybe 2 hours for a fiver would be OK. There's no contract involved if it doesn't work out.

LolaRennt Wed 10-Aug-11 21:50:34

I think in the situation above it sounds ideal for 2 hours. I would be very suprised if any mumsnetters had 4 children the ages of yours and the 12 year old girl if they would enlist a babysitter whenever they had a nap. They woudl assumne the 12 year old could look after the younger siblings

AnyFucker Wed 10-Aug-11 21:50:46

she is only 4 yrs older than the eldest

how could she "referee" squabbling ?

she is more likely to get drawn into it herself, at 12yo

exoticfruits Wed 10-Aug-11 22:01:56

Too young. I would think of 14yrs if they were sensible and their mother was near and in, but on the whole I think that 16 is a better age.

Nanny0gg Wed 10-Aug-11 23:49:19

You've said your children are a handful, so even if you're asleep upstairs rather than out, I think it's too much to ask.

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