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Minimum age for babysitting?

(11 Posts)
QueenMab Wed 12-Sep-07 21:16:55

Is there one? When I was at school I seem to remember it was 14 and did lots of babysitting but that was 20 odd years ago... The reason I ask is that my neighbour and her 14 yr old daughter have said if we wanted, the daughter would babysit occaisionally for us in the evenings when DS is asleep, but only when her mother is in next door the whole time (semi-detached house). DS is only 2.5 but he knows the mother and daughter well. I've never used babysitters and we are an RAF family with no g/parents etc nearby. The mother would definately be in the whole time; she cares for adults with learning disabilities so is very competent, good at first aid etc etc. DS is a fab sleeper, so really all we need is someone to be in the house, make sure no-one breaks in or anything catches fire and so on. But if DS did wake he would ne happy about this girl being there. Our gut reaction is that this is a good idea but would like opinions on the age of the girl - also if this is illegal, don't want to put her in a risky position. FWIW she is a very mature 14 yr old. My sister has a step daughter exactly the same age but I would never let her babysit as she is a completely different kettle of 14 yr old girl. Am I being ridiculously over-cautious or is this a dreadful idea?

paolosgirl Wed 12-Sep-07 21:19:33

I think it's 16 if money is exchanging hands, although I could be talking complete rubbish. If she's a very responsible 14 yr old, with backup next door if needed, then I'd go for it.

cat64 Wed 12-Sep-07 21:21:06

Message withdrawn

QueenMab Wed 12-Sep-07 21:21:08

Really? I was kind of expecing to get slated for this

Rubybees Wed 12-Sep-07 21:25:30

My babysitter started for us when she was 14 grin I'm also RAF housing and often feel if we want to get out this is the only way lol!!

No my babysitter (now 17) lives a stones throw away and to start with her mum always stayed in. You just have to trust your jugement! I know lots of 18-19 yr olds I WOULDNOT have babysit lol

Piffle Wed 12-Sep-07 21:25:43

With a mother next door I think I'd go for it too

sparklygothkat Wed 12-Sep-07 21:27:29

My babysitter is normally my mum, but if she can't do it then the 15 year old down the road does it. I completely trust her, and she is very mature.

QueenMab Wed 12-Sep-07 21:32:10

Thanks all, for your reassuring replies!

Starbear Wed 12-Sep-07 21:39:42

I think you've got a great plan. Cat64 is right there is no minmum age in law. You and her/his parents must judge she is mature. Get an emergency list, when you expect her to call you. With Mum as a back up and mobile phones go for it. Make sure she's happy.

RosaLuxembourg Wed 12-Sep-07 21:44:54

Our lovely teenage neighbour has just left for university. She started babysitting for us at 14; her mum, who is a close friend, was always on call, however. I know plenty of 14-year-olds I wouldn't trust with a pet rat, but equally there are those who are mature and sensible enough to cope - especially with mum next door for support. If you trust the girl and her mum, as you seem to do, then go for it with a clear conscience.

QueenMab Wed 12-Sep-07 21:55:22

Thank you. Am booking dinner for next week

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