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What is an acceptable age for teenager to babysit?

(13 Posts)
chicaguapa Thu 31-Jan-13 13:23:24

Speak to the neighbour and see if she thinks her DD would be mature enough to babysit. She'd be next door if there were any emergencies too.

5madthings Thu 31-Jan-13 13:20:37

I babysat from age 13-14 and for a variety of aged children.

5madthings Thu 31-Jan-13 13:19:50

It depends on the teen, but a sensible 14yr old is fine.

My ds1is 13 and I will now go out in the evening once my other four children are in bed and leave him to babysit, I am only ever 15mins away and he know what to do/who to contact in an emergency.

gourd Thu 31-Jan-13 13:15:38

I also had my parents either in the house next door or not far away to call if I needed help. I never did but adult backup would have been there had I needed it.

gourd Thu 31-Jan-13 13:14:17

I babysat at 14 for 5 year old and 3 year old. I babysat at 16 for child of 7 and baby of 12 months. Think it depends how well you and your child know them, what you're execting (if baby/child is already in bed or not when babysitter arrives) and of course on the reliabilty of the 14 year old.

Missingthemincepies Thu 31-Jan-13 07:53:20

Yes jjazz, sorry if I was unclear, it was your 5th paragraph I was referring to:
If someone under 16 is looking after a child, the parent or guardian, and not the babysitter, remain legally responsible for the child's safety.
Not that it's illegal, just that the parents would legally be held responsible.

AllDirections Wed 30-Jan-13 21:29:18

A sensible 14 year old is fine

jjazz Wed 30-Jan-13 21:23:08

I am afraid missingthe mince pies is mistaken. There is no legal age set in statute for babysitting. See below:

The legal age for babysitting

The law does not specify how old someone has to be to babysit.

However, the NSPCC recommends that no one under 16 should be left alone to look after young children.

If someone under 16 is looking after a child, the parent or guardian, and not the babysitter, remain legally responsible for the child's safety.

Parents should still use judgement when choosing a babysitter, as some 16 year olds might not be mature enough to look after younger children.
The same careful judgements apply if your child wants to babysit for others.

As with many things it is about judgment in individual cases.

Tolly81 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:29

I babysat at 14 but for families who knew me well and they would then recommend me to friends (so much so that I ended up babysitting at least once a weekend for years) but it definitely depends on the 14 year old. Some 14 year olds are still very immature. I would get to know them a bit first so you can make a judgement call.

MyBoyIsIvan Wed 30-Jan-13 15:14:07

Thank for your opinions! Will ponder it some more.

Missingthemincepies Wed 30-Jan-13 13:34:41

Legally you would be held responsible for anything that happens to your child if the sitter is under the age of 16. Though I appreciate that's a small consideration.
Personally I wouldn't leave a baby with anyone but a competent adult. If, god forbid, something went wrong (fire, accident etc) i need to be confident the sitter would be able to deal with it, not need to phone their mum for advice.
Older kids I might leave with a younger sitter but always one over 16 who I knew, or knew their parents.
It's not wrong to leave them with a 14 year old, would just be outside my comfort zone.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 30-Jan-13 13:20:45

I think it depends on the 14 year old and on what kind of support she would have. I babysat for several families in our road when I was about that age but my parents were at home for backup if required.

MyBoyIsIvan Wed 30-Jan-13 13:12:57

I have new neighbours and I think the girl looks about 14. I was going to ask her mum if she would be interested in babysitting some evening. They seem like nice normal people and it might be a good chace to get to know them better.
It only literally sitting in our house while baby is sleeping and we would be within a 10 minute drive away so can come home if he wakes.
I started babysitting at about that age, although I know times have changed!
Is that too young do you think?

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