Having helped hundreds of new babysitters find babysitting jobs, one of the most common questions I get is “how old do I need to be to start babysitting?” Every state has its own laws.
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What is the legal babysitting age in Florida? Florida has no law for a minimum age to babysit or the legal age a child can be left home alone. The Red Cross suggests 11 to 15 is a good age to start. Use your best judgment determining the maturity and responsibility of each potential babysitter.
The biggest factor in determining if someone is old enough to babysit is if there are parents who trust them enough to hire them. Let’s dive into how to build trust with parents so they will trust you to babysit their kids.
How Old Does A Babysitter Need To Be In Florida
Surprisingly, only a few states have laws determining the age a babysitter should be. Maryland’s minimum age is 13 and Illinois’s is minimum age is 14.
Florida has no law for how old a babysitter should be nor does it have a law for the minimum age a child can be left home alone. That’s the way it should be.
So who is responsible for determining if someone is old enough to babysit. First, it is up to the new babysitter. If they don’t feel responsible enough or old enough to babysit kids, then they probably shouldn’t start until they are older.
When my wife and I hire a babysitter we don’t look at age as much as we look at the maturity and if we trust the individual. If a babysitter feels old enough to babysit then it is up to them to gain the parent’s trust.
What Do Officials Say
In most states since there are no official laws it is up to the parents to determine the minimum age to babysit however there are a few organizations who have something to say about it.
The Red Cross which provides babysitting courses and CPR training says that the recommended age to start babysitting is 11 to 15. That is a pretty big age range. Mostly because the maturity of each preteen and teen can vary greatly from their life experience and responsibilities.
WebMD one of the largest doctor verified websites in the world says some children have the maturity to start babysitting at ages 12 to 13. Again it is up to parents to determine the maturity of their child to determine if they are ready.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization that helps families and communities keep kids safe from injuries. They say children should be at least 12 to 13 to leave them home alone. This could apply to the minimum age to babysit as well.
How A Babysitter Can Earn Parents’ Trust
As a parent of 4 almost 5 kids, my children are the most important people in the world to me and it is my job to protect and keep them safe. With that in mind I will only hire a babysitter if I trust them enough to take care of my kids for several hours.
Rarely has a babysitter asked me if they could babysit our kids. If a babysitter did that would probably go a long way in my mind to thinking they are responsible. Most of the time we hire babysitters from family’s we know in our neighborhood or church.
The best way to get your first babysitting jobs is to reach out to families with kids who already know and trust you. Give them a call on the phone and ask them if you can babysit. You should be able to get a least one babysitting job this way.
Once you babysit do a great job. Play games and activities with the kids, get them to bed on time, and give a good report to the parents when they get home. That should impress them enough to give you referrals.
After you give your report ask them if they know of any other families who could use a good babysitter. They are sure to know at least a few families. That’s all you need to do to get all the babysitting jobs you want.
Here are a few things that my wife and I look for before we hire a babysitter.Do we know the family of the babysitter?Does the babysitter have younger siblings?Whenever I see them are they glued to their smartphone?Do they like my kids?Are they someone I trust?Do they dress modestly?
If you call all the people you know with kids and you don’t get a babysitting job they either don’t trust you enough or they just don’t ever hire babysitters.
Don’t worry you can still offer to be a mothers helper. A mothers helper is someone who helps a mom care for their kids while they are home.
My sister always hired a mothers helper to help with the dishes, clean up the house and even keep the kids entertained while she was doing the bills.
Being a mothers helper is the best place to start as a new babysitter.
Since Florida has no babysitting law it is up to the parents and the babysitters to determine how old a babysitter should be. Once trust is established between the parents and the babysitter then you will know what’s the proper age to babysit in Florida.
Do I need a license to babysit in my home in Florida? Florida law requires individuals to acquire a license from their county’s Department of Children and Family in order to babysit children in their own home. Each county has different rules and regulations but individuals must be 18 years or older to receive a license.
What’s the legal age to babysit siblings in Florida? Florida state law does not specify a minimum age child can be left home alone or a minimum age a child may babysit siblings. The Red Cross recommends 11 to 15 as the minimum age to start babysitting. Parents digression is required to determine the maturity of their child.
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What is the average pay for a babysitter in Florida? According to Care.com the average pay for a babysitter with little to no experience in Florida is $13.50 to $15.50. The average babysitter pay in Tallahassee, Florida is $11 an hour and in Miami is $15.50.