The “right” or “minimum age” to let someone start caring is a subjective issue. Factors such as the age and maturity of the child or dependent children and the maturity of the caregiver are important to consider, as well as the amount of care the child or dependent children require. This includes the number of hours and special care the child or children require. Most states don`t have laws setting an age requirement for child custody, and only some have guidelines on how old a child is before being left home alone. These guidelines range from six to 14 years. Here is a list of states with this policy: Colorado: 12*, Delaware: 12*, Georgia: 8*, Illinois: 14, Kansas: 6*, Maryland: 8, Michigan: 11*, Mississippi: 12*, Nebraska: 7*, New Mexico: 10*, North Carolina: 8, North Dakota: 9*, Oregon: 10*, Tennessee: 10* and Washington: 10*. The American Red Cross offers childcare and childcare classes to prepare course participants with universal skills and techniques that every babysitter should have. These courses are available online for those who prefer to study as they please or in a personal classroom with access to highly qualified teachers and classroom activities. These courses include basic care for infants and children, basic first aid, child behaviour, emergency protocols, leadership and age-appropriate activities. The Red Cross also offers CPR/AED first aid and certification courses. New Mexico does not have a state law setting a minimum age for a child to be home alone; However, an Albuquerque ordinance states that children under the age of 11 cannot be left home alone. The rest is ultimately a verdict of the parents of the children in need of care and the parents of the child who wants to keep the children.
Age, maturity and experience with young children are important factors and first aid training. Babysitters need to understand safety and how to respond in an emergency. *The age shown is the recommended minimum age at which a child can be left home alone instead of a minimum/legal age. In addition to formal training, additional preparation is essential. Children can ask to help a friend observe a younger sibling, or volunteer to help a parent or neighbor with young children. Those hiring a younger session should ask the babysitter to appear earlier so they can show her around their home, provide emergency numbers, and explain the house rules or special needs of their children in care.