Teen Babysitting: is it allowed and how to babysit as a teen
Learn more about what it takes to determine if you are mature enough to babysit, and read our tips to help prepare teenage babysitters in Canada!
Babysitting is a great first job for teens and tweens alike! But before you start babysitting, you must be old enough to stay home alone. In Manitoba and New Brunswick, a parent cannot leave a child less than 12 years old unsupervised. In Ontario, a child must be at least 16 years old to be left alone. A child under the age of 12 or 16, respectively, must have a babysitter or another form of supervision. In all other provinces, there is no minimum age requirement for being left alone at home according to the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal (source). Are you old enough to stay home alone and want to start earning some money as a babysitter? Let’s see what your parents think…
If you are not yet legally an adult (18 or 19 years old), you will need to get your parents’ permission before you start babysitting. Once your parents decide that you are old enough to babysit, they can help you get started! You can create your own babysitter profile at babysits.ca, it’s a good idea to let your parents review your profile before going public. When looking for a family to babysit for, let your parents review their profile as well. If you schedule an interview or a babysitting appointment, have your parents meet the family before dropping you off.
Taking care of a child requires a lot of responsibility and maturity. However, your age does not necessarily determine how responsible and mature you are. If you have younger siblings or cousins, you may already have a lot of practice taking care of kids! This is a good advantage to have when you start looking for babysitting jobs. Knowing how to cook some basic meals and clean up are also great skills which will improve your chances of landing a babysitting job. If you are studious, you can also provide younger kids with homework help and tutoring! There are plenty of ways to boost your ‘babysitting resume’ even at a young age!
As a babysitter, it is important to know who to call and what to do in different emergency situations. The Canada Safety Council, Red Cross Canada, and Child Safe Canada, all provide programs/courses for children regarding fire safety, first-aid, and other useful skills. Always ask about important information like allergies and medication, and keep important phone numbers at hand. You can read more about how to prepare for a babysitting appointment here. Your own safety is also important, if you ever feel uncomfortable call or text someone that you trust.
Are you legally old enough to babysit? Do your parents allow you to babysit? Do you yourself feel comfortable and ready to take on the responsibilities of a babysitter? If you are uncertain about the last question, you can take this babysitter quiz! If your answers were all yes, you are ready to start babysitting! Sign up here to create your own babysitting profile!