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Legal Babysitting Age By State

Legal Babysitting Age By State


Babysitting - a common practice in our societies and often the first job for many teenagers - serves as an essential method of childcare for countless families across the United States. However, identifying an appropriate age to allow someone to babysit is a complex and subjective matter influenced by a host of factors. These include the age and maturity of the child/ren requiring care, the maturity and readiness of the potential babysitter, and the extent and nature of the care needed, among others. 

  • Remarkably, the vast majority of states, 47 to be precise, do not mandate a minimum age for babysitting. These include populous states such as California, New York, and Texas. 
  • A deviation from this norm is seen in Maryland and Illinois, where the state law sets a minimum babysitting age at 13 and 14 years old, respectively.
  • A number of states recommend guidelines rather than enforce regulations for the age at which children can be left alone, with an array of ages varying from 6 to 14.
  • While New Mexico does not have a state law delineating a minimum age for a child to be home alone, a local ordinance in Albuquerque stipulates that children under 11 may not be left unattended.

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