What age to baby sit, interesting article?

  Blackhat 17:58 08 Feb 2011

click here

I was always under the belief that there was a legal age limit to being in charge of a minor but this article contradicts this.

Is there a legal limit?

What are your thoughts on letting your older kids tend to the younger ones?

  MAJ 18:33 08 Feb 2011

"Is there a legal limit?"

Not that I know of, I babysat for my younger brothers and sisters when I was thirteen or fourteen years old.

"What are your thoughts on letting your older kids tend to the younger ones?"

That would depend on how mature and responsible I thought the older children were, all children are different, some I would rely on, some I wouldn't.

  Chegs ®™ 18:44 08 Feb 2011

And this is, she says, fast making the UK a laughing stock among its European neighbours, where a 14-year-old in charge of a three-year-old is considered normal behaviour.

I agree,I was regularly looked after by my older brother & sister and now my daughter often looks after friends children and has done since she was 13-14yrs.We also work,& are content to leave my 14yrs old alone each evening.I think this is silly,a caution for leaving her children to look after themselves for 30 minutes.Were anything tragic to occur,the mother would be devastated,but were she there & tragedy occurs she'd still be devasted.

  Woolwell 20:05 08 Feb 2011

I had thought it was 15 to babysit but it appears I am wrong. This is the NSPCC guidelines click here

  Woolwell 20:06 08 Feb 2011

Ps they recommend a babysitter who is over 16.

  peter99co 20:58 08 Feb 2011

I always felt OK years ago when mine were small but would not dream of leaving a grandchild with even an 18 year old.

Maybe because I am older and wiser?

  OTT_B 21:11 08 Feb 2011

There may well be some detail in this case that hasn't been published since this does seem a little excessive on the surface.

It's an interesting question as to whether a 15 year old mother should be allowed look after her own child (not wanting to move the discussion onto young parents). It fits in perfectly with the theme of the article.

I think the comments from mumsnet have it about right - parents know their own kids and should be able to assess if one of their children can look after a younger sibling.

  Forum Editor 23:11 08 Feb 2011

for a babysitter, but the Children and young peron's act makes it an offence to leave a child alone if it places him or her at risk. Parents can be prosecuted if they leave a child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.

This would apply to parents who leave their children with babysitters who were so young that they were incapable of properly supervising and protecting children younger than themselves.

The NSPCC advises that a babysitter should never be younger than 12 yrs, and that children under 16 should never be left alone overnight.

  Devil Fish 00:02 09 Feb 2011

This sort of thing goes on in households up and down the country on a daily basis

.What the article is not telling you is how the police became aware that the 14 year old was looking after a 3 year old child.

As always their is probably more to the article than meets the eye

  Forum Editor 00:24 09 Feb 2011

I imagine someone told them - how else would they be aware?

  interzone55 09:31 09 Feb 2011

"I imagine someone told them - how else would they be aware?"

Well yes, that's obvious. But the article states that at no time was the younger child in danger, so there was no disturbance.

Clearly a neighbour informed the police, which suggests there is a lot more to this story than has been released to the press...

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