GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — Did you know that about 20 states have set a minimum age for a young person to babysit outside of his or her place of residence?
Would you be surprised to know that only one state that has a minimum age limit sets a younger limit than North Carolina’s suggested?
And would you be surprised that in our state you only have to be at least 8 years old to be paid for childcare?
Well, it’s uncertain how strict that rule is, but at least one source suggests that in a state where you have to be 15 to get a driver’s license, 18 to vote and 21 to consume alcohol or tobacco buy, the care and welfare of children can be relegated to the third grade.
A compilation from wisevoter.com shows that NC, Georgia and Maryland share the 8-year threshold. In Kansas, you only have to be 6 years old (yes, first class).
Illinois has the highest minimum age (14), and Colorado, Delaware, and Mississippi set the bar at 12. Michigan sets 11 as the limit, and New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington set that requirement at 10. North Dakota says 9.
All of this feels random. About 30 states have no set minimum age for jobs observed to be normally occupied by at least one teenager and sometimes an adult.
Another site, Legal Beagle, says that North Carolina has no specific state law regarding teens and babysitting. This page even links to a childcare site that offers the following Recommendations for prospective babysitters.
But all of this left us with questions, and we sought answers that young people who might be employed in North Carolina – babysitting or otherwise – should want to know.
1. There are employment age limits.
Regarding formal employment that does not necessarily involve caregivers, North Carolina law requires someone to be 13 years of age or younger may not be employed. The exception is that children aged 12 and 13 may be employed outside of school hours to distribute newspapers to consumers – but no more than three hours a day (as if there were any Children who still threw papers on the doorstep).
2. Make sure a workplace is safe.
Otherwise, in accordance with US Department of Labor laws, the state of North Caroline provides a list of potential workers for the employment of younger teens dangerous or harmful occupations for children. Mining, power tool operators and (appropriately) meatpacking jobs are on the list, but babysitting a group of potentially naughty and sick children is not.
3. Training, certification and licensing may be required.
But maybe that’s why american red cross offers a course – which includes something called “universal babysitting skills” – as well as some YMCAs, which provide formal and in-depth training and certification for prospective babysitters. Sounds like lifeguard training out of the water. And be careful: if you’re caring for three or more preschoolers — which might be the case with some babysitters — you could be required by the state to have one Child Care License. There are higher allowances for older children before licensing is required.
4. By the way, if you can’t afford a babysitter, there are no specific laws about how small a child can be left alone.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services said WNCN-TV that “NC Fire Rules dictate that children under the age of 8 should not be confined or confined.” Otherwise, as the legal guardian, you decide whether the third-grader, who can babysit the neighbor, is also free to run the family home. We suspect where this age limit above was derived from.
5. Babysitters can earn decent money.
Of course, whether a child or even an adult wants to take on the role of changing diapers, stopping spitting, and checking food for children could come down to money. And what used to cost parents about a dollar an hour while sneaking out to the movies can now cost more an hour than one of those parents is bringing in. There is a website that does analyzed all this for North Carolina and found that we pay our sitters a little more than we pay the state measly minimum wage of $7.25. Nannylane.com found that the average rate nationwide is about $12.96 per hour, which can depend on “location, responsibilities, qualifications, and the type of care needed.” The highest rates were in Durham (where the average is $16.69), Asheville and Raleigh. We wonder if snacks will still be available.
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