Law in Children’s Lives: Babysitting

What do children think?

In Adventures with Lex, Lex asked children what age they thought it was okay to look after or babysit a child.

Stick figure pushing pram

What did Lex find out about baby sitting?

Different children had different ideas about this.

A quarter of them thought that only adults should babysit a child, but most children thought you should be around 14.

This is lower than the age recommended by the NSPCC – which is 16.

What else do we know?

The graph below shows the different ages that children thought it was okay to look after another child on their own.

The age is along the bottom, and the bars show the percentage of children who chose that age. The higher the bar, the greater number of children who chose that age.

The most common answer was 18, chosen by 25% of children. But a few children also thought children as young as 9, 10 or 11 could babysit a younger child.

What age for babysitting

What does the law say?

There is no law that sets a minimum age for a babysitter.

But it is against law for anyone over 16 who is responsible for a child to neglect or harm them in any way.

This is part of a law called the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933.