Saturday, October 13, 2001

A child or young person can babysit at any age, whether s/he is paid or not. There is no legal restriction on the age of the child being looked after. However, if the child is thought to be at risk because s/he is inadequately supervised, criminal proceedings could be taken against the parent(s) or care proceedings could be taken in respect of the child. For example, if a child is injured whilst in the care of a babysitter under 16 and the baby's parents want to take action against the babysitter, the parents would have to show it was reasonable for them to have left the child with the babysitter.
A babysitter over the age of 16 can be charged with a criminal offence if s/he wilfully assaults, ill treats or abandons a child left in her/his care

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