The ideal age of a babysitter depends on the situation that the sitter will be asked to manage. For full time long term care while the parents are at work requires an adult babysitter who can handle nearly every possible problem that might arise. For after school or a night out type of babysitting, the standard can be lowered considerably. Two, three, or four hour time frames require a babysitter who is young enough to keep up with active children, but old enough to stay ahead of their antics.
For the most part, babysitters should have at least made it into their teens. A younger sitter is alright if the children will be watched in the sitter’s home with the sitter’s parents nearby. In the cases where the babysitter is to come to your house to watch the kids, someone in their mid to late teens would be preferable.
Some parents are looking for the cheapest babysitter on the market. If the children are relatively young, an eleven to thirteen year old sitter will work by dropping your children off at his or her house. At least one parent should be at home. Often the parents of an older preteen will want their child to have this opportunity to both gain some maturity and make a couple of dollars. You can frequently get this type of sitter for about $10 for a several hour time period.
Most people prefer the sitter to come to their house so that the kids are in familiar surroundings with their own toys and games. It the appointment runs past bed time for the children, the babysitter can put them to bed. The whole arrangement works well because if the kids have an early bed time, it makes for an easy evening for the babysitter.
To have this type of babysitting service will cost a little more because you really need someone who is 15 or 19 years old. Many older adults do not like this type of assignment because it limits them to only watching your children for the whole evening. With young people, you can expect a moderate amount of maturity while still having a babysitter with a more flexible lifestyle and schedule.
At the other end of the scale are the older adults. Seniors who are still in good health but have lots of free time are more than willing to play grandpa or grandma to younger children. They enjoy the interaction with the kids and enjoy the extra cash, too. Like teens, seniors on retirement do not need piles of money. They just want or need a few extra dollars to fill in the cracks or for some mad money.
With seniors, you get a lifetime of experience to offset the diminished physical stamina. They will even have the experience to help with potty training and do not mind sitting and reading to young minds for extended periods. Overall, seniors may prove more reliable than most teens because they understand commitment.