Some kids are ready to babysit at 12 or 13 years of age, though for some they may need to be older before they are ready to take on such a big responsibility. In most cases, a teen or tween's readiness for babysitting will depend on whether they are mature, responsible and able to be trusted to care for a baby or young child without additional supervision. The Red Cross offers a babysitting training course for kids ages 11 and up.
The first step is to determine if the tween or teen is able to make sound decisions even when not directly supervised by an adult. If so, then they are most likely able to babysit a child for short periods of time. Being able to handle an emergency or urgent situation with maturity, is also a sign that they can handle a babysitting job. Leaving the babysitter with important numbers, such as the contact information for neighbors, other family members and the local fire and police departments help to make them feel more at ease as well, when caring for children.