The laws for babysitting without a license vary in each state, but there are not many interstate differences. Workers in state health departments are concerned with a large amount of children being watched by a person without a childcare license.
The state of Montana allows for two children to be watched without a license. The state of Missouri allows up to four children to be cared for or watched, and this number increases if the children are related to the babysitter. Each state's requirements are different, and before accepting a babysitting job, the person has to check the laws in their state.
If an individual plans to care for multiple children, he or she needs to apply for a caregiver's license. Applications are easy to submit in every state, with the basic requirement of a background check. Applicants receive notice within 30 days of application.
As opposed to laws, babysitting guidelines are universal. Individuals who babysit, whether licensed or unlicensed, need first aid kits on hand, as well as items such as fire extinguishers. A babysitter needs to be over the age of 13, even if he or she is a relative. A recommendation by the Fairfax County, Virginia Child Supervision Guidelines states that no child 16 or under be left alone overnight, and that any overnight babysitting is to be supervised by someone 18 years old or over.