According to the Public Legal Education Association, there is no minimum age that someone must be in order to work as a private babysitter. The law states that it is at the discretion of a child's parent to determine an acceptable, responsible and appropriate age for a babysitter.
It is important to remember that an adolescent minor who is under 16 years of age cannot provide babysitting services during school hours, without permission from a school administrator. Some commentators suggest that the minimum babysitting age should be 12, but that has not been codified.
There are a number of things to consider prior to leaving a child at home with a babysitter. Important things to consider are: the age and maturity level of the babysitter, the experience of the babysitter, the age and maturity of the child or children, the duration of the babysitting assignment, and the needs or special needs of the children.
The parents also have an obligation to make responsible babysitting decisions. These responsibilities include: providing detailed babysitting instructions to the babysitter, securing the home, arriving home at the agreed upon hour, and providing contact information about the parent's whereabouts and emergency contact information if the parents are unavailable.