At what age can you start babysitting in Canada?
August 29, 2022
Categories: Info for Parents | Tips

A guide to what age babysitters should be in Canadian provinces & territories

Do you have a child interested in babysitting, but you’re not sure if they’re old enough? You are not alone! It may surprise you to learn that in Canada there is no legal minimum age to be allowed to babysit.

Typically, children are around 12 years old before they start babysitting and The Babysitting Course is recommended for ages 12-16. However, every learner is different, and students can be younger or older. Taking an online babysitting course can help make children more comfortable staying home alone, even before they’re ready to babysit.

What some provinces and territories do have are age requirements in place for when a child can stay home alone. Social service agencies also recommend that children under 12 don’t stay home unaccompanied.

Canadian Provinces with specified ages to stay home alone unsupervised

Province / TerritoryMinimum Age Requirement
What age to stay home alone in Ontario16
*must make provisions for supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances
What age to stay home alone in Manitoba12
What age to stay home alone in New Brunswick12

In Ontario, the law says that children under 16 cannot stay home alone unless you “make provisions for supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances”. These circumstances can include things like babysitting training, maturity, comfort level and experience.

Here are four things you should look at when considering if your child is ready to babysit:

1. Maturity Level

A babysitter needs to be able to follow rules, think critically, and be responsible for the children in their care. Babysitters must be aware of safety and how to react in an emergency. Do you find that your child is able to listen, think and act with a high level of maturity? This can indicate that they’re ready to take on an important job like babysitting!

2. Comfort

Is your child already comfortable being home alone? This is the first step that most children take, before becoming a babysitter. If they have fear or anxiety around being home alone, then they should take some time to get comfortable with that first.

3. Experience

Does your child have any experience with younger siblings or neighbours that indicates they’d be good at taking care of children? This kind of preparation can be done before taking on official babysitting jobs. Being a parent ‘helper’ for a few hours can give children valuable experience – and show you if they’re ready to be a babysitter.

4. Interest

A child who shows interest is an important factor. Training, like The Babysitting Course, is a proactive step your child can take to show they are ready, and prepared, to become a babysitter!

If your child is ready to take the course, sign them up today!