Very often, babysitting is a young person’s first job, usually starting with siblings, cousins or close friends. Usually 11 to12 years of age is considered the youngest recommended age, depending on the babysitter’s level of maturity and responsibility. And there are a number of things that you need when you babysit - the safety checklist, the contact numbers, the bag of games, but what about one question that comes up - whether a babysitter needs liability insurance.
In Texas, the answer is no. A homeowner’s policy can cover a babysitter while visiting your home; however, be sure to check your policy for limits and exclusions. If you feel the coverage is not enough, you may want to adjust your policy accordingly. Your independent insurance agent can advise you on what’s best.
Of course, babysitting every week or two in someone’s home is very different from providing professional childcare in your home or in an independent building. In Texas you can care for up to four (4) children at a time without a license. However, if you provide regular child care for fewer children than this, you may only need to list your home with the state, but need no license. Childcare centers are required by law to carry professional childcare liability insurance.
If you occasionally need a babysitter, there are several good things to know when start looking:
- Check the sitter’s references thoroughly
- Ask relevant questions that pertain to your children, their needs, and yours
- Find a babysitter that fits what your requirements, location and timewise
- Have the sitter over to meet your children and see how they interact
- Trust your instincts and if it feels odd, keep looking
It’s comforting to know you have someone reliable and trustworthy to call on for babysitting, allowing you to have some free time. Just remember to do the groundwork to settle on the right person for your personal babysitter.