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State of New Jersey Babysitting Laws
New Jersey regulates childcare licensing. There are regulations regarding the registration guidelines of family home based care, and licensing information for child care centers. There are currently no laws in New Jersey regarding age minimums of providers, though the The National SAFEKIDS Campaign suggests at the website Latchkey-kids.com, that providers be no younger than 12-years-old.
Child Care Center Licensing
New Jersey defines a child care center as a location "that provides care to six or more children under the age of 13." All providers meeting these requirements are legally charged with obtaining a special license. The center must meet all applicable requirements found within a manual, provided by the state division of licensing: http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/divisions/licensing/
Child care centers must renew their licensing every three years. At the time of renewal, workers from the Department of Children and Families will inspect the location to ensure it meets all applicable codes and regulations.
Family Child Care Homes
Child care providers who operate out of their private residences in New Jersey are considered to operate a "family child care home". A child care home may provide care for three to five children full-time (more than 15 hours per week). Providers meeting this criteria are required by New Jersey to register as a family child care home. Providers who care for fewer than three children full-time may register as well, but it is not mandatory.
The family child care provider must be at least 18 years of age to register, but may employ a provider assistant no younger than 14-years-old.
Providers who register with the state are eligible to be listed on state-sponsored childcare listings, and also may be eligible for the childcare voucher program.
Minor Child Care Providers
There is currently no law regarding the minimum age of a child care provider in New Jersey. Parents seeking to employ a minor to care for their children are suggested to consider maturity level and any certification the prospective provider may have such as a Red Cross babysitting certificate or CPR and first aid training.
The Red Cross babysitting certification classes are held locally for minors aged 11 through 15 years of age. CPR and first aid is taught in these sessions, along with emergency readiness and basic childcare principles. Minors who have successfully completed the class will receive a certificate they may refer to or present to prospective employers. The class also teaches minor providers to discuss safety checklists, parental consent forms and emergency contact information before beginning a babysitting job.
Carla J. Cohen is from Western Massachusetts. Her articles can be found online at Associated Content, The Examiner, and a number of popular blogs. Cohen is currently working on obtaining her degree in psychology through Western International University. She has combined her experiences and hobbies; such as Health & Diet, Cooking, Parenting, and DIY, with her love of writing to share with others.