Salem, OR asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Public Benefits for Oregon

Q: What is the legal age to babysit in Oregon state?

1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I don't know if there is a specific law on this but here are some links that lead me to believe that age 14 or older might be safe:

This article says you can't leave a child 10 or younger alone - so that age or younger would not qualify to babysit.

This article says that children age 14 can work but only limited hours! So this may interfere with some baby sitting jobs;

Q. How many hours may minors work in a day?

A. There are no limits on the number of hours 16- and 17-year-olds may work in a day. However, 14- and 15-year-olds may not work during school hours, may not work more than three hours on any school day, and may not work more than eight hours on non-school days. Also, 14- and 15-year-olds may only work between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (and as late as 9:00 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day).

Q. How many hours may minors work in a week?

A. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may work up to 44 hours per week. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may work at most 18 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week when school is not in session.

I would add to this that there is an element of common sense. You would not want to leave a child in the care of another minor - no matter what that minor's age is, if you know that for whatever reason, the minor you want as a baby sitter is not mature enough and responsible enough to keep your child safe and secure. I believe you could still be charge with negligence and child endangerment if you ignore obvious signs.

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