|Caring for children|
|Outside the home|
|Institutions and standards|
Babysitting is temporarily caring for a child. Babysitting can be a paid job for all ages; however, it is best known as a temporary activity for young teenagers who are too young to be eligible for employment in the general economy. It provides autonomy from parental control, and spending money, as well as an introduction to the techniques of child care. It emerged as a social role for teenagers in the 1920s, and became especially important in suburban America in the 1950s and 1960s, when there was an abundance of small children. It stimulated an outpouring of folk culture, urban legends, pulp from novels, and even horror movies.
The majority of time, babysitting workers tend to be in middle school, high school or college (12-). There are some adults who have in home childcare as well. The type of work for babysitting workers also varies from watching a sleeping child, changing diapers, playing games, preparing meals, to teaching the child to read or even driving (if the age is right), depending on the agreement between parents and babysitter.
In some countries various organizations produce courses for babysitters, mainly focusing on child safety and first aid appropriate for infants and children. These classes or courses can be provided at local hospitals and sometimes even schools. These classes can equip the babysitter with information to keep both the child, or children, and sitter safe in various health and weather scenarios.
The term "baby sitter" first appeared in 1937, while the verb form "baby-sit" was first recorded in 1947. The American Heritage College Dictionary notes "One normally would expect the agent noun babysitter with its -er suffix to come from the verb baby-sit, as diver comes from dive, but in fact babysitter is first recorded in 1937, ten years earlier than the first appearance of baby-sit. Thus the verb was derived from the agent noun rather than the other way around, and represents a good example of back-formation. The use of the word "sit" to abbreviate to refer to a baby-sitter is recorded from 1800. The term may have originated from the action of the caretaker "sitting on" the baby in one room, while the parents were entertaining or busy in another.
International variations in definition
In British English the term refers only to caring for a child for a few hours, on an informal basis and usually in the evening when the child is asleep for most of the time. In American English the term can include caring for a child for the whole or most of the day, and on a regular or more formal basis, which would be described as childminding in British English.
- Miriam Forman-Brunell, Babysitter: An American History (2009)
- Greenwald, Ken. "Babysitting." Word Wizard. Google.com, Sept.-Oct. 2003. Web.
- "baby-sit", The American Heritage College Dictionary, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002, p. 103
- Admin. "10 Interesting Facts About the Etymology of Babysitter | Babysitters." Babysitters. Babysitters.net, 23 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.
- Miriam Forman-Brunell. Babysitter: An American History. New York University Press, June, 2009.
|Look up babysitting in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Babysitting courses provided by the American Red Cross
- YourChild: Babysitter Safety University of Michigan Health System
- A guide to the business of babysitting in the United States
- Quality Child Care From University of Florida/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Factors in choosing quality child care.
-  Babysitters and 1099 forms
- Where babysitting is moving towards