Babysitting law will put unfair pressure on parents

Babysitters in California may soon be getting the benefits of any typical employee, thanks to the California Babysitter Law (AB 889). The bill, though it helps babysitters, is a pain for parents and should not go through unless some of the specifics are changed.

The bill proposes that all babysitters, nannies and caretakers over the age of 18 would need to be paid minimum wageand worker’s compensation benefits. They would be required to take a break every two hours for 15 minutes. They would also have to have a meal break, in which they could choose what they wanted to eat and have access to a kitchen.

Beyond that, parents would have to deal with timecards, paychecks and payroll taxes.

Long gone are the days of the stay-at-home mom. More and more, parents are resorting to having a full-time nanny so that both parents can work to make ends meet. Also, there is a dramatic increase in single parents, who need a babysitter so that they can work. Add on the economic situation, and parents are in a tight bind.

Some parts of this bill are good, like having minimum wage. Working with kids can be fun, but it can be very challenging as well. Making sure that babysitters are well-paid is a no-brainer.

But taking a break every two hours for 15 minutes causes a huge problem. Parents would have to hire a second person to come watch the kids for those 15 minute breaks, which is ridiculous.

First of all, depending on the kids, two hours flies by when you’re babysitting. Unless the kids are having a really bad day, two hours isn’t that much time at all when you’re having fun with them. Second of all, 15 minutes isn’t that long of a time either. It’s like the other babysitter is expected to wait around for two hours just to take over for 15 minutes and then wait another two hours until she’s needed again for those few minutes.

Granted, this is a good bill, but only for certain situations. This bill should not apply to those Friday-night-date babysitters, the ones who are called up every once in a while but are not in a job agreement with the parents, whether they’re 18 or not. For those types of situations, the parents are trying to take a break, and don’t need to be worrying about getting sued for not properly following the countless stipulations that this bill proposes.

This bill should only apply to nannies and caretakers who are working regular hours, like any normal employee. They are the ones who this bill should be trying to protect. For them, it’s a job, and they should have the benefits that any other person with a job should have.

It’s great that the bill covers any babysitter over 18, full time or not, but the hassle for the parents on a non-full-time babysitter is just too much to handle.

Author: Kaity Bergquist

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  1. Some of your information is incorrect, after 4 hours of work a 10 minute break is required for workers in general across California totaling 20 minutes paid break in 8 hours, AB889 is just asking to have domestic workers be recognized under the same law you benefit from. Also, it is easy and obvious that the breaks will be taken in the home while the child is asleep without the expectation that the childcare provider keep herself busy cooking, cleaning, organizing etc. for at least 20 of those minutes in an 8 hour shift,no one, especially childcare providers, want or expect employers hire a second childcare provider for 20 minutes a day. All this bill is trying to do is recognize that these workers are as valuable and their work as respectable as the work you do.

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  2. Kaity is a bit of a pinhead. Mandating minimum wage for babysitters is far from a “no-brainer”. Many 18 & over babysitters (many of whom are good at what they do and need the business) will be put at a competitive disadvantage to 17 & under alternatives. If they’re willing & happy to do this work for less than min wage, then this is one more example of hurting intended beneficiaries with bad, unnecessary law.
    If “this is a good bill, but only for certain situations”, yet it is not limited to those situations, then it is a bad bill. There is no need for government policy to act in lieu of people thinking and acting for themselves.

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