Youth’s first job can teach valuable life skills

After babysitting her younger sister for a summer, 13-year-old Monica Whitson was ready for more responsibility.

She asked her mother, Alicia Whitson, to help her line up some work. And soon, she had her first job as a baby sitter for two boys, ages 7 and 11. Monica is like many other young people who enter the workforce in the summer as a means to earn their own money for the first time.

The Missouri Department of Labor says youths younger than 14 are permitted to work in the entertainment industry (work permit needed) or in casual jobs such as babysitting, newspaper delivery, coaching, refereeing and occasional yard work with parental consent (no work certificate needed).

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To find out more about Missouri’s Child Labor Laws and to download work permits and certificates, go to the Missouri Department of Labor website at


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