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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default What age can children be left at home alone?

Just a quick question

Does anyone know at what age can children be left alone at home by themselves?

Thanks
Nadia
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:23 PM
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A child that is old enough with the maturity to babysit other children could certainly be left alone.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:45 AM
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It should be covered under the Child and Family Services Act, I remember seeing it there but I couldn't have time to find the paragraph right now.

Family and Children's Services for Waterloo has a great page with it's recomendations, I don't know how much of this is required by law but I would go with this if I wasn't sure about anything. They say that for an hour or two starting at 10 years old. That would seem fine to me if the child had cell phone contact with the parent at all times and access to a neighbour etc if anything went wrong. There should be strict rules about no cooking, even toast, I've seen my thirteen year old get lost on the internet and ignore her toast on fire.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:38 PM
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By law, children under 12 years of age cannot be left alone at home unattended and they cannot care for younger children as well. I have searched for a web site reference and the first most legitimate one I found is: Before you arrive: Get to know Canada - Laws

Scroll to the paragraph that says "Some important laws that may apply to your family".

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:52 PM
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My step daughter got her babysitting license at 12 through the Red Cross of Canada (in 2003) and was babysitting other kids. The age limit is normally 10 but you should contact your local Children's Aid Society if you are not sure.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharah View Post
My step daughter got her babysitting license at 12 through the Red Cross of Canada (in 2003) and was babysitting other kids. The age limit is normally 10 but you should contact your local Children's Aid Society if you are not sure.
Yes, the CAS will be appear to be most helpful to answer that question and most likely take ones particulars and enter it into their database for future reference if need be.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:14 PM
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here in ontario it is 10 years old
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:30 PM
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This is what Children's Aid has to say on the subject:

Quote:

At what age can a child be left home alone?

The Child and Family Services Act does not identify an age when a child can be left alone, or an age at which a child can supervise or babysit other children. The Act recognizes that age alone is not a sufficient safeguard for the supervision of children.

The Act says that a person who has charge of a child less than 16 years of age cannot leave the child without making provision for his/her care or supervision that is reasonable under the circumstances. Anyone who contravenes this provision is guilty of a provincial offence and if convicted is liable to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to a year.

In addition, the Criminal Code of Canada includes the offence of abandoning a child. Everyone who unlawfully abandons or exposes a child who is under the age of 10 years, so that its life is or is likely to be endangered, or its health is or is likely to be permanently injured is guilty of an offence that carries a penalty of imprisonment of not more than two years.

If you're unsure as to whether it's okay to leave your child home alone, please consult with your local Children's Aid Society -- you don't have to give your name, or any identifying information.
The agency gives these guidelines:

Quote:
Recommended guidelines for leaving a child alone

Infant - 9 years
A child of this age should not be left unsupervised at any time of the day or night. A competent caregiver should be on the same premises as the children.

10 -12 years
Short periods of indirect supervision of 1-2 hours may be acceptable for this age range. These short periods of indirect supervision may be provided by an adult in the next house or apartment-- if the adult is aware of the parents' absence, and agrees to look in on the child during specified periods of time.

Please note that indirect supervision via telephone contact is generally unacceptable for this age range.

13 - 14 years
Longer periods of indirect supervision (2 - 5 hours) are acceptable for this age range. An adult/babysitter should be available by telephone to the children in case of an emergency, or if the child requires assistance.

15 -16 years
At this age, the child should be able to be left alone for a full day. The parent should be readily available by telephone to the child in case of an emergency.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:42 PM
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Good find.

Their "recommendations" are just that - for children between 10 and 16.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:46 PM
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There's a whole section as well on how to decide if your child is ready to be home alone.

Durham Children's Aid Society
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