minimum age to leave your child alone?

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ermintrude35 | 16:35 Thu 23rd Aug 2007 | Law
5 Answers daughter is a responsible 13 year old , and is more than capable of being left unsupervised, are there any rules regarding this, everything I've found on the web seems to be very confusing.....

....I leave for work at 7.30am and she would be on her own until 8.20 (on a school day ) .... and some evenings( maybe twice a month) I wld have to work 7pm-12 middninght ( she is in bed at 9pm)...she says that she would be comfortable with this arangment and I trust her jugment completley. I just don't want people accusing me of misstreating her in anyway , I am a single motherd have raised her on my own from the age of 2, I have always worked part time and within school hours, but now I have the chance of promotion and seeing as she is older I feel I can work more hours to provide for her university education etc....... what are your views or legal advice on this issue?....

...( I have also posted this in "family" category...


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There is no legal minimum age for leaving a child alone.

I can see no problem with your situation, provided she has a contact telephone number. This website offers the best possible advice: ndcarers/homealone/homealone_wda35965.html

I think 13 is a mature age for some children (especially girls - but I'm sure I'll come under some criticism for saying that). When my youngest (who's birthday is in October and is one of the eldest in her year) moved to a primary school, which was on our doorstep, I allowed her to walk home to an empty house and remain alone for an hour - until I got home from work. I made the neighbours aware and she really enjoyed the responsibility. I didn't allow her to stay on her own, during the evening, until she turned 14 and that was only on the very rare occasion that hubby and I both went out. Having said that, I was raised by my father only and I was cooking meals, washing, cleaning and looking after myself at 12. I grew up feeling much more mature than most of my friends and I really think it has made me a better parent to my own children. My Dad was a star but he worked all hours to raise my me and my sister him! If you live in a safe enough area, see it as allowing her to mature. Good luck
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...thankyou scooby ...I was feeling quite confident in all the replies I got as I posted it in Familys too...but now I'm not quite sure what to do... 446918.html
what is worrying you now - the nosey neighbours? Who is best placed to judge, you and your daughter or someone who knows little about you two. If someone does say you are a bad parent, doesn't make it true does it - just makes them spiteful, ignorant, misinformed whatever
I didn't mean I told the neighbours because I felt I should (I couldn't really care less) but I just wanted my daughter to know she could call on someone in the event of an emergency. By that I mean, water leak, loss of electricity etc....I knew she'd be okay.

As others have said, there is no law regarding age limit for a child to stay on their own. However, if your child was immature and not responsible enough to look after themselves and something happened to them, you could be prosecuted. I don't think you need to worry about this though - your daughter sounds very mature. I think you should give her a telephone number of someone to contact in the event of an emergency and enjoy your promotion :o)

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