California law does not specifically provide for a minimum age for leaving a child alone at home, nor a minimum age for a child to care for younger siblings. However, leaving children alone before they are ready can result in criminal charges and penalties. California is one of many states that do not have a law that determines the age at which a child can be left alone. But that doesn`t mean it couldn`t be a crime if you do it when he`s too young. The court will decide on a case-by-case basis, and your child`s maturity level is usually the deciding factor. A 10-year-old might be able to fend for himself, while a rebellious 12-year-old might not. Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels, including the bestsellers “Comes the Rain” and “With Every Breath”. Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, particularly in the areas of divorce and family law, insolvency and inheritance law. She addresses many legal topics in her articles. One child may be willing to stay home at age 12, while another may need to be supervised until adolescence.

Ask yourself if your child keeps your word and does what they say. When he goes out with friends, is he good at letting you know where he`s going and getting home on time? Basic fire safety training is essential, as is awareness on how to call for help in an emergency. Your child should know their address, phone number, phone number, and how to communicate with friends and family. They must be able to engage in constructive activities, know how to prepare a basic meal or snack, and not be afraid too easily. Neighborhood safety is another thing to consider, just like you know your neighbors. When in doubt, seek the advice of the pediatrician, teacher and others who know him well. If your child is not willing to stay home alone, chances are there are several alternatives in your community. The Boys and Girls Club offers a variety of after-school programs to keep kids entertained until their parents get home from work. Alternatively, you can arrange childcare cooperation with other parents or sign up your child in the same sports program as a friend so they can share a ride. Children mature at different speeds and ages. Somewhere at the end of elementary school, it`s likely that your child will ask you if they can stay home alone because one or more of their friends no longer go to daycare or use babysitters.

Or maybe you need to run to a doctor`s appointment and wonder if it`s okay to leave your child home alone. Learn the guidelines and recommendations so you can make an informed and safe choice for you and your child. On the other side of the coin, 28-year-old Cody Cook stayed home alone after school at age six because his grandparents, who raised him, both worked. He was fine. “Being able to stay home alone and take care of yourself is a healthy part of a child`s development and builds confidence in children,” she said. Similarly, California has no minimum age for childcare, and there is no law governing the number of siblings or other family members a child can keep. Use discretion when determining whether or not an older child is mature enough to care for younger siblings. While a 12- or 13-year-old may be responsible enough to take care of themselves at home, they may lack the maturity to care for their younger siblings. Called “turnkey children” because of the telltale key hanging around their necks, these children go home to an empty house after school or stay home alone in the summer. Some states, like California, offer little advice because there is no minimum age for children to be left home alone. The majority of states with laws cite 12 years as the limit, while some states are younger, including Maryland and Georgia at 8 and Kansas at six.

All the parents were already there. You have to run fast around town to pick up something like a gallon of milk, a dentist appointment, or something at work. You don`t want to bring your child, but you`re not sure you can legally leave them at home. For Cook, the confidence of being home alone taught him to rely on himself early on. He believes it has given him an edge in life. If you`re able to work or make another commitment where you can`t be with your child regularly when they get home from school, most child care experts suggest looking for an extracurricular activity they can participate in rather than leaving them to fend for themselves. A good choice are art classes, school sports and organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club. Another option is to make an agreement with the parents of a friend of your child, where they monitor your child for a few hours each week in exchange for your other tasks. California, like most states, doesn`t have a law that says exactly how old a child must be to stay home alone.