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At what age can a child be left home alone?
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Posted - 08/14/2011 :  10:36:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My child will be 12 years 8months in September (ontario) and will be enrolled for the first time in public school. I will also be starting school in sept and I wanted to know:
1)-At what age can my child be left home alone?


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Posted - 08/18/2011 :  14:33:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thank you for sharing this question with us. It is a very interesting and important one.

There is no law in Ontario that dictates a specific age at which a child can be left un-supervised. The Child & Family Services Act states that "No person having charge of a child less than 16 years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances." .

According to Dave Fleming, Assistant Director of Intake at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto,

"The law is purposefully vague when it comes to choosing a specific age [for leaving children on their own] because there are many variables to take into consideration....One eleven-year-old may feel comfortable being left alone, and knows what to do in case of an emergency, while another eleven-year-old may feel nervous and unsure of himself,”

You can find these quotes and more information on this in this article here:

Home Alone: When is it OK to Leave Kids Alone?

The Durham Children's Aid Society Supervision Guidelines state that 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.

You can also find some additional information here:

Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies - At what age can a child be left home alone?

If you are unsure whether or not you should leave a child at home without supervision, we suggest that you contact your nearest Children's Aid Society. You can find the nearest one here:

Children's Aid Societies in Ontario

You do not have to give your name or provide any identifying information.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

Settlement.Org Team

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