There is no magic age at which children develop the maturity needed to stay home alone. Like many parents, you might be trying to decide if it is safe to leave your school-age child home alone during the school break or unsupervised while you go out. Your child might be ready to stay home alone if they:
• Indicate a desire and willingness to stay alone
• Accepts responsibility and is able to make decisions independently
• Shows an awareness of what others need
For many children, these abilities appear between 9 and 12 years of age. UW-Extension has developed a free, self-paced, on-line class called Home Alone. This class was designed to help determine if your child is ready to stay home alone and to better prepare your child for self-care. Home Alone is designed for parents and children to take together so that you and your child can be confident that they are ready to stay home alone. View the program online at http://fyi.uwex.edu/homealone/.