Ages that children can leave home, be left alone and/or babysit

8.30.5.L5 Updated on:

Babysitting guidelines

There is no statute law providing for suitable ages for children to be able to babysit. Commonsense must prevail, but the circumstances are significant. For example, availability of the parent(s), the closeness of other adults, the health of the children being minded, length of time left, etc. Parents/guardians are legally responsible for the well-being of their children.

Leaving children alone

There is no statutory age at which children can be left alone. It must depend on all the circumstances, but the ultimate responsibility for the well-being of the children lies with the parents (or person having parental responsibility). While the law does not specify an age at which children can be left on their own, it is illegal for anyone over sixteen, in charge of a child, to intentionally or recklessly:

  • cause any harm to that child;
  • expose her/him to a risk of harm; or
  • neglect her/him in a manner likely to cause her/him harm.

Children leaving home

There is no statuary age at which a child can leave home. However, children who have finished full-time education can obtain employment in order to be self-supporting.