Kids Home Alone: How Old Is Old Enough?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


Some parents dread it while others anxiously await it: the day when your child proudly proclaims, “mom, I’m too old for a sitter!”

As families start to think about planning summer child care, how do you determine if your child is ready to go it alone?  And when are they responsible enough to be in charge of younger siblings?

Childcare expert Amisha Sinha shared with us some important things to consider if your family is thinking about taking that big step and letting your child go solo over the summer.

Sinha says that the age of the child is a factor. "It's emotional maturity, it's the ability for the child to be a problem solver," said Sinha. These can help determine whether or not they are ready to stay home alone. She says you should establish some ground rules for your kids, such as not answering the door or turning on the oven.

You also want to them have all of your cell phone numbers memorized or any emergency contact numbers they may need. Parents can ease into letting their kids stay home alone. You can start with 15-minute increments during the day. Don't leave them home alone at night right off the bat. See how they handle it the first few times and go from there.

Sinha also recommends the "My Sitter" app available for iOS and Android. It allows you real-time scheduling access to your family of sitters and gives you more time to focus on what matters most: your family. Download My Sitters  to get started and for more information on College Nannies, Sitters, and Tutors head to their website now.