This is a significant source of parental confusion about the age and circumstances in which children may be left unattended. There is no legal age for children to become babysitters in Canada, and it is not uncommon for them to start as early as age 12. The Canadian Red Cross offers a child care course for children aged 11 to 15, a program focused on child care, first aid, injury prevention, leadership and business skills. Now, more than ever, parents and caregivers need balance. With demanding work hours and growing families, parents need to factor in every minute of their day. Another factor is making decisions that ensure the safety of their children while promoting their growing independence. In reality, many children often spend time alone at home unsupervised, but is it legal? In Quebec, there is no legal age to leave a child alone at home. However, you can be charged with negligence under the Youth Protection Act if you are under 12 years of age and are seriously injured while away. Another question we are often asked is: how old can my child babysit? In Quebec, a child is considered capable of caring for other children from the age of 12 (see: Legal age for leaving children unsupervised in Canada, Ruiz-Casares and Radic, 2015). CSC provides online safety checklists (e.g., telephone, security, fire safety, first aid and power outages) and advises parents and children to communicate clearly and prepare children to stay home alone. CSC also offers structured on-site programs, such as the Home Alone program and the babysitter training course, in several provinces and territories, as well as online. Through ten sessions (25 hours) of interactive group learning, the first provides children aged 10 and over with the skills and knowledge they need to stay home alone “for a short period of time.” The babysitter training course, designed for 12-year-olds, includes information on topics ranging from child development and nutrition to basic play and first aid. Another program, the Babysitter Training Program, offered directly by the Canadian Red Cross, is for children between the ages of 11 and 15.
Over the course of 8 hours, participants will learn basic skills in safety, first aid and grooming, how to prevent and respond to emergencies, and how to apply to become babysitters to expectant parents. At a time when parents are obsessed with safety, there are many rules and laws that govern what children can and cannot do without supervision – even the age that legally defines a child varies from province to province. What is done in practice may be very different from what is officially mandated, but it is always useful to know the rules. And it`s always best to ask. From flying alone to childcare, here`s how kids can be independent without their parents in different parts of the country: Fostering a sense of autonomy in my children is important to me. That`s how it`s to keep them safe. Finding this balance is not always easy. Legal and moral factors play a role in these decisions. Parents know only too well that moments of rest and opportunities to go out as a couple are rare but necessary.
With a teenager, there is always this big question: should we call the babysitter or not? In Quebec, there is no legal age to leave children unsupervised at home. In fact, a 2015 study of child welfare laws in Canada`s 13 provinces found that only three provinces have a minimum age at which children can be left home alone. Yet a number of high-profile cases in Canada and the United States have made parents concerned about the legal consequences of leaving their children unattended while they go to work. One example is the recent case in British Columbia, where the courts ruled that an 8-year-old was too young to be left alone for two hours after school. Leaving children unattended is a legal grey area. But in some places, such as airplane cabins and parking lots in Quebec, the rules are strict and fast. In summary, despite your busy schedule, the most important thing is to make sure your children are safe. It is better to break down on the side of caution and despite the fact that Quebec does not have a legal minimum, we recommend using 12 years as a guideline, as this is the age considered appropriate to be mature enough to also take care of other children, so that they can also take care of themselves. We also recommend your children to take the babysitting course as they learn important skills that can help them in their daily lives. It is also important to remember that anything can happen even when you are at home, the difference is that you are there to help them in case of an emergency. In Quebec, there is actually no legal age to leave your child home alone. However, it is important to note that there is an age at which the Director of Juvenile Protection (DYP) can intervene: if the child is under 12 years of age, for negligence, etc.
For example, if your child is under the age of 12 and is seriously injured while you are away, you may be charged with negligence under the Youth Protection Act. When it comes to leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, Quebec has set a legal age limit of 7 years. In situations related to lack of supervision, the law identifies several conditions for a child to become a vulnerable child (see: Legal age for leaving children unsupervised in Canada, Ruiz-Casares & Radic, 2015). Examples of vulnerable children include: when the child does not wish to be adequately cared for, supervised or supervised, is not sufficiently supervised and protected, a child is not sufficiently left unattended and does not arrange for the child`s care, and a child is abandoned, abandoned or lost. The burden of proof lies with the party bringing the case, i.e.: The State through its childcare service. If a person responsible for a child is convicted under a social welfare law, he or she commits a crime and may be fined. Once the rules are established, I often suggest parents call a “family gathering” and sit at the kitchen table with snacks and juice. Explain the expectations you have and the binding rules to follow. You can even ask your child to sign a small contract. Show your confidence by giving your child a set of house keys and then practicing locking and unlocking the front door. Your child will feel proud and independent. On Greyhound buses, anyone under the age of eight must be accompanied by a person who is at least 15 years old.
Children between the ages of eight and 14 can travel alone on the bus, but certain conditions must be met, including: the journey must not last more than five hours, children cannot switch from one bus to another, and the journey must start during the day and end at 10 p.m., among other things. If your child shows the necessary skills and shows an interest in staying home alone – because all his friends do it – you can begin to prepare gradually.