AIBU to think that kids in year 7 upwards don't require after school care?

(69 Posts)
Blueskiesandcherrypies Thu 06-Mar-14 12:34:40

Or do they? Genuine question as mine aren't at that age yet but I would like to go back to work when my youngest starts school, my eldest two will be in years 7 and 8. I will send youngest 2 to after school club (foundation and yr1) but am unsure whether older two will need some sort of club/childminder? They are sensible kids. Is there a law or guidance?

Lottiedoubtie Thu 06-Mar-14 12:36:32

No specific law- it's about judging responsibility.

I think you could be on dodgy ground with the eleven year old to be honest. But then it's difficult because many after school clubs won't take them at that age either.

Some do, some don't. But there isn't much provision for older children.

I think it depends on how long they have alone in the house and who mature and independent they are. Also, if they can be trusted to behave together.

Perhaps you can start training them now?

Electryone Thu 06-Mar-14 12:37:37

IM in Scotland and we have a different system so I don't know what ages your DC are.

Electryone Thu 06-Mar-14 12:37:52

Im in Scotland and we have a different system so I don't know what ages your DC are.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Thu 06-Mar-14 12:37:52

OMG my mil had a breakdown when SIL did this.

Tbh I think it counts on the kids. I was left on my own and was sensible also used to get two buses across town at that age.

I never left dd till she was year 8/9.

Not sure on the law but mil was banging on about one.

FreckledLeopard Thu 06-Mar-14 12:39:16

DD used to walk home alone aged 9 and let herself in with a key and be at home for about an hour until au pair had picked up her step-brother. She was fine!

I've looked after an 11 year old, came to me from the school bus. She hated going to a childminders so I paid her as an assistant n my homework club ;-)

She came to me until she was almost 14.

Seeline Thu 06-Mar-14 12:39:54

I think it depends on circumstances.
How late home would you be/how long would they be on their own?
Can they be trusted together (I think often individually the children are fine, but if prone to fighting together that could be a problem)
Can they be trusted to get on with homework on their own?
What about after-school activities/clubs

I think the real problem with that age is the holidays. They are not old enough to occupy themselves all day, for a couple of weeks at a time....

OvertiredandConfused Thu 06-Mar-14 12:39:56

By that age, they can get themselves home and get a drink and a snack. However, I don't get home until sometime between 630pm and 7.30pm so I wouldn't be happy leaving them for all that time. I guess a lot depends on what time you might get home. Also, would they need transport to any activities? And what steps will you put in place to make sure they are home safe?

Tbh id say yes they do. Some parents dont get in til six, so three hours of lone time each evening can be detrimental. After school care in the form of a CM would give them tea, somewhere to do homework with help if able, and just keep an eye on them.

I find year seven and eight to be crucial in terms of developing a sense of self esteem and confidence and with up to three hours five nughts a week "free" there is the potential for them to be led astray.

StephenKatz Thu 06-Mar-14 12:40:18

I think it depends on a few things to be honest. I was rather shocked (and still am) when I read about MNers paying for after school care for kids that age, based purely on my own experiences of being a school child and DB and I getting ourselves home from school by the age of 10 several times a week. BUT we/my parents were lucky that my Nan only lived a mile away, and although she didn't directly supervise us, she was there if we needed her. We were also quite mature kids.

Blueskiesandcherrypies Thu 06-Mar-14 12:40:30

Electryone, they will be 11/12.

StephenKatz Thu 06-Mar-14 12:41:20

I should add - this was approx 1995

I thought you had to be twelve or fourteen before you could be left alone in law. I'd have to google tbh

I don't think the argument "we did it in my day" holds any water as we used to send kids all sorts of places and do all sorts we wouldn't now.

Completely agree mynameis. Far too risky. Not just in the park now. It's drink drugs and gangs

I think social media has a lot to answrr for too - kids can and will be harassed, bullied and targetted from all angles nowadays and an extra eye on them really is beneficial.

Some do and some don't. Both DH and I work full time and so from year 6 onwards DS started walking home from school and letting himself in. However, just before the end of year 6 he convinced himself that some one was in the house and was absolutely terrified - DH came home from work an hour later and found him almost in tears pacing up and down the bottom of the road.

He is now in year 7 and will not let himself into the house if no one is in - he is fine if we go out and leave him (in the holidays he can happily be in all day on his own) but I have to try and make sure he has somewhere to go every day after school and a lot of time he stays in the school library and does his homework just so he gets home later.

He's fine if he has a mate over and they both go in together.

ReallyTired Thu 06-Mar-14 12:45:42

I think a lot depends on what time you get home from work. I am happy to leave my son for a couple of hours, but I wouldn't want to leave him home alone for much longer. However I think that sending a secondary school child to after school club would be a bit mean. They would find it babyish and demeaning to go to a childcare facility aimed at five year olds. Some secondary schools have a homework club which reduces the time home alone.

BirthdayMuppet Thu 06-Mar-14 12:46:06

There is no law on leaving children alone at any particular age, but a parent will be held responsible and can be prosecuted for neglect if something goes wrong and the child is hurt or hurts/damages someone/something else. 11 & 12yo's prob do need some form of care or carer available if it's to be more than an hour or so at home alone, and if they are expected to cook a full meal or put themselves to bed without having seen the parent.

https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone

The law doesn’t say an age when you can leave a child on their own, but it’s an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.
Use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them alone.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says:

children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time
children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight
babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone
The law says that parents can be prosecuted if they leave a child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.

There you go then!

Blueskiesandcherrypies Thu 06-Mar-14 12:47:36

I would like to work 4 days pw and I reckon 2 of those days (3 at a push) DH could arrange to be home from meetings by 4pm and be working out in the office (he has an office in the garden) so kids could go and let him know they're home and obviously holler if they need him for anything. So it's the other 1/2 days I'm thinking about. I don't think holidays would be too much of a problem as between the three of us (me, older DCs dad, and DH) we could prob cover it and utilise holiday clubs for the younger two where needed.

higgle Thu 06-Mar-14 12:49:07

DS1 was home alone from 11 1/2 He got a grammar school place and arrived home - right outside our door- on the school bus at about 4.10pm. DS2 was collected from prep school after prep and I worked some distance away so we got back about 6pm. DS1 was a very sensible boy at 11 and used to have a drink and a biscuit and then settle down to do his home work in peace and quiet until the rest of us got in. He continued to use this quiet tome for homework, which I would check and sign off when I got home. If he had had a more difficult journey home or I had felt unable to trust him not to do unsafe stuff at home we would have had to find another solution.

whatever5 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:49:24

I think that as there is rarely after school care, many secondary school age children do look after themselves for an hour or two after school even at the age of 11. For parents who work, there often isn't an alternative unless they resign for their jobs.

I think that it's a good idea to try to be home by at least 5.30 though.

treaclesoda Thu 06-Mar-14 12:49:45

I know a 17 year old who still go to their childminder! Obviously not to be looked after, but, eg, child lives out in countryside far away from nearest bus stop. Its easier for them to get off the bus in the village (particulary in winter when it would involve a long walk on a dark country road), wander to childminder's house and get started on their homework, then their mum picks them up later. Not sure if the childminder classes it as childminding, or if she charges the mum for it, but it works for that family, they've been going to the childminder since the age of about 2, so she is like family really.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now