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Please can I just check something about allowing children to stay home alone?

(14 Posts)
OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 11:36:42

This is the situation. From September DH will no longer be able to guarantee that he can be at school at 3 to pick up DD (10) and DS#2 (6) every day. He will probably only be 10 mins or so late. DS#2 (12) walks home from his school and is home by 3.30ish.

We are thinking about asking a neighbour who's DD is in DS#2's class to walk our youngest 2 home from school and then DD will have a key to let them both in. DS#2 and DH will both be there within 10 or 20 mins. So they will only be alone for a short period. I an accessible by phone and can always shoot home in an emergency, and they can contact the neighbour too if they have problems. Now, DH and I are happy that all will be well in that scenario. But are we doing anything technically illegal? I don't want to find that some concerned citizen has reported us to somebody hmm

Any advice gratefully received.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 17-Aug-09 11:49:19

I would consider asking the person walking your children home to take them to theirs until someone is home. If it is only a few minutes I can't see the problem. Much better than home alone imho.

Mine are 4 6 and 8 and I wouldn't leave the eldest alone yet.

chichichien Mon 17-Aug-09 11:52:43

You are not doing anything that is clear-cut illegal but if there were any accidents or incidents that involved public services (possibly due to a concerned citizen getting in touch) then there is a possibility of 'neglect' due to the youngest being 6.

RustyBear Mon 17-Aug-09 11:57:48

At the junior school I work at we have a child who regularly stays in reception for 20 minutes or so till mum can pick up (she has a younger child at a school in another part of town) and several who do so from time to time. Could your children do something similar?

belgo Mon 17-Aug-09 12:02:33

Is your neighbour happy to do that? I wouldn't be, not every day.

OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 12:07:14

belgo - yes she is. I am happy to take her DD's to school every day and pick them up on Monday if she wants me to.

rusty - we did that last year. But it's later this year and may not always be a set time.

fab - I think it would be too much of an intrusion - picking up from a place where she is going anyway isn't really a big deal, but looking after them might be. She is only 5 doors away.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 17-Aug-09 12:08:58

Obviously up to you but not something I would do.

Why not get a childminder?

belgo Mon 17-Aug-09 12:08:59

I don't see the problem then if it's an arrangement that suits everyone.

OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 12:10:29

That assumes I can get a cm who will pick up from school. And one I will only need for about 30 mins 3x a week.

cornsillk Mon 17-Aug-09 12:11:06

I would ask neighbour to either wait with them in your house or let them wait at her house. It sounds like dh will probably meet them on the way anyway and if you are doing her the favour of taking her children to school in the morning I think that's more than fair.

I think it depends on your 6 year old tbh. I wouldnt leave my 6year old dd in the charge of a 12 year old or 10 year old.
Do you have a friend that can help?

MmeLindt Mon 17-Aug-09 12:16:52

6yo is quite young to go home alone, even with an elder sibling. Is he just 6 or close to 7yo? Are they both quite responsible?

Is your 12yo DS reliable, will he definitely be home by 3.30pm?

titchy Mon 17-Aug-09 12:22:26

I'd be reasonably happy with the 10 year old being at home alone for half an hour or so, but at the same time I don't think 10 is really old enough to be responsible for a 6 year old. so would it be possible for the 6 year old to either go to someone's house for half an hour, or to stay at school a bit longer?

OrmIrian Mon 17-Aug-09 12:39:09

Thanks everyone.

Hmmm I will speak to school about them staying a bit longer. It might be a possible solution.

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