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Leaving children home alone

It’s illegal to leave your child at home alone if they’re under 14. If you leave them at home, you need to make sure they are safely supervised.

You can leave children under 14 at home if they’re:

  • supervised by a responsible person who is at least 14
  • safe
  • not left for a long time.

You need to judge if the situation is safe and reasonable — for example, it may be okay to leave your child with someone who is 14 for a few hours, but not for a few days.

If you do not make safe arrangements you can be fined up to $2000 under the Summary Offences Act 1981.

At what age can a child legally do things?

Choosing who to leave your child with

The person you get to look after your child needs to be at least 14 and able to give reasonable supervision and care.

They should be:

  • mature
  • confident looking after children
  • able to cope in an emergency.

Make sure they can get help if they need it — for example, that they have someone to call in an emergency.

Find child care services

Family Services directory

Services near me (0 to 6 years)

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