The Child and Family Services Act (Section 79.3) says "No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances." The new update to the legislation, The Child, Youth and Family Services Act 2017 (Section 136.3), covers mostly the same ground. The law recognizes that age alone is not a sufficient safeguard for the supervision of children. Supervision is not only an act that aims to protect children from harm but also acts as a means to teach children expected and socially acceptable behaviours.
While there are no exact rules for the supervision of all children, there are guidelines that govern the general expectations for certain age groups.
Age 0 - 4
Children in this age group must be supervised at all times.
Age 5 - 7
Children in this age group should not be left home alone.
Indoor play: Children may play with less supervision when a parent is at home and can check-in regularly with the child.
Outdoor play: This age group should not be left unsupervised. Children must also be accompanied by a caregiver when walking to school or waiting for the bus.
Age 8 - 9
Children in this age group should not be left alone before and after school. When a parent is at home children may play with less supervision in the immediate neighborhood as long as clear boundaries have been defined and understood.
- never leave a child alone in a car
- never leave young children alone with pets
- never leave hazardous materials (matches, lighters, candles, etc.) within a child's reach