Poll: When is it acceptable to leave your children home alone?

More than half of all parents are happy to leave their 11 year old child at home alone, a survey has found.

Parents believe children as young as 12 are able to babysit younger siblings (Photo: Shutterstock)

The research, undertaken by Childcare.co.uk, also shows that parents are happy for 12 year old children to babysit their younger siblings.

Some parents added that they would be happy for children as young as 10 to look after their brothers or sisters on an evening.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Parents say 15 year olds can be left overnight

The survey also showed that for overnight childcare, where an older sibling is looking after a younger brother or sister, the acceptable age is 15 for more than 80 per cent of parents.

However, some parents said they would leave their children under the supervision of siblings as young as 13 for a full night.

When asked what age parents would be comfortable leaving their child home alone for two hours or less, more than half of parents said 11 years old, 30 per cent said 12 years old, and five per cent said 10 years old.

However, 94 per cent of parents would not allow their child to babysit their siblings under the age of two.

What does the law say?

The law does not specify at what age it becomes safe to leave your child alone at home, but it does state that placing your child at risk is an offence.

The NSPCC say that children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time.

And as for leaving children overnight, the charity recommends that children under 16 should not be left alone.

The organisation adds that no babies, toddlers or very young children should ever be left alone.