Home Doll market Should Illinois parents leave their kids home alone at age 12?

Should Illinois parents leave their kids home alone at age 12?


Any parent with young children knows that finding babysitters when you want or need to go somewhere is often a huge pain in the back. Not only is it expensive, but some teens today are, should we say, less than responsible?

teenage girl smiling with braces


My husband and I are blessed that our children have 2 sets of grandparents who are more than happy to watch them when we can’t, but we often feel guilty for asking, so we go in search of a baby sitter. We have now approached the age where many of our friends have children close to childcare age, but what exactly is that age?

What is the legal age to leave children home alone in Illinois?

In case you didn’t know, Illinois has the strictest Latchkey law of any other state in the country. Current Illinois law states that parents who leave children under the age of 14 alone at home or unsupervised outside can be found guilty of neglect, but that age limit could be lowered, and I don’t know what I think about it.

According to illinoispolicy.org, State Rep. Sue Scherer introduced a bill in December 2021 that would lower the minimum age for leaving children home alone from 14 to 12. Representative Scherer is quoted as saying;

“I have a lot of constituents who have contacted me about this, it is causing a lot of hardship for our working families.”

I totally get how much easier it would be for working families if they didn’t have to worry about who would watch their kids after school if they had a 12-year-old able to watch them, but. .. the pessimistic side of me still worries that many 12-year-olds still can’t take responsibility.

Maybe Illinois should be like 39 other states in our country that don’t have a minimum age for leaving kids home alone, but instead leave the choice up to each family?

13 Stupid Illinois Laws

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