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Children Home Alone

All parents eventually make the decision to leave their child home alone for the first time. There is no agreed-upon age when a child can stay home alone safely. Because children mature at different rates, you should not base your decision on age alone. (Source: childwelfare.gov).

Here are some resources to help you understand the law and what might be best in your situation.

Home Alone: Preparing for Self-Care (UW Extension)

Leaving Your Children Home Alone (Childwelfare.gov)

Kids Home Alone (City of Madison Fire Department)

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Popular questions

What is the minimum age for a child to be home alone?

Wisconsin does not have statutes or regulations that state the age at which a child may be left unsupervised, or left in charge of other children. You may wish to review Wisconsin Statutes 948.20 "Abandonment of a child" and 948.21 "Neglecting a child". Please be aware that the courts may have further interpreted the language found in the Statutes.

I want to start the process to become an emancipated minor.

Wisconsin doesn’t have an emancipated minor law. (See Wisconsin Statutes 54.46 and 54.64 for laws on emancipation of married minors. ) You may wish to contact a lawyer for more information.

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Additional statutes, regulations & opinions may apply to your specific situation. Search the Wisconsin statutes & administrative code online.

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