As your child grows, you may begin considering whether they still need a nanny. While you want to ensure your child is safe and cared for, you may feel they’re mature enough to be in the house without supervision. If you think your child might be ready but you’re still not sure, consider the following factors to determine if your child still needs a nanny.
Sometimes it’s obvious—your child is just too young to be alone—but most of the time it can be difficult to determine because there’s no set age dictating this. Some states provide legal age minimums for children to be left alone, but California doesn’t have one, leaving it to the full discretion of parents. Many kids are ready to be left to their own devices around the age of 10, but others aren’t ready until their early teenage years. If your child is in the grey area—usually between 10 and 13 years old—consider the next factors.
While maturity comes with age, every child will mature at a different rate. If you’re unsure about your child’s maturity level, start by asking yourself some questions: Can they follow rules without difficulty, even when alone? Can they handle being in charge without taking advantage? Can they deal with emergencies calmly? Will they be scared to be alone? If the answer to any of these questions shows that they’re not ready, they probably still need a babysitter. However, a child who meets most of these standards might be ready for some time alone. Consider leaving them without a caretaker for a one or two hours during the day before leaving them for a longer time or leaving them at night.
Even a child who seems prepared and responsible might still feel unsure about being home alone. The new situation can cause kids to worry about issues like potential break-ins or danger in the neighborhood, even if they’re unlikely. Your child’s concern can also make you worry, which could interfere with a work responsibility or social obligation. In those cases, you’re better off having a nanny for everyone’s comfort.