Summer holidays can lead to a spike in the number of children being left home alone, warns the national children’s charity, NSPCC.
The summer can prove a challenging times for parents who attempt to juggle their busy work schedules around their children’s holidays.
This can be especially hard for single parent households with young children. Without the help of family supervision relying on expensive childcare can be a huge drain on some household incomes.
However, although there currently is no law against leaving children unattended during the day, NSPCC are warning parents that they can be prosecuted for child neglect if it puts their child at risk.
Colin Peak, Regional Head of Service for NSPCC, says: “Summer holidays can be a fun time for children but it’s also when they are more likely to be left home alone as parents face increasing childcare pressures.”
Mr Peak adds that this could “explain why we see a spike in calls to our helpline during these months.”
The charity received 109 calls and emails between April 2015 and March 2016 from concerned adults who witnessed children being left unattended and alone for long periods of time.
One caller said “I’m worried about some children who live nearby and are left alone all day” because “sometimes they don’t even go to school.”
They add that they are “worried something dangerous could happen to them while their mum’s at work.”
Mr Peak, however, also concludes that “parents are best placed to know what is right for their child so it vital there is flexibility for them to decide.”
For more information visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/leaving-child-home-alone/