City summer childcare help

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City summer childcare help
Review child supervision guidelines if you need to leave your children home alone for a period of time.
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By Leslie Golden | lgolden@alextimes.com

According to a release, “the Department of Community and Human Services reminds parents and caregivers to review child supervision guide- lines and see ways to access opportunities for financial assistance as well as tips for finding childcare.

For many parents and caretakers, there may be a need to leave children home alone for a period of time during the summer. The City of Alexandria website pro- vides information about what age ranges are considered to be adequate for unsupervised time at home, babysitting guidelines, what steps your family needs to take to prepare, and a family checklist. In particular, parents and caregivers should consider whether their child:

• Understands instructions and follows important rules.

• Knows how to ask for help from friends, neighbors and police.

• Makes good decisions when away from their parent or other caregivers.

• Knows when to contact their parent and 911 when needed.

• Feels comfortable and confident about staying home alone.

There are no laws in Virginia that say specifically at what age or for how long a child can be left alone. Parents are ultimately responsible for making decisions about their children’s safety. Every child is different, and must be assessed based on their maturity, skills and comfort level to be home alone.” For more information, visit www.alexandriava.gov/ ChildAbuse#ChildSupervisionGuidelines.

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