New Bill Could Lower Age Children Can be Left Home Alone in Illinois

on Apr4
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2019-04-04 09:26:52

New legislation looking to lower the age a child can be left home alone was approved by the Illinois House Wednesday.

The so-called “babysitting bill” aiming lower the age a child can be home without supervision to 12 years old passed the House with a 111-1 vote.

Currently, a child under the age of 14 who is left without supervision for an “unreasonable amount of time” is considered neglected. A person who leaves a minor under the age of 13 without supervision by someone over the age of 14 for 24 hours or more can be charged with child abandonment. 

Proponents of the bill believe it would “protect single and working parents.”

“Illinois has by far the most restrictive law of its kind in the nation,” said state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, who sponsored the bill. “Our bill makes a common-sense adjustment to state law to recognize that working parents who struggle to afford child care should not live under the fear of losing their kids simply for working hard to support their family.”

Across the country, state laws on the matter range from 6 years old in Kansas to Illinois’ highest of 14. Only 14 states specify an age on the subject with the most common age being 10, Sosnowski said.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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