Parenting Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions we receive from parents and caregivers about parenting.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act does not identify a specific age at which a child can be left alone, or an age at which a child can babysit or care for other children.
The Act also says that parents/caregivers need to ensure children under the age of 18 are not left alone for extended periods of time. Parents/caregivers must have a plan of care in place that includes a safe adult to care for children under the age of 18 years of age.
A child’s age, ability, and comfort level are important factors in deciding if a child can be home alone for short periods of time and/or babysit other children. For information about home alone and babysitting courses for youth, visit the St. John Ambulance website.
We strongly discourage and do not condone physical punishment. Other forms of discipline are more effective in managing children’s behaviour and less likely to cause harm. Please see the Positive Parenting Resources page of our website.
Children’s Aid Societies respond to situations where physical punishment has been used as it can lead to a child being physically injured and emotionally harmed.
It’s very important to provide a safe sleep environment for infants, and to always lay them down to sleep on their backs. Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for helpful safe sleep information for parents and caregivers.
Installing a car seat can seem like a complicated task, but parents and caregivers are often pleasantly surprised at how easy it is once they know where to find the information they need. Visit the Southwestern Public Health website for information and tips about car seat safety: Car Seat Safety.
For information and tips about the safe use of technology and the internet, check out this helpful resource from CAMH: Youth, family and interactive technology.