Home Alone - Is Your Child Ready?
Home Alone - Is Your Child Ready?
Making decisions as a parent can be overwhelming. Deciding if your child is ready to be left home alone is a very important one. The information in this booklet and that follows will help you think about options that you may not have considered. Remember there are places you can turn for ideas. Consider making decisions with the help of other people who care about you and your children.
Solo en Casa ¿Estu listo tu hijo? (en Español)
La toma de decisiones como padre puede ser abrumador. Decidir si su niño está listo para ser dejado solo en casa es muy importante. La información en este folleto le ayudará a pensar acerca de las opciones que usted puede no haber considerado. Recuerde que hay lugares a los que puede dirigirse para obtener ideas. Considere la posibilidad de tomar decisiones con la ayuda de otras personas que se preocupan por usted y sus hijos.
Call the Parenting WARMLINE at Family Resources for to discuss your concerns or to talk about any non-medical parenting questions at 412-641-4546 or 1-877-WARMLYN.
Representatives from a number of different agencies published this booklet and compiled the information on this web page.
For more details about those involved with this effort, visit Partner List and Web Sites.
"Home Alone" Frequently Asked Questions
If your child is not ready to be home alone, here are places where you can look for help:
- family, friends or neighbors you can trust
- other parents who also need child care and can take turns with you
- A babysitting co-operative in your neighborhood.
Babysitting co-ops consist of a number of families in a community who decide to share babysitting among themselves without the exchange of money.
A babysitting co-op gives you:
- no-cost, quality childcare.
- a support network of other parents who deal with many of the same daily issues as you do.
- the opportunity to spend time on yourself.
- a new group of friends for you and your children.
Organazing a babysitting coop
How to create a neighborhood babysitting co-operative
- a babysitter you can share with other parents
- after school care at your child’s school
- Your school may have an after school program or other activities in which your child may have interest. Talk through your concerns with the school counselor, social worker or your child’s teacher to discuss options.
Allegheny County Schools
- The Southwestern Pa. Afterschool Resource Collaboration can provide information about over 1000 after school programs in schools, churches, recreation and community centers throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
- Your local faith based leaders know their community and their children. They may help you come up with creative solutions to child care needs or offer after school programming. Consider contacting churches in your neighborhood to find out if they have programming for children.
- After School Pittsburgh provides links to resources for parents and after-school program providers with the goal of improving the futures of students in Allegheny County through quality after-school programming.
- Beverly Jewel Wall Lovelace Children's Program (BJWL), located in 19 public and subsidized housing communities throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, provides safe after school and summer programs six days a week for children ages five to 16 years. BJWL offers social, emotional, academic, recreational, and other resources for families. 412-363-1702.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for youth, with particular emphasis on members who live in urban communities of highly diverse cultures. The primary mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is to promote health, social, educational, vocational and character development for boys and girls ages 6 through 18, by self-esteem, values, and skills.
Find one near you.
- Care.com offers a wide variety of free child care resources and articles, giving advice on everything from choosing a babysitter to child care challenges such as separation anxiety, in addition to its searchable index of local care providers.
- Family Support in Allegheny County is based on the philosophy that the most effective way to insure the healthy development and growth of small children is by supporting the families and communities in which they live. These programs are designed to increase the strength and stability of families, to increase parents’ confidence and competence in their parenting abilities, to afford children a stable and supportive family environment. Family support programs seek to provide intensive, comprehensive, and culturally relevant services to families through collaboration of public, private and community-based agencies. The programming of family support represents a countywide "prevention agenda" focusing on the critical area of strengthening families and network-building.
- Local libraries may have events or programs that would interest your children. Although it is not appropriate to leave young children in a library alone, resources in the library may help connect you with events and activities in your neighborhood.
- Summer camps offer diverse ways to enrich the life of a child. To search over 650 summer camps, please follow the link below. Scholarships to reduce costs for summer camp come available as early as March.
- United Way of Pittsburgh offers a guide called the Parents Guide to Happy and Health Kids which details information about fitness and nutrition, after-school care, parenting tips and more.
- YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh serve more than 1.4 million participants each year and include after-school care and childcare, outdoor camping, community outreach, sports, health and fitness, youth counseling and senior assistance.
- YWCA exists to enable all women to reach their full potential. YWCA provides access to education, services and jobs to enable women of all ages to contribute their talents fully and achieve financial security.
- “Respite” refers to short term, temporary care provided to people with disabilities in order for their families to take a break from the daily routine of care giving.
- The Special Kids Network’s regional staff in collaboration with their partners and the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Children with Special Health Care Needs Consultants produced the Family Guide to Respite Care guide in response to a recognized need to fill a gap in respite care services for families with children with special health care needs. This guide was developed to assist in defining respite care, highlight benefits of respite care, outline what to expect from respite providers, explain what is expected of you, and provide a list of possible local agencies that help families locate respite programs in their area. Working with state agencies and community organizations, the guide was developed to decrease the informational gap in obtaining respite care services for children with special health care needs.
- The Allegheny County Respite Care Coalition (ACRCC) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to helping families access quality respite care. Respite refers to short-term, temporary care. It is typically provided for people with special needs so that caregivers, family members, foster parents, or friends can take a break from the daily routine of care giving.
- child care centers with after school programs
- Child Care Partnerships can refer you to child care centers and home day care providers in Allegheny County. 412-261-2273
- You can also research child care centers by calling 2-1-1 or the United Way Helpline at 412-255-1155.
If you need help paying for child care:
- Ask if your employer has workplace incentives -- like Family Savings Account programs or inexpensive childcare options.
- Some Family Savings Account Programs offered through community agencies encourage low and moderate-income families to enhance their self-sufficiency by building financial assets.
- See if a local child care center has scholarships or subsidies for after-school care.
- Call Child Care Partnerships 412-261-2273 to see if you qualify for subsidized child care.
Partners - the following organizations were involved in this awareness effort.
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Allegheny County Intermediate Unit
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Children, Youth and Families Advisory Board
Fred Rogers Company (The)
Pittsburgh Public Schools: Pittsburgh/Mt. Oliver Intermediate Unit