ILLINOIS (KFVS) - New legislation filed by Illinois State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, would lower the minimum age that a child can be left home without supervision.
The current minimum age is 14. This legislation would lower that age to 12 and allow families with a child over 12 to babysit younger children.
In Illinois, a child under the age of 14 which is left without supervision for "an unreasonable amount of time" is considered neglected.
If a child under 13 is left without supervision by a responsible person over 14 for more than 24 hours. a parent or other individual responsible for a child's welfare can be charged with child abandonment.
"This bill to help protect single and working parents from a harsh state law under which they can be charged with neglect and lose custody of their kids for leaving a minor under the age of 14 home without supervision," Representative Sosnowski said. "Illinois has by far the most restrictive law of its kind in the nation. My bill would reduce the threshold to children under the age of 12, recognizing 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."