Soldiers, family members and civilian employees with children are advised of the new Army in Europe Child and Youth Supervision Policy that went into effect Jan. 13.
The IMCOM-Europe memorandum, IMEU-MWR-A, replaces what was previously guidelines with an established policy that applies to children and youth both on and off post.
“Ultimately, parents are responsible for the safety and care of their children and we want to promote good parenting habits as well,” said Sara Clow, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Family Advocacy Program Manager. “The Child Supervision Policy is in place to protect our kids and keep them safe, while simultaneously providing a parenting role model for our children and our Army community.”
The policy now clarifies the supervision of children, by age and activity.
For example, children birth through age 4 may never be left alone, under any circumstances. This includes being left in a vehicle alone.
Beginning at age 5, a child may be permitted to play at a playground, as long as an adult can see or hear the child. Adults are defined as anyone over the age of 18 or a married person under the age of 18.
A child may begin walking to and from school alone by age 6, and by age 7 be left alone in a car.
Beginning at age 10, a child may be left at home alone for no longer than 6 hours. Additionally, 10 year olds may be left alone outside to play. Children age 11 may begin babysitting others for up to two hours, provided they are babysitting a sibling or close family friend.
IMCOM-Europe highly recommends that children and youth wishing to babysit complete the Red Cross Babysitters Course.
Youth under 15 years old may not be left home alone overnight. At age 16-17, children may be left home alone overnight, but not exceeding five consecutive days provided the child’s sponsor provides a designated adult official point of contact that will make daily face-to-face contact.
“We know every child is unique and develops at his/her own pace, this policy supports the development of independence while maintaining the overall safety of the children and youth in our community,” said Clow. “Our kids deserve our very best,” she added, and following this policy can help keep your children safe and your parenting in compliance.
For more information contact the Family Advocacy Program staff at Army Community Service DSN 548-9201 or civ (0611) 143-548-9201. The FAP has prevention programming to support families with children of all ages.
The policy memorandum is available in its entirety at https://aepubs.army.mil.