The U.S. Army Europe Child & Youth Supervision Policy

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

The Army Europe Regulation (AER 608-18-1) assists parents in identifying what the command expectations are regarding supervision of their dependent children. This AER identifies inadequate supervision as “A type of child neglect characterized by the absence or inattention of the parent, guardian, foster parent or other caregiver that results in injury to the child, in the child being unable to care for himself or herself, or in injury or serious threat of injury to another person because the child’s behavior was not properly monitored.”

Army Community Service, under which the Family Advocacy Program falls, has partnered with Child and Youth Services to clearly outline for families stationed on Army installations in Europe the level of supervision required for children at various stages of development.

AER Highlights Army Europe Regulation (AER 608-18-1)

FAQ Reference Chart for quick answers to questions such as “Am I allowed to leave my fifth grader home alone after school until I get there?” or “Is it okay to leave my high school student home alone while I go for a weekend trip?” or “Can my 6th grader babysit my toddler?”

Children are grouped by grade rather than age. This aligns with how the Department of Defense Education Activity schools and Army CYS classifies children. Homeschoolers and host nation schoolers never fear, there is a handy age to grade conversion chart for you as well. During summer months, children are considered to be the grade they just finished until school starts again.

As with any child supervision regulation or policy, parents should always consider the abilities and maturity level of their child when making decisions for their family. Parents are always free to delay milestones of independence identified in the AER as their children grow and mature.

Children who may be left alone at home less than 2 hours

  • Newborn through Age 9: No
  • Age 10 & 11: Yes; with ready access (phone number) to an adult supervisor
  • Age 12 through Age 17: Yes

Children who may be left alone at home for more than 2 hours

  • Newborn through Age 4: No
  • Ages 5  & 6: No. At age 6 may walk to and from school unaccompanied.
  • Age 7 thorough Age 9: No. May walk to and from school unaccompanied.
  • Age 10 through Age 14: Yes; with ready access (phone number) to an adult supervisor, no more than 6 hrs
  • Age 15 through Age 17: Yes

Children who may be left alone overnight

  • Newborn through Age 14: No
  • Age 15 through Age 17: Age 15 with access to adult supervision; sponsor in local area.
  • Age 16/17 may be left alone not to exceed 5 consecutive days.
  • Parents must designate an adult official point of contact that will make daily face to face contact.

Children who may be left outside unattended (to include playing)

  • Newborn through Age 4: No
  • Age 5 through Age 9: Yes; playground or yard with immediate access (visual sight or hearing distance) to adult supervision
  • Age 10 through 17: Yes

Children who may be left in a vehicle unattended

  • Newborn through Age 6: No
  • Age 7 through Age 9: Yes; except in hot weather; keys removed and handbrake applied; 10 minutes adult within sight
  • Age 10 through Age 11: Yes; keys removed and hand brake applied
  • Age 12 through Age 17: Yes

Children who may babysit siblings

  • Newborn through Age 10: No
  • Age 11: Yes; up to 2 hours
  • Age 12 through Age 14: Yes; up to 3 hours max
  • Age 15 through Age 17: Yes

Children who may babysit others

  • Newborn through Age 10: No
  • Age 11: Yes, only siblings or close family friends for up to 2 hours
  • Age 12 through Age 17: Yes

It is highly recommended that youth who wish to babysit (siblings or others) complete the Red Cross Babysitters Course.

Questions? Contact the USAG Stuttgart ACS Family Advocacy Program.

Army Europe Regulation (AER 608-18-1)