Home Alone & Stranger Safety Questions
The cost for the Home Alone & Stranger Safety program is $53.10 plus HST ($60.00)
Can my child stay home alone after taking your Home Alone course?
This is a decision that must be made together as a family, with your child's safety in mind first and foremost. Student maturity level (regardless of age), demonstrated abilities, confidence and comfort level should all be be taken into consideration in addition to ensuring that any periods of self supervision are considered reasonable in length and time of day.
Vari SAFE Education does not "certify" your child as to when they may begin staying home alone. This decision can only be made by a parent or guardian, and should always take into consideration the "Guidelines for the supervision of children" as per the link below.
Participation in our Home Alone course does not mean that a child is now ready to stay home alone; it helps to prepare them and give them the confidence and knowledge to be safe when the time is right. Upon completion of our course, your child will return home with many ideas on how they can be more "self safe", and with a work book including an "@ Home Review" which is to be completed post course, as a family. This family review portion offers tips and resources for parents, as well as a series of questions and situations to assist you in reviewing the course content with your child. We ask that you check for understanding, readiness and comfort level as you review the course materials with them.
Please review the following link that may answer more of your questions, in greater detail: Guidelines for the supervision of children
This is a great way to open up the lines of communication, and to establish whether all parties are ready or not (based on the Guidelines provided) to begin staying Home Alone.
Is it appropriate for my 8 or 9 year old student to attend this program?
Absolutely, we have had great success working with "younger" students in the past provided that the following accurately describe the circumstance;
- the child wants to attend, and has a desire to learn about becoming more "self safe"
- ideally, the younger student is simply mature for their age, and will be attending with an older sibling. This is important so that all members of the family are included, and working together
- it is understood that although age, in and of itself is not the best determining factor for readiness, that it is never too early to begin learning and practicing these skills
At this stage, provided the above are true, we would welcome these students and suggest families begin having discussions regarding self safety. Especially with regards to strangers (in person, online or on the phone), house rules (such as never opening the door to strangers), how to call for help in case of an emergency, fire safety, it's ok to say NO if someone makes you uncomfortable, etc.
These skills are always valuable, regardless of age and whether Home Alone or not!
This may also be a great time to begin short periods of "indirect supervision" directly! Perhaps while you are outside doing yard work, younger students may begin to practice indoors while you are nearby to gain confidence and experience with self supervision.
Can I stay with my child during the course?
As we are building essential home alone and personal safety skills with the students, we do ask that parents arrive to sign in with their children, but are not present in the classroom during the course. We are building independence, responsible and proactive thinking, self safety awareness, etc and would like all students focused on the instructors, demonstrations, group activities and other student interactions etc.
Our instructors will be working with students throughout the day, with an emphasis on keeping self safe and how to avoid or respond to difficult situations should they arise. Upon conclusion of the course, we will be asking all parents and students to complete the "at home review", which is a tremendous discussion piece for you and your child to assess readiness, reinforce key learnings or provide additional support or clarification at your discretion. Your child will return from the course with some great ideas on what they can do, and how they will be safe if given the opportunity to stay home alone - and we want them to be just as comfortable as you are in this new and exciting responsibility.
The safety and security of the group is of utmost importance to us, we provide supervision at all times and our instructors (2 or more) will be ensuring the safety of each participant for the duration of the course between sign in and sign out.
Home Alone & Stranger Safety - Topics and content
This unique course is structured in content and delivery for the younger crowd (8-11 years of age). We focus on building independence and awareness in keeping yourself safe.
Topics covered include; getting home safely, communicating with parents, stranger safety, door and phone safety, staying productive and establishing your home alone rules, kitchen hazards for beginners, fire safety, how to call EMS/911 and basic self first aid.
Upon completion of this course, we ask that you review the practical section of the manual with your children. At Vari SAFE, we want YOU to be as comfortable as your child - ultimately getting everyone ready for their role in this exciting challenge and responsibility.
Here are some excellent website links that may assist you with answering more of your Home Alone questions: