State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Connecticut

State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Connecticut

Connecticut fixed a glaring problem in its criminal law in 2023: under prior law, children under the age of 12 were prohibited from being in a public place without an adult supervisor. While Connecticut’s law still authorizes criminal penalties when children are unsupervised, including for children left home alone, it has corrected its prohibition on children being alone in public and specifically provides that being unsupervised is NOT a reason by itself for any parent to be prosecuted unless the child is unable to manage and is in danger. Connecticut also liberalized its child welfare policy in 2023 which had a similar age limit.

State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Connecticut

State Laws And Policies

Criminal Law:

Connecticut General Statutes Vol. 13, Tit. 53 states leaving a child in a car at a “public accommodation,” is a criminal offense, but it eliminates the statement that children cannot be alone under the age of 12 in a public place and includes language that provides that a person cannot be convicted under this section if the sole basis for the charge is that the child was engaged in “independent activities” as long as a reasonable parent would consider the child to have sufficient maturity and a physical and mental capacity to avoid serious harm. 

Juvenile Court | Child Protective Services | Neglect Law:

Probate Courts and Procedures at Connecticut General Statutes Vol. 12, Tit. 45(a), Ch. 803 (“Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption”) and “Family Law, Juvenile Matters” at Connecticut General Statutes Vol. 12, Tit. 46(b), Ch. 815, provide that it is neglect for a child to be in an “injurious environment” or be without proper care; inadequate supervision is defined as being left alone for an excessive amount of time given the child’s age and maturity. Unfortunately, this vague law specifically identifies unsupervised children as neglected simply for being left alone, without requiring any showing of harm and without giving guidance for parents to know what is an excessive amount of time. A policy guide change in 2023 however clarified that children can be alone below the age of 12 as long as the parent has made a reasonable judgment about the child’s abilities and is not causing danger to the child.


This webpage is not a legal document, and Let Grow does not take responsibility for the content. Be mindful that some localities have rules and guidelines even when the state does not. When in doubt, consult your local authorities to confirm the laws where you live. What’s more, laws change, as do judicial interpretations of them, and this webpage may not be updated immediately.

Nationwide State Laws And Policies

Learn More About Laws And Policies In Other States

Right now, most states’ neglect laws are incredibly open-ended. They say things like, “Parent must provide proper supervision.” We agree! But people have different ideas of what that entails. Select a state below to learn more about their laws, policies and how Let Grow is helping.