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SALT LAKE CITY — Finding someone to watch your kids while you run holiday errands can be a problem, but experts say it may be okay to leave them home alone.
At eight years old, your child is likely not ready to take on burglars, stay several days alone and have the house perfectly cleaned by the time you get home. But Child Psychiatrist Travis Michelson says some younger kids may be ready to hold down the fort while you quickly finish up some items on your to-do list.
"It's very possible that a 6- or 7-year-old child would be able to be safely at home alone for an hour," Michelson said.
He said it's as simple as talking to your child and going over various scenarios with them to prepare them to be alone.
But if your child isn't ready to spend time alone, another option most people don't know about is The Family Support Center.
Amy Anderson is a single mother of two, and to get everything done is difficult to say the least.
"It's taken a lot of stress off of me, I know that for sure," said Anderson. "I was wondering how I was supposed to do certain things."
The Family Support Center has a mission to "protect children, strengthen families and prevent child abuse," according to their website. One of the services they offer is 24-hour emergency child care.
"Let's get the kids in, let's get the parents out doing what they need to be doing so they can regroup, and then it works out just fine," said Bonnies Peters, executive director at The Family Support Center
Anderson said the best part is knowing her boys are safe.
Emergency child care is free of charge and allows newborns to children up to 11-years-old. They have three centers in the Salt Lake Valley.
The center asks that you call ahead if you need to use their services.