GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police suggest planning for afterschool care soon even if your child will be staying home alone.
For kids who may be staying home alone this school year, Officer E.B. Watkins recommends setting an emergency plan and rules for the household while parents are away.
"Go over those rules like getting on the computer, have those parental controls set up on your TV or computer," Watkins said.
Watkins said depending on the circumstances parents could face criminal charges if children under 8 are left unsupervised.
For parents not ready to give their children that kind of responsibility there are several afterschool program options.
The Boys & Girls Club in Greensboro is already 60 percent full in afterschool program enrollment.
Enrollment is first come first serve with a capacity of 250 daily.
The YMCA takes applications year round.
The Hayes-Taylor Memorial in Greensboro caps off their afterschool program at 92.
Both groups offer educational enrichment and transportation options from Guilford County Schools.
Financial Aid is available according to a family's income.
According to the U.S. Census there are 16 million kids who return from school to an empty home nationwide ages 5-13.