Just a few links on the different takes on lone children outside home.
So far I don’t have a fixed opinion on this matter but the differences between the countries (cultures?) are striking .
Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent? In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.
The Great Indoors, or Childhood's End? A British study called One False Move, investigating the mobility of children, found that the average eight-year-old saw its ‘home habitat’ shrink to one-ninth of its size within a single generation. In 1970, 80% of British kids 7 or 8 years of age were allowed to go to school unsupervised; by 1990, this figure had dropped below 10%.
‘Unsubstantiated’ child neglect finding for free-range parents The Maryland parents investigated for letting their young children walk home by themselves from a park were found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety.