a child who must spend at least part of the day alone and unsupervised, as when the parents are away at work.
a child who has to let himself or herself in at home on returning from school, as his or her parents are out at work

noun phrase

A child whose parents are working and who must spend part of the day unsupervised at home: A latchkey child, Nikki would always go home, stay inside, and do her homework/ Personally, I always wanted to be a latchkey kid, or at least have a key (1944+)


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