A woman is being questioned by police after leaving her three children at home alone while she went abroad.
A BBC reporter with the mother who left her children home alone
The woman, who has not been named, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of child abandonment and neglect.
Police said the three children, who are aged 13, 10 and eight, had been found in a house in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on Monday.
On Wednesday the mother, who is German, told the BBC she had been in constant touch with them while she was away.
It was thought that they had been left on their own for five days while she made a trip to Germany to collect some belongings.
Police said the children were in good health and had been taken into care by social workers.
'Very mature' teenager
The spokeswoman said officers were alerted to the children by a member of the public. In an interview with the BBC the mother, who is back in Peterborough, said her financial circumstances meant she had had no choice but to leave them alone.
She had wanted to take them with her, but could not afford it.
She said she had been confident that her "very mature" 13-year-old daughter would look after her younger siblings while she was away, and she had kept in touch with them through the internet and via a web camera.
"I was talking to them an hour before the police came for them," she said.
Sheila Smith, of Peterborough Children's Services, said is was too early to say when the children would be reunited with their mother.