Oxytocin has a conserved role in regulating animal social behaviour including parental-offspring interactions. Recently an oxytocin-like neuropeptide, nematocin, and its cognate receptors have been identified in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We provide evidence for a pheromone signal produced by C. elegans larvae that modifies the behaviour of adult animals in an oxytocin-dependent manner increasing their probability of leaving a food patch which the larvae are populating. This increase is positively correlated to the size of the larval population but cannot be explained by food depletion nor is it modulated by biogenic amines, which suggest it is not an aversive behaviour. Moreover, the food-leaving behaviour is conspecific and pheromone dependent: C. elegans adults respond more strongly to C. elegans larvae compared to other nematode species and this effect is absent in C. elegans daf-22 larvae which are pheromone deficient. Neurotransmitter receptors previously implicated in C. elegans foraging decisions NPR-1 and TYRA-3, for NPY-like neuropeptides and tyramine respectively, do not appear to be involved in oxytocin-dependent adult food-leaving. We conclude oxytocin signals within a novel neural circuit that regulates parental-offspring social behaviour in C. elegans and that this provides evidence for evolutionary conservation of molecular components of a parental decision making behaviour.