Having a relative or a friend care for your child -- in your home or theirs -- is an option for some families. Family and friends care arrangements are usually not regulated. You can work out creative pay arrangements. You may be able to take care of their children sometimes, or help out in some other way. Remember that if you hire a friend, you need to talk to an accountant about your tax obligations and other IRS requirements.
As with any child care arrangement, be sure to discuss both of your expectations in advance. This should include things like schedules, payment, discipline, nutrition, TV policy, safety, and toilet training. Good communication with caregivers is important in the success of any child care situation. It is even more important with relatives and friends because of the personal nature of your relationship with them.
Some questions to consider are:
- Does this person have any previous child care experience?
- What salary and benefits can you offer?
- Do you have an open, honest relationship with this person? Will you be able to discuss difficult issues as they arise?
- Is this person committed to taking care of your child for an extended period of time?
- Will other adults or teens be present with your child, and do you feel comfortable with this?