Tag Archive | "childcare"

Making Relative Care Work

For most parents, relative care is the ideal childcare provider because it gives them assurance that their child is in safe hands. However, this arrangement also involves special nurturing. Here are some tips on how to make relative care work and avoid family spats.

Set Ground Rules

Setting expectations from day one will help make the childcare relationship go smoothly. Sure, it is your aunt and she cannot wait to bond with your toddler. But are the two of you in sync? Make sure that your relative is not only aware of your expectations but has also agreed to the requirements of the arrangement. Be clear about how you would like her to handle your toddler. Explain the following issues - your childcare philosophies (discipline, what to do when your toddler cries, throws a tantrum and so on), food (how, when and what you want your toddler to eat), bath time, playtime (activities you want your toddler to be engaged in and day trips), sleep (what time to take naps and how long, bedtime routine) and health and safety issues (allergies, asthma, fever, first-aid, CPR, etc.).

Keep Lines of Communication Open

In order to make your caregiver-parent relationship work, you need to have an open mind. After you have laid down your rules, allow your relative to air out her views, suggestions and concerns. She will look after your little one while you are away so it is best that the two of you understand each other. If she disagrees with your methods, do not lose your temper. Instead, decide on what is really important and consider her opinion. This way, the two of you are able to find common ground.

Also, decide in advance how you will update each other. You can have a quick, casual chat at the end of the day or a weekly or monthly meeting. Reassure your relative that you will always be available in case she needs you.

Show Respect

Never take advantage of your family member. Do not expect her to look after your toddler during holidays, at family events and other functions. Let your relative go back to being an aunt and let her continue her everyday routine. Your relative has her own life, so never demand.

Offer Compensation

Caring for a child is a huge and challenging responsibility. Offer your relative some kind of compensation – monetary or otherwise. Maybe you can decide on a fixed monthly wage. If she refuses to take money, find other ways to repay her like running a few errands for her, volunteering to do the grocery shopping, paying her phone bills, giving her a vacation or giving her gift certificates to her favorite restaurant, salon or spa. Doing these shows her that you are thankful and appreciative of her service which also helps strengthen your relationship with your relative.

Keep Your Cool

Most importantly, do not let any caregiver relationship issues sour your personal bond. In other words, avoid situations that could cause stress between you, your toddler and your relative. After all, in the coming years, your toddler will grow up and your caregiver will be just your relative again.

Having a relative look after your toddler can strengthen your relationship with your relative while your toddler and the family member caring for him develops a close bond. Thus, it is very important that you make this relationship work.

Posted in Childcare, Relative CareComments (0)

Top Questions About Relative Care Answered

When looking for a child care provider for your toddler, why not try relative care? For most parents, it is the perfect provider because it gives them security in knowing that their child is in safe hands. To help you better understand how it works, here are the answers to the most asked questions about relative care.

Question # 1: What are the criteria’s of a good relative care provider?

Answer: There are 3 important features every parent must look for – availability, ability and attitude.

  • Availability - Parents who are hard at work are lucky enough to have family members who are willing to look after their toddler. But, relative care goes beyond that. Just like babysitting or nanny care, a relative caregiver needs to be accessible at any time. Meaning, the relative should be open in accommodating the toddler when the parents need her to.
  • Ability - The most important concern in a relative child care set up is the ability of the relative to provide outstanding guardianship. The caregiver needs to be physically, intellectually and psychologically fit to look after the toddler on a daily basis. The relative must also be trustworthy at all times and must have a natural affection towards the toddler. She needs to adapt and follow your parenting and discipline style. No changes must be made without your consent.
  • Attitude - A relative needs to be responsible with your little one’s welfare. If she cancels on days where she is supposed to look after your little one without giving you any valid explanation, then clearly she is not a dependable caregiver. She needs to have an open mind especially when terms of your different parenting techniques. Lastly, even if she is paid less than the standard rate of a trained childcare provider, she must do her work proficiently.

Question # 2: How will you know if your relative is a perfect match for your toddler?

Answer: Even though you already created a bond with each other, it is still important to have a formal conversation with your relative to properly gauge whether or not your relative and your toddler can establish a solid relationship. Sit down and discuss the demands of the job, your expectations as well as your rules and regulations. Ask for her insights and opinions. Discuss with your relative the physical and emotional work involved. Inquire about her childcare style so you can determine whether or not she can provide a secure, fun and nurturing environment for your little one. You know she is the right one when she is open to your ideas and criticisms.

Question # 3: Should you pay for your relative’s services?

Answer: Yes, you need to pay your relative. But if in case she refuses to take the money, then respect her decision. The safest way for you to pay back your relative’s good deed without hurting her ego is by giving her small compensations like a rest day, gift certificates to a spa, beauty salon, clothing store or restaurants. Delivering flowers or gift baskets (grocery items) will also work.

Question # 4: What are the advantages and disadvantages of relative care?



  • You are aware of your relative’s traits and her past.
  • You find someone you can totally trust. Relative care gives you the peace of mind you have longed for. Since she is your own family, you are ensured that your caregiver is truly concerned of your toddler’s happiness, health and welfare.
  • Your toddler can stay at home or in your relative’s home. He is ensured of a comforting and safe atmosphere.
  • The least expensive type of childcare as you can choose to pay for your relative’s services by giving money or compensation’s like a paid vacation, electric bill support and so on.


  • It can be quite difficult to form an employer-employee relationship because of your personal bond.
  • The caregiver can clash with how you raise your toddler especially if she is older than you. She may choose to instil her own discipline style which can only confuse your toddler.
  • Complications can arise over payments for her services.
  • Your toddler may feel more emotionally attached with his caregiver than with his parents.

Question # 5: How do you maintain your personal relationship?

Answer: Just keep things casual. Lay down your rules from the start. Hear out your relative’s opinions and requests. Most importantly, always keep communication lines open.

Posted in Childcare, Relative CareComments (0)

Foster Care - Is It Good For Toddlers?

A home is where children are supposed to feel loved and protected. But what happens when toddlers do not get these? Foster care is intended to help abandoned and abused children to find homes where they can be safe and nurtured.

What Foster Care Means

Adoption and foster care are two different things. In adoption, the couple who adopts become accountable for everything that concerns the child until the child grows up. Once every paper work has been settled, the child will have the couple’s last name. In foster care, a social worker is always present to check-up on the child. The child’s last name will not be changed and childcare is temporary.

Its Positive Effects to Toddlers

Resolves Family Issues

Most foster care institutions have psychological counseling to help toddlers understand things easier. Because of the counselings they get, they are able to come into terms with their past. Feelings are mended and broken hearts are slowly healed.

Proper Guidance Is Gained

It is not true that children in foster care are not well-taken care of. Most foster care institutions assure toddlers of a secure, loving and nurturing environment that is far different from what they are used to. Toddlers are given a chance to prosper at their own pace, be happy and resolve personal issues with the professional help they get.

Good Education Is Attained

Foster care allows children to go to school. There are bigger chances for toddlers to become a well-rounded individual with a bright future with the permanent fixture of a school, teachers, classmates, friends, lessons and extracurricular activities.

Its Negative Effects to Toddlers

Attachment Issues

Since foster care is temporary, toddlers become emotionally troubled whether or not they should build relationships especially since they tend to move around various foster families. This can lead to poor social interaction which can generally cause serious personality problems in the future. The uncertainty between the need to belong and the hesitation to feel emotionally attached is so strong that toddlers in foster care often become loners.


Toddlers do not have any say in when and where they go. Hence, they feel helpless that they cannot mend their situation. Once they feel this weakness, they begin to develop the feeling of being unwanted which in turn often leads to depression, loneliness and rebellion.

High Risk to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

75% of children in a foster care have experienced physical and emotional abuse from their biological parents. Thus, there is a very big possibility that the shock and stress can lead to long-term trauma. Once psychological issues are not treated properly, toddlers can carry out their experiences and ultimately repeat them in the future.

Poor Self- Confidence

Children who are under the care of a foster care provider often feel very angry and rejected. The rejection they feel intensifies their sense of loss. Hence, the awkward feeling they get increases their lack of confidence and in order for them to cover-up their poor self-esteem, they can do two things – be too shy to mingle with their peers or become a bully to cover up their insecurities.

In a nutshell, foster care can either make children better or worse. There is no definite answer to this question as its effects fully depend on how a child copes up with this kind of childcare set-up.

Posted in Childcare, Childcare BasicsComments (0)

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments


November 2017
« Feb