Many parents find formal childcare too expensive and rely on other family members particularly grandparents to help with some or all of their childcare needs when they return to work or study.
This would appear to be an ideal arrangement as your child is cared for by someone you trust and the grandparent gets to spend time with their grandchild. However, in practice things may not always turn out as planned and can led to unspoken problems.
Some families find that talking about practical issues and setting up some ground rules at the beginning can help avoid problems and family tensions at a later date. This is when a family childcare agreement can be invaluable as it can help the parent and grandparent work together and provides some consistency for the child. Some areas that could be included are:
- location childcare will take place
- hours and planning holidays
- equipment such as car seats and stair gates
- special information about the child
- discipline, routine and play
However, these are just a starting point and every family will have their own personal ideas about planning and working out day to day responsibilities so make sure you cover areas that are important to you and your family.