Family Members as Childcare Providers
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Family Members as Childcare Providers
I will be returning to work mid-November when my son is 4 months old. I will be
home 2 days a week and my husband will be home 1 day a week to take care of
him. This leaves us 2 days a week needing child care. My father-in-law has
expressed interest in taking care of our son on these 2 days. However, I am unsure
of his capabilities and do not feel that he has the know-how. Has anyone been in a
similar situation? What did you do? Should I require he take a baby care class, cpr/
first aid? Where would I find these classes? or would I be better off with another
Thank you for any advice
New Berkeley Mom
In answer to one of your questions, American Red Cross holds classes in
Infant CPR, and they also have ''babysitter'' classes. I think it's
great that your father-in-law is interested in providing some childcare.
Maybe you will get more comfortable with the idea (and he will get some
training) if you begin by having him come over and help out while you
are still home. If it all works out it will be a great opportunity for
your son to bond with his grandfather. Good luck with your return to
work grateful for grandparents
When I went back to work my son was three months. My father never cared
for my son for a whole day as it was too hard on him physically and he
needed to work. We had an arrangement where a nanny would come for four
or five hours to relieve him in the middle of the day. My father is
really great with my son, but he is around him and me all the time so he
knows the routines, moods, methods, etc... I would reccomend having your
father in-law spend a lot of time with you watching how you do things
and having the opportunity to ask questions. The agency I work for
offers CPR/1st aid if you are interested.
I think that (most of the time) family is always going to have more of a
vested interest in your child's happiness and well- being than someone
you are paying to do it. That said, I have a wonderful nanny that I use
2x a week, and she is great with my 2
1/2 yr old son. But his grandparents watch him 1x per week as well so I
get to see the interactions and bonds in the different relationships.
And I have to say that it has been incredible for my son to have that
closeness with his grandparents, he adores them and feels so safe and
happy in their company, often he wants to be with them rather than me,
but he never says that about the nanny he has known for over 2 years. My
father-in-law usually watches my son by himself in the morning while my
MIL does some work, and I wouldn't have said that he was a real paternal
kind of guy before my son was born. But now he takes him to the park, or
the Play Cafe, or zoo, and changes his diapers, feeds him, or works in
the yard with him or is showing him how to use tools. It is really neat.
The thing you need to talk to your husband about is how his Dad was as a
father and how do his ideas about raising a child coordinate with yours?
What about discipline, safety, responsibility? Unfortunately, as much as
I love my parents, I would not be as happy leaving my son in their care
due to their own poor judgment and lack of good boundaries and limit
setting. I suffered as a child because of this, and don't want my son to
have to deal with it, too. ANd by all means, get your FIL to take the
child CPR classes that BANANAS (on Claremont) offers and see what
classes that they have, I know that they offer childcare classes for
teens who wish to babysit, don't know about grandparents. But the best
thing might be for you to spend time with the baby and the FIL so that
he can see how you do things and you can check out his style as well. A
close relationship with a loving grandfather is an incredible experience
for any child lucky enough to have it.
lucky to have involved grandfather
From the time my daughter was 7 months until almost 3 years she was
babysat 1 day a week by my mom, 1 day by my grandmother and very old
1 day by my mother-in-law, while I worked. While there were many times
that we had disagreements about what to do and how to do it, generally
things went well and the relationships my daughter built with her
extended family is invaluable.
I don't love everything about how the family parents, but they love her
instensly and were caring for her becasue they wanted to, not becuase it
was a job and they happened to like kids... I have also used wonderful
babysitters/nannies (primarily with my second child) but I think the
benefit of having family care, and the opportunity to build that kind of
relationship is wonderful. Even nannies make mistakes, at least when it
is family you know that their motives are from love!
Your father in law will learn what he needs to know the same way we all
do; through experience. I think it's great that you have such support
from family. Unless there are some other issue going on like he's
developmentally delayed, smokes like a chimney, has a history of abusing
kids, stuff like that, you should give it a try. I would love for family
to care for my kids - sure beats paying a stranger to do it.
I'm wondering about how much we pay(should pay) my mother-in-
law for child care. She picks my son up after school and is
with him until either my husband or I (usually me) gets home.
Approx 3-4 hrs/day M-F. Plus occassional evening babysitting.
We pay $350 cash; car gas $90/month(has our gas card); car
insurance $85/month. She is 80 and on a fixed income. The last
4 years we have been supplementing her rent/expenses because
her live in adult daughter has not paid half the $1600+/mo rent.
We have paid close to $2000/yr which has caused some strife in
my household. I'm tring to maintain a budget but am up against
a spendaholic partner and a large credit card debt (that is a
topic for another time) So, does grandma get enough? After
school on site dayare is $4.50/hr.
If you take the after care hourly rate x 4 hours per day, 5
days per week, x 50 weeks per year, you get $4,500. So if you
are paying $2,000 per year (for whatever the reason) and your
kids are being looked after by Grandma, I think you are getting
a great deal. Might not be worth the stress but 1/2 price is
1/2 price and when you are budgeting, that may make it better!!
Our neighbor has her mom nanny for her two kids as well. She is
on a very fixed income as well, and they pay her $10/hour, and
does not pay for gas or car insurance. Your pay/perks sound
more than generous.
this page was last updated: Feb 4, 2011
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