* One day a parent tells you she gets off work at noon that day, but doesn't pick up her child until 6pm.
* A parent enrolls in your program and brings her child during your regular hours of 7am-6pm.
Later you find out that the parent often has time during the day to play golf, go to the gym and run errands.
* A parent tells you she probably won't need care on Friday on a regular basis, but would like to be able to bring her child anytime she wants that day.
In all of these situations the parent could care for their child, but they prefer that you do.
Most providers recognize that parents may occasionally want some time alone or want to do an activity without their children. It's when this becomes a regular habit that some providers protest.
One provider told me her philosophy was that she won't provide child care if either parent is able to care for their child. She asks parents when they get off work and sets their pick-up time based on how long it takes them to get from work to her home.
I've talked with other providers who have told me they don't care what the parents are doing while their child is in their care. As long as the parent is paying for their services, they feel that it's none of their business what the parent does with their time.
There is no right answer to these situations.
This is the beginning of an article I've posted on childcareinfo.com. In the rest of the article I describe a three step process for setting one up and following through by contributing to it regularly.
Childcareinfo.com is a community for family child care providers and parents that offers a wide variety of resources including recipes, a blog, and a newsletter. It serves as a clearinghouse for many online resources (children's activities, training opportunities, equipment, and more).
Childcareinfo.com was created by Minute Menu to offer free assistance that will help the family child care community grow.
Tom Copeland - www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: sherrifoxman.typepad.com