Child care for a friend? Need advise....

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

Recently a REALLY good friend of mine (I was her maid of honor) from years past popped back up in my life......we reconnected thru facebook first and it turns out she lives 15 mins from me and has a 10 month old adorable lil' girl! My friend, Amanda, is done her maternity leave and is being forced back to work (she'd prefer to stay home but they can't afford it) so she's asked me if I would be interested in watching Sophie, full time.....monday - friday, she'd drop her off by 8am and pick her up by 4pm! She would supply ALL Sophie's necessities, with the exception of the stuff that I obviously still have from Roxanne! She's hoping to have me do this all for $500/month.....works out to $25 dollars a day! I also want to add that it would only be for approx. 7 months.....Amanda JUST found out she's preggers again so it would be from May 23 till sometime in November she figures!



I want to say yes, because we could use the extra money but I also have my reservations about it too! What are ur thoughts? I've never babysat a young child like that before and I'm worried I might be getting in over my head? I know some of you are day care providers so I'd love some advise on what questions to ask Amanda or what to think about before I give her my decision....

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[deleted account]

If your worries are along the lines of what happens if you stop being friends or the like, put it into writing. I am looking after one of my closest friend's son's we actually are so close that after a hectic summer of wedding planning and family carfuffles that my family (Mom and Dad included) "adopted my friend and her husband" into the family.
So we refer to each others children as our nephews.
Now we decided when she got pregnant and had her son 4.5 months after I had mine that when she went back to work I would take my nephew as one of my daycare kids if I had an opening. I did and we both agreed that despite how close we are that it was best to draw up a contract of sorts between us for child care. The reason for this was that meant everything that was expected from both sides was clear and in writing and no misunderstandings could be formed and resentment grown.
The contract included such things as the following:
hours of care, days of care, what would happen in the event of over time, what happened when I got sick (they didn't pay for that day), what happened if the child was sick (I gave them 5 sick days after that they pay whether the child is here or not), how sick the child had to be to be refused care (No care for fevers, vomiting/diarrhea and rashes ---these are also the regulations set out by our city as well), they didn't pay for vacation time as long as I was given two weeks notice and I had to give two weeks notice if I was going to be off vacation or appointment wise, the how much and when and what form I was getting paid (biweekly, the rate we agreed upon and they wanted to direct deposit into my account).
We even put in a clause about what would happen if either one of us were to get pregnant again as well as the very off chance things fell apart between us what would happen and if need be how to terminate the contract.

So I would suggest putting something together in writing and have your friend get involved in the process.
If you choose to look after your friend's child get your friend to put together a list of likes, dislikes, behaviours and comfort tricks about her child and what her schedule for napping/eating ect is like. This way you don't have to rely on your memory which can be faulty when one is very tired because our children decide they are going to give up sleep for a few days.

I had reservations too, but I felt much better after we created our contract.

As to reservations about coping with two young children.
I can tell you that you will be fine till I turn blue, you won't believe me until you actually do it.
I won't lie it will be tough for the first couple of weeks while everyone (you, your daughter, your friend and her child) get used to the new changes. Once you get into the groove, you will think back and wonder why you were so scared.

:)

Feel free to pick my brain for more ideas and information.

Jaime - posted on 04/20/2010

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Dana, my suggestion for the nap time dilemma is to make their joint nap in the afternoon. If you are going to babysit at 8am then chances are the baby will have been up for a few hours by the time you get her. So put her down for her first nap around 9am so that she's awake by 10:30 or earlier and that gives you lots of time to go to a playgroup or the park before lunch around noon. And then put them both down for an afternoon nap around 1pm until whenever they wake up. You might have more success if you change their nap schedule this way because they play the best in the morning and are usually very tired by the afternoon and ready for a longer nap. And then by the time they're up from the afternoon nap it will be 3pm and you can go out in the backyard for an hour and have snack time and they can play for a bit until your friend comes to get her daughter. Does that sound like it would be doable? Hope this helps.

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[deleted account]

WOW! Nicole, this is why I'm super glad you joined our group! Thank you so much! I'm sure I'll have many more questions! LOL! Thanks also for the vote of confidence!

[deleted account]

*is hoping she got names right... is a tired rabbit... William is on his third night of deciding sleep is just not his thing*

[deleted account]

Nap time dilemma

If Amanda is good with it slowly start adjusting Sophie's afternoon nap to line up with Roxanne's and back the morning nap up a bit. (By lining up aim for 1-4ish with Roxanne's noon to 3).
It's tricky but can be done (I have no choice but to get everyone on the same schedule here afternoon wise because we HAVE to be out the door by 315pm to get to the school on time to get the school kids). So they all sleep there time between noon and three. But as they have gotten older they are all *checks watch* getting up any time now (2 hours max most days).
That's the other thing to consider. They'er naps will change as they get older. William dropped his morning nap shortly after his first birthday. My nephew did the same when he started here. Mainly because he refused to nap while everyone else was awake. He wanted to do what William was doing.
Naps are one of those tricky things that can take a month or so to sort out.
:)

Jaime - posted on 04/22/2010

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Hells ya, that shit's funny! Maybe I already sleep with one eye open...what's it to ya? Don't make me come over there and punch you in the eyeball...then you and Roxanne will have a matching set! LOL, okay now that shit was definitely funny...

On a more sincere note, I do hope that Roxanne is feeling better soon. Gray is still all gooey and crunchie (not sure what else to call it) from the congestion in his chest. He's sleeping right now and I'm hoping that when he wakes up we can go for a walk, get some air and he will be in a better mood...else I'ma punch him in the eyeball too! lol...not really....but seriously....but not really.

Okay, I'm done now. LOL Good luck at the doctor.

[deleted account]

My misery is funny to you Jaime-Leigh? How dare you laugh at me and my sickly child? Did I mention that she woke up this morning with her right eye completely glued shut with goo?! It's all puffy and red and still only half open.......hopefully I don't offend anyone with this next comment but she looks like she has down syndrome......it's very sad really!



Jaime....you better not be laughing.......I'm not a bunny, all fluffy and cuddly and I'll open up a can of whoop ass on you! Better sleep with one eye open.....that's all Roxanne's got! Bahahaha! We're off to the doctor!

Jaime - posted on 04/22/2010

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OMG Dana I laughed so hard when I read "Roxanne is leaking bodily fluids from every orphace"...LMAO But I'm not laughing at the fact that she's sick because I, too, am dealing with a sick bub. Friggin' teething...what is this bullshit all about?

[deleted account]

Hahahaha! I'm gonna need it.......Amanda is gonna be dropping Sophie off tomorrow for a trial day and Roxanne is leaking bodily fluids from every orphace in her face, coughing, sneezing etc. poor child! I'm starting to feel like crap now too! Ugh!

[deleted account]

Just wanted to let you all know that I told Amanda I would do it! We start full time as of May 23.........WISH ME LUCK!? LOL! Thanks for all ur advise and I'm sure I'll be asking for more!

[deleted account]

Ya, that's a good idea! Sophie typically naps from 10 am - 11:30, Roxanne naps right after lunch from noon till about 3 and Sophie usually has her second nap from 3-5 pm.....LOL! I'll have to play around with it a bit! I'll ask Amanda if she has any suggestions, she's pretty easy going!

Meghan - posted on 04/20/2010

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Pffft, I DO NOT change my son's schedule and my g/f's know that! Actually, that sounds brutal seeing as the baby you are talking about is only 10 months old. Seeing as all of the kids I watch are as old if not older they work around Josh...but since she is a younger baby you may need to rework Roxanne's just a smidge. Is the other babe napping twice still? do you think she would nap if you put her in a stroller and took them to the park? Or a car drive to the store or whatever?

[deleted account]

Amanda has to back up emergency babysitters, her dad in Surrey and another friend of hers here in Abby if for any reason I can't take her!



Now I'm wondering about the conflicting schedules......what would you do about the different nap times........I'd be stuck at home from 10am till 4pm every day if I can't figure out a way to change one of their napping schedules.....probably easier to change Roxanne's time?

Meghan - posted on 04/20/2010

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I watch my friends kids when I am not at work and it does get a little hard but this is because most of the kids are Joshua's age and also boys...there are 2 older girls who are easy but when Ive had 2 extra boys-it is busy! But like Jaime said, it is a playmate for Roxanne! Um you might want to also ask or think about what happens if her daughter is sick or if Roxanne is sick...are you comfortable with that? (I personally don't care, unless one of the kids is throwing up. Kids are gross and they are going to get colds anyway right?) And what do you mean you have never babysat a child that young...sill goose, you're raising a little one-and a beautiful one at that! You can do it!

[deleted account]

Thanks Jaime! Amanda said to me, " Let's put it this way Dana, feed my kid, change her bum once in a while and don't kill her and ur good to go! "......LOL! Amanda is pretty laid back and really flexible so I'm confident we won't have any problems in that respect BUT.....I also want to mention that right now, Sophie's nap times are almost completely opposite of Roxanne's.....Roxanne typically naps from noon till about 3 and Sophie naps from 10-11:30 and then again from 3-5......LOL! What would you suggest I do? I can always try and get Roxanne to nap at 10 so that her and Sophie have at least that nap together so we have SOME time to get things done!? Do I just wing it? I don't wanna be stuck at home ALL the time, although I don't mind it for the most part because we have a wonderful fenced in back yard and tons of toys.....with summer coming it could be a lot of fun?!!

Jaime - posted on 04/20/2010

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Dana, don't panic, your back up is here! lol



Just ask yourself if this is something that will suit your lifestyle at the moment. The bonus is that Roxanne will have a playmate. I look after a 3-year-old a couple times per week and I am payed $25 per day which is quite reasonable and gives me some extra pocket money. I will be helping out another friend next month watching her two boys for a couple of hours each day as well...so it will be a busy household but all of the boys play well together, so I think it will be good for them.



If Roxanne is laid back and able to accept that you will have to give attention to another little girl, then I say that's also a bonus. The extra money is a good incentive for you as well because that's SPA money for you or money to put away for a trip. $500 per month for 7 months...that's $3500...something to consider.



I don't think you're getting in over your head as long as you and your friend are on the same page with things like discipline, nutrition and recreational activities.



Just to give you an idea of a typical day for me. Cole comes at 8:00am and depending on the day we are either out to playgroup by 9:15am or off to the park at 11:00 until noon. These activities help to break up the monotony of a day and keep the kids energized. Once we're back home from the park, the boys have lunch and either play for a few minutes or go down for a nap (nap time is 1:00pm). They sleep for a maximum of 2 hours (usually less)...but once they're up, depending on how much time is left I will take them out for a walk or we will read, do puzzles or they will play independently for an hour or so. If it's a rainy day I will turn the t.v. on after they've played or done a craft or some colouring. Having playgroup and the park as an activity resource is a life-saver because kids are full of energy and just want to go go go...so maybe you're worried that you won't be able to entertain two girls all day long? I think you'd be great at it...you've got an easy personality and you're already dedicated to positive behaviour strategies so why not give it a try?

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