There may be times that someone else, family or friends, are caring for our kids. This came up for us when my husband and I were lucky enough to get away on a child-less vacation, and we are now getting family help with the arrival of our second child. For our peace of mind, and to help best set up our son and our family to care for him, we wrote up Childcare Instructions
What’s could you include in Childcare Instructions? Your Childcare Instructions could simply be a brief write up describing the ins and outs of your routine with your child, and basic health information. Of course, based on your child, their age, and their needs certain areas might need to be more extensive. And of course, it’s length will also depend on how important routine is to your family – perhaps your child is very flexible, and it’s okay for the week to look different. If you have young children that heavy depend on their routine, it might be longer.
Here are some optional sections to add to your Childcare Instructions:
This section of your Childcare Instructions could be minimal and include your pediatrician name and number. Also consider writing down where you keep your thermometer and basic medications like Tylenol.
Our pediatrician’s office has a form I was able to fill out giving specific family members the authority to take my son in to get care if necessary. Again, this section could be more extensive based on your child’s needs, if they are prone to getting reoccurring illnesses like ear infections, have regular medications, or allergies.
Your daily routine section could include wake up times, meal times, snack times. If you have older children with a full schedule of activities, this part might be more extensive.
If you have a younger child who isn’t school yet, this section could contain ideas on activities; nearby story times, art classes, or playgrounds. If you do have a young child that has a specific nap time and bedtime routine, detail that as well.
If the caregiver, family friend, or relative is making meals, it might be nice to have a list of meal ideas or printed out recipes. Or, alternatively it may be nice to have pre-prepared meals or a list of delivery options in the area.
This section of the Childcare Instructions may be longer if your child has food restriction or food allergies. If your child has issues with soy, dairy, or gluten for instance, it might be hard for family to jump in without ideas on meals and snacks.
I also include special treat ideas that are okay – this could be where to find a stash of treats that are allowed, or nearby places to grab an ice cream.
For older kids, this section would include what the caregiver could do if the kids are saying “I’m bored.” Is it okay to take them to the movies, the mall, or let them go to a friend’s house? Who’s house and how long?
For younger kids, it might include nearby playgrounds, and information on library and bookstore story times.
It might be worth looking up special events in your area over the time you are gone. Is the library doing a movie night? A museum with a special exhibit your kids might like?
Of course we don’t want anyone to feel like they need to run all over town. But, we also don’t want them to feel stuck at home.
This is just a start – dependent on your home and needs, your Childcare Instructions can be more extensive, or shorter. Additionally your Childcare Instructions could include sections on your home, the neighborhood, or pet care.
We created our Childcare Instructions not to overwhelm the caregiver, but instead to give them guidance and ideas if needed. And the grandparents want to know! We want to set them up with the basics so they can concentrate on having fun with our son.
What would you include in your Childcare Instructions?