Relative care

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
Relative care can be a wonderful option for parents and children with extended family members living nearby. As with regular family daycare, the child benefits from the comfort of being in a home atmosphere. Parents have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the caregiver's past. The main area of caution in relative care is maintaining perspective on emotional and financial issues. Fees are definitely a very personal decision, and parents mustn't assume the relative will wish to forego being paid, simply for the sake of love. Caregiving incurs expenses beyond the relative's time. Food, gas and car maintenance, and utility expenses are increased when caring for even a single child. As far as the emotional aspects, some parents have difficulty accepting a relative's opinion with grace, regarding it as a criticism rather than observation. On the other hand, some relatives refuse to accept the parents' final say on issues involving children. Relative caregiving can add richly to a child's life, if you remember to discuss guidelines for financial and emotional behavior ahead of time.

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