You asked

Relative childcare: should I pay and, if so, how much?

When a relative cares for your child, whether you ask them to or they volunteer, the right thing to do is to pay them for their time and effort. However, there’s a good chance that a relative, whether it’s a friend or a family member, would not accept payment for the service. This makes it a tricky situation for any mum to handle.  Whether it’s a once off babysitting arrangement or a long term child care option, you should at least offer to pay for your relative’s time and effort.
If they refuse, then it’s a good idea to buy them gifts, gift cards, vouchers or other treats in lieu of payment. It’s also a good idea to find out, and respect, any times that they will be unavailable and while you probably don’t need a contract with your child’s relatives, you might want to get some sort of agreement in writing just so that everyone is clear on the terms of the arrangement.
If your relative does accept payment when you offer it, then you will need to set a rate. It’s only fair to offer at least minimum wage and you’ll also want to address whether you’ll offer them paid holidays, what the hours will be, and when payment will be made.
Having a relative care for your child has enormous benefits and is usually a cheap option that guarantees your child individual care and possibly as much love as he or she will get at home. You will have to make sure that your relative is equipped with toys, food, clothing and other items that your child needs so there is a small additional cost, but on the whole, if you can come to an agreement with your relative regarding your child’s care, everyone wins.

More questions

Duties and responsibilities of an au pair will vary from family to family. A family with very young children will have very different needs to a family with school-going children or a family in which either the...
When it comes to childcare, there’s probably not a mum out there who hasn’t worried that she’s making the right decision. While we can’t make the choice for you, we have prepared a list...
Having a relative care for your child is an attractive option for many new mums. Here’s how you can make sure it’s fair for everyone.
Choosing to change child care after your parents have been looking after your child for months or years can be a delicate subject but, handled correctly, it can be done.
Consider the pros and cons before deciding to hire and au pair
A few tips for ensuring that you choose the best nanny for your child
Here are some points to take into consideration when taking the time to choose the best crèche for your child.
Things to look out for and take into consideration when choosing the best crèche for your toddler
Maintaining the relationships with your relative child carer
Points to consider when choosing the right type of child care