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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.

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