As a parent, are you in charge of taking care of a child who is sick or disabled?

You can’t and shouldn’t try to do it alone. Instead, you should find a respite childcare provider who can give you a break from time to time so that you can tend to your own needs.

Respite childcare providers can look after your loved one in your home and let you get a little bit of time for yourself. It will make you a better carer or parent while giving your child the attention they need.

Here are some tips that will help you choose the right respite childcare provider.

Decide If Your Child Needs Care in Your Home

Before you start looking around for respite childcare providers, you should make it a point to figure out where you will need your provider to offer childcare to your child.

Do you want the provider to come to your home?  Is there another arrangement that would work best for you?

You want to decide this before you do anything else because there are certain providers like SafeHaus UK that specialise in providing childcare in clients’ own home. There are others that will require you to bring your child to a nursery or another care location.

By determining which option would be ideal for you, you’ll make it a lot easier to narrow down your search for a provider.

Take a Look at Childcare Providers in Your Area

After you have decided where your child will need care, it’ll be time for you to begin searching for childcare providers in your area.

You should start by speaking with friends and family members who have used respite childcare providers in the past. They might be able to offer you a good recommendation on a provider.

If that doesn’t work, you can turn to the internet and generate a list of childcare providers in your area. You can then read reviews for each one to see what kind of services they offer and how good they are at their jobs.

You might also want to speak with your GP and see if the child’s GP can point you in the right direction. The key is speaking with as many different people as you can to see who they would recommend.

Set Up Interviews With Providers

Once you’ve put together a list of quality respite childcare providers in your area, you should go ahead and start setting up interviews with each of them. An interview will give you an opportunity to get to know more about a provider.

During each interview, you should ask questions like:

  • “How long have you been providing care to sick and/or disabled children?”
  • “What services do you offer to people who turn to you for help?”
  • “How often are you available to provide childcare?”
  • “Are you going to be able to provide my child(ren) with the kind of care they need?”
  • “What sets you apart from other childcare providers?”

In general, your interview should feature a healthy mix of questions about both the job and the person applying for it. You want to walk out of each interview with a better sense of what a childcare provider is all about.

Run Background Checks on Providers and Call References

In addition to interviewing childcare providers about themselves and their job, you should also do your due diligence and run background checks on each childcare provider.

You want to make sure they haven’t had any issues caring for sick and/or disabled child(ren) in the past.

You should also ask each provider to give you a list of professional references, and you should take that list and use it. You want to call each person on it and ask them to speak about the childcare provider you are thinking about hiring.

The last thing you want to do is simply take a childcare provider’s word when it comes to things like experience and job skills. Your child(ren)’s life will literally be in this person’s hands, so running a background check and speaking with references is the least you can do to protect it.

Come Up With a Respite Childcare Schedule

At this point, you should know which childcare provider would be best for the job.

But before you hire them, you should put together a childcare schedule based on your own schedule and run it by them, just to make sure they’re going to be able to work with it.

If they can, great. You should bring them on board and allow them to start caring for your child(ren) on a regular basis.

If they can’t commit to your schedule, you should go back to the drawing board. You don’t want to hire a candidate only to find out later that they’re not actually able to care for your child(ren) when you need them to.

Establishing a schedule from the start will help you and the childcare provider get on the same page.

Speak With Your Child(ren) About the Situation

Throughout the process of trying to pick a childcare provider, you should stay in constant communication with your child(ren) if they’re old enough and let them know why you’re doing all of this in the first place or the childcare provider to find out how the child(ren) are doing.

The child(ren) might be confused as to why you can’t care for them all the time. You should explain that it’s healthy for you to get out every once in a while. You should also let them know that you want to be the best carer or parent you can be, and that means getting help every so often.

Additionally, you should allow your child(ren) to have some say over who their childcare provider will be. They’ll be spending a lot of time with that person, so they should feel as comfortable as possible in their presence.

Find the Right Respite Childcare Provider Today

Providing round-the-clock childcare for a sick or disabled child can be difficult. But you can make it a lot easier with help from a respite childcare provider.

By following the tips above, you can conduct a successful search for a childcare provider and have them start in no time.

Check out our instagram account, @safehausuk_, for more helpful tips on staying healthy and keeping your child(ren) safe, too.