When Others Care for Your Child

We often depend on relatives, friends, baby-sitters and child care providers to help us take care of our children. Finding the right person takes work, even if you’re thinking about someone you know. Make sure the caregiver will pay close, loving attention to your child and provide a safe place for exploring and learning. Make sure she follows your wishes about sleep safety, nutrition, early learning, guidance and discipline.

Try to spend some time with your child and the new caregiver at first. Be sure to let the caregiver know how to reach you. Talk with her often about how your child is doing.

Relative Care
Kwong’s grandma cares for him two afternoons a week.
Relative Care
A relative who takes care of your child and other related children does not need a license. But even if you ask a relative to care for your child, you should be clear about money, hours and your child’s needs and safety.

Choosing Someone to Care for Your Child
Monica cares for her own children as well as her neighbor’s baby.

Choosing Someone to Care for Your Child

  • Ask people you trust to recommend caregivers.
  • Interview several caregivers and check their references.
  • Do a criminal background check on the caregiver and anyone else who might be alone with your child. Call Trustline.
  • Check that the home is childproof. See page 21.
  • Make sure the house is smoke-free.
  • Ask the caregiver how she will help your child learn.
  • Ask if there are guns in the home. See page 21.
  • Ask if the caregiver knows first aid and CPR.
  • Make sure the caregiver knows about sleep and food safety, and what to do if your child chokes.
  • Talk to the caregiver about following your wishes in setting limits and discipline. Are you sure she will never hit or shake your child?

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

Learn More

Child Care Without a License

  • Someone who cares for the children of only one family in her own home does not need to be licensed. She can also be caring
    for her own children. To find
    unlicensed child care, call Child Care or Child Care Connection.
    Or visit

In-Home Child Care

  • Someone who cares for your
    children in your home, such as
    a nanny, does not need a license. You are the caregiver’s employer and you have to pay taxes and
    follow other regulations. Check references carefully. You should also make sure the person has a medical checkup. For more tips, call Child Care Connection.

TrustLine Helps You Check the Background of a Provider

  • TrustLine can do a criminal background check on unlicensed providers and in-home care-givers. Call TrustLine or visit

When Others Care For Your Child
Make sure your caregiver helps prepare your child for school.