Care Provided by Relatives, Friends and Neighbors

Sometimes parents choose relatives, friends or neighbors to care for their child. This type of care is often called "Kith and Kin" care and can take place in the caregiver's home or in the child's home. Sometimes parents arrange to work different shifts, so that one parent is always available to care for the children.

 Many states do not regulate care provided by relatives, friends and neighbors. A few states require these informal providers to be screened through a criminal history check and/or child abuse and neglect clearance. Several states require minimal training in health and safety.

Why Do Parents Choose Care by Relatives, Friends and Neighbors?

Parents who use this kind of care consider themselves lucky to have a relative, friend or neighbor care for their children. They believe that these caregivers will provide warmer, more loving care for the child and that the child will be more secure.

Many parents believe that relatives, friends and neighbors will be more likely to share their values and they feel more comfortable entrusting their children to them. Sometimes parents use this type of care because their schedules, budgets or transportation issues limit their other child care options.