Children, especially those who are still young and those with special needs, require constant, direct supervision. It only takes a momentary lapse in oversight for a child to elope from a facility or insert a fork into an electrical outlet.
Securing appropriate childcare is a crucial aspect of modern parenting. In households where both parents work, choosing the right childcare provider is important for a child’s health and safety. Even if one parent stays home or only works part-time, having appropriate and accessible childcare solutions is important for every family. When parents divorce or separate, childcare issues often only become more complicated. There are two specific childcare concerns that families may benefit from addressing in their parenting plans.
1. The right of first refusal
Especially when one parent works part-time or has a flexible job arrangement, they may want to request the right of first refusal for all childcare needs.
When the children are with one parent and will suddenly need to stay with someone else because the parent becomes unavailable, the other parent should have the option of providing care for the children during that time before anyone else has an opportunity.
Including such terms can help one parent ensure that the children will come home instead of going to a questionable childcare facility.
2. Approved or prohibited childcare providers
It is possible for co-parents to negotiate a list of either those who can provide childcare for their children or specific people who absolutely cannot. There are obviously limitations to either approach.
A list of prohibited parties is finite, allowing someone with a history of negligence to simply find a new, equally questionable care provider who is not on the list. A list of permitted caregivers could leave the family in a lurch when no approved providers are available.
Still, clarifying that there are specific people who absolutely should not watch the children or limiting the people who can is often an important step for the protection of young and vulnerable children after parental separation. Thinking about who will have access to and control over minor children can help parents enact more effective parenting plans overall. If parents have questions about how to approach this subject, seeking legal guidance can be beneficial.