By Pamela Filler
"I want to become a registered provider so that I can be home with my own children." This is one positive aspect that contributes to a person choosing to become a registered provider. Having the opportunity of being with your children everyday is ideal for some people. With this comes the opportunity to provide open doors for the friends of your children after school, during the holidays and summer vacation. However, there are regulations regarding the provider's children and their friends that must be followed.
Any friend of the provider's children or neighborhood children at the facility during daycare hours and who are 0-12 years of age must be counted as "daycare children." A common misconception of many providers is that these friends ar not "daycare children" because they are not charging the parents. For example, suppose the friend got hurt, the provider would come to the aid of the child; thus taking time and attention from the children in care. Because friends are considered "daycare children" all daycare rules and regulations apply to them while they are present during daycare hours. This includes maintaining a child file with immunizations and emergency contact information. A daycare rule that helps to clarify this issue is ARM rule 37.95.112, Counting Children in Care. Children of the provider's household or children who are present in the home or facility only when their own parent is also present shall not be counted in determining whether supplemental parental care is provided to three or more children.
What about those friends who are over 12 years of age? These friends must never be alone or left in charge of any daycare child. They can be in brief contact with children in care, but encouraged to remain separated from them.
If there is any information you would like to see in Childcare Matters please contact me at 265-1233.
Helping you make childcare choices...
Pamela Filler is the child care licensor for Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Roosevelt, Daniels and Sheridan counties.