You have found a family with the same aged children, similar COVID safety practices, schedule, and more–congratulations! Now what….
Here are suggestions for next steps:
1. Set up an outdoor playdate: You want to make sure the kids in your quarantine bubble click! If you have small children, have them go for a bike ride or a walk through the woods together. Older kids are better at remembering to socially distance. Get to know the other parent(s) or guardian in a relaxed environment. You may want to do this several times. Building up trust is key to making this relationship work. Above all, listen to your child regarding their comfort level with their potential buddy.
2. Undergo background check: Consider doing background checks to ensure your child’s safety, especially small kids. These can be found online for a one-time, modest fee
3. Compare expectations: You will want to have explicit conversations about your parenting style, household environment and safety, health procedures to limit exposure to the Coronavirus, plans for setting up a COVID-19 bubble, school pod, or nanny-share or teacher-share, and expectations about what your child will do when they are with the other family. Understandably, these conversations can be uncomfortable for some people! To help, we have created a Family Pod Checklist to go through. We highly recommend printing the Family Pod Checklist and going through it with the other family!
4. Visit the family’s home: Once you have decided that the match is indeed a good fit for your family, visit their home to make sure you are comfortable with the environment.
5. Set up simple processes: Discuss your schedule with the other family and have it in writing, so that there is no confusion. Talk about what happens in work emergencies. Create and share emergency contact sheets.