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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL our L ead Y F a m ily - T ea m S o luti o n : Be Specific about Your Expectations You cannot assume that all your household members will understand or remember the licensing rules—or want to abide by them. You must be specific when explaining your expectations. For example, if the bathroom you are using for child care is the same bathroom shared by household members, everyone needs to understand the importance of keeping all hazards inacces- sible to children. This same rule applies to other areas of your licensed space. Similarly, if you expect that a household member will assist you in your business, make sure both of you understand what the role of helper entails. For instance, if you have a family pet and you have given your own child the responsibility of assuring that your outside play area is free of animal waste or other hazards, make sure your expectations are clearly stated and your son agrees to them. Do not assume agreement until he actually agrees to do what you require. You should also work out backup plans so that if the person assigned to a task cannot do it, you have another way to get the task done. Remember: the ultimate responsibility for a hazard-free environment always falls on you. A visitor to your child care setting will not accept that dangerous or unsanitary conditions in your home are somehow not your responsibility. When allocating responsibilities, try to ensure that the individuals being assigned the tasks understand how this arrangement benefits them as well as you. Many providers assume their children and spouses are so happy to have them at home that everyone will pitch in to make the child care business a success. Be careful about such idealistic thinking. Sometimes the responses to your ideas and requests for help can be surprising . . . even disappointing. If you are asking your children and spouse to support your business, think about how they benefit from their contribution before you talk with them. Maintain a positive attitude and put yourself in their shoes as much as possible. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 5