2.2. Where's The Family?

You may be used to thinking in terms of families as the core unit with whom you deal. These entities generally consist of the children in your care and their parents who are responsible for those children and for their child care fees. However, given the diversity of family structures in today's society, Spike makes no attempt to define family structures. Instead the Spike software program deals only with children, adults and accounts. Of course, in many cases, the name of an account will be a family name, but not necessarily.

It is essential to understand the difference between an adult and an Account. An adult is a person who has a relationship with a child in your service. It may be a parent of the child, an uncle, a grandmother, or any other person authorised to be responsible for the child at some time. The data kept about these adults is simply their name, relationship to the child, emergency telephone contact numbers, whether they are entitled to access, and any restrictions on that access.

These adults are not necessarily responsible for paying the child's fees. Thus, before any booking can be made for a child, an account holder must be identified as being responsible for the fees generated by the booking.

In most cases a child's fees will always be paid by the same account. However, in some instances, different bookings for the same child may be the responsibility of different accounts. Following, are two scenarios which illustrate this point. Both are easily accommodated by the Spike system.

2.2.1. Scenario 1-Shared Care

A child's mother and father have separated and share custody. Mum has the child from Sunday night to Wednesday morning and Dad has the child from Wednesday night to Sunday morning. The child is in full-time Care at your service. Grandpa picks up the child on Tuesday night whilst an elder sister drops off and picks up the child on Fridays. Mum is responsible for the account on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings. Dad pays for the child care on Wednesday afternoons, Thursdays and Fridays.

So, for this one child, there are four associated adults and two account holders.

2.2.2. Scenario 2-Sponsors

A child is enrolled every day for the Morning session at the service, which is paid for by the child's father. However, when Mum is required to work overtime, any Afternoon session required at that time is paid for by her employer. Infrequently, the child is put in casual Afternoon care so that Mum and Dad can visit a sick uncle. The uncle pays for these casual sessions.

Thus, this child has two associated adults, one permanent account holder and two casual account holders.