My friend has sadly got to go out of the country between xmas and New Year to go to a funeral and for various reasons cannot take her DC and has no other family that can care for them as they will all be there too.
I will be looking after her 3 DC for 72 hours - not sure whether at my house or hers, but as she is so far away and probably not contactable unless a real emergency, please can you help me think of things that I need to know about before she goes - have got details of Drs; allergies; medication - is there anything else that I need to know?
Have their Red Books... that way you have their early medical info. Ask about anything medical related that isn't in the book - so anything that is recent usually.
Make sure they bring with them comfort toys, favourite books, puzzles, toys.
If very young, can be useful to have a non-washed (so it smells a bit) item of mums clothing such as a t-shirt. Can be a comfort to a young child who is very upset about mum not being there. Also having photos of mum can help.
In some ways it is easier at their house... as then the children are in an environment they know well and feel safe in.
Ask about things they like to do, places they like to go. The eldest two children may be able to tell you of places they like locally.
Have some ideas yourself of things to do to keep them entertained. It's good for them to have someone do different things with them... so if you are passionate about something, teach them about it. Be that history, cooking, making bread (children love playing with dough).
Finding things to do in winter, especially Xmas to New Year week may be tricky as a lot of places may be closed. Get out of the house every day though... even just for a walk around the block - ideally find a local park.
get her to write down exactly what she does on a day to day basis - I have a "bible" that i leave for people looking after the children eg 7am get up and they watch tv 7.30am have your shower 8am breakfast Dc1 has ...... etc. Also suggestions of local activities eg the library you can go to. It may help if your friend arranges a play date for each child so you get a bit of a break too. Good luck, my friend looked after both odf mine last summer and she/they were fine (she was knackered though!)