Options for Backup Care


When parents work, they have child care in place to look after their kids. But what happens when those usual arrangements go awry? Your regular nanny goes on vacation, calls in sick or quits unexpectedly; schools and day cares are on vacation or there’s a snow day; your child is sick and can’t go to school; or you have to work late or on a weekend.

These are all very real scenarios that happen to everyone. But your kids still have to be taken care of and you still have to get to work. It’s frustrating, and can cause total panic. But here are five places to turn to find suitable backup care — whether it’s last minute or weeks in advance.

Your Employer

Many employers offer regular day care or backup care as a benefit. Check with your employer to see what options are available; some are free or low-cost for employees, some require first-come-first-served registration and some are available only during school breaks. Click here to find out more about getting backup care as a company benefit.

Your Computer

Hire a backup nanny through a nanny-finding website. You can quickly find caregivers who are available on short notice. But even though it’s last minute, make sure you still take the time to interview candidates and review background checks and references.

Your Local Day Care

Day care centers sometimes provide space for a child in an emergency situation — as long as they’re not sick. Every center operates differently: some require pre-registration, others simply ask for a call ahead and some allow a child to be dropped off without any notice at all. Be sure to research nearby day cares and know what they require.


Image courtesy of care.com