A sick child is never fun — for anyone. But when you’re a working parent, a sick child can pose a big problem. There are only so many vacation days you can (or want to) take. And most often, schools and one day daycare facilities will not allow a sick child to be there. What’s a parent to do? Here are a few popular suggestions:
Sick Day Child Care Resources
Hire someone to come to your home. The risk of getting just one person sick as opposed to a whole classroom is one you can feel comfortable taking. There are plenty of babysitters who won’t mind caring for an ill child. (There are also plenty who will so be sure to offer full disclosure up front). You can ask friends for their favorite day-time babysitter or make use of an online marketplace like UrbanSitter, where babysitters specify if they will care for sick children.
Call a relative. If you need last minute daycare, consider family members that live nearby. Grandma or Auntie or even a cousin might come through in a pinch. These are the people that love you and your child so most likely won’t mind (as much) the fact that he or she is sick. They also might be more willing if you reveal that your child is on the tail end of his illness, so most likely not contagious.
Research daycare drop in options. Sometimes neighborhood facilities offer day care drop in services. You must reveal that your child is ill, but again, if he or she is no longer contagious, the facility might not mind. You can usually find local one day daycare options online, but also ask friends and neighbors for their recommendations.
Ask a friend or neighbor. Even local teenagers can be a great resource. If they are off school and want some extra money, they may be willing to take the job. Once again, you must reveal the circumstances, but if you’re up front, you’d be surprised at the number of people who will jump at the chance.
In the end, last minute day care is a tough nut to crack. Your best option is to stay home with your child, and sometimes that’s all you can do. But, when absolutely desperate, get creative and try the above options.