I know your like what does she mean a Back Up Babysitter, when I just literally teared my eyeballs out searching for a childcare provider. Hear me out! Parenthood means we are learning to stay ready for whatever life throws at us. We need childcare as much as we need to work, and sometimes we need childcare to get some alone time with our spouses, family and friends. I don't mean you need a Back Up Babysitter when everything is going as planned. You probably wouldn't need a Back Up Babysitter if you currently don't have a need for a childcare provider on a regular basis.
In a nutshell we need a Back Up Babysitter Plan, because children are tiny humans. As their parents we need to be prepared and make sure they are in competent, capable, and trusted hands no matter what is going on and a Back Up Babysitter Plan will ensure this.
Let's look at the 3 most important reasons why you would you need a Back Up Babysitter Plan:
1). Your childcare program has closing days for vacation and holidays that you are still scheduled for work on.
2). Your child may become too sick to attend their childcare program, or may have contracted a communicable disease and cannot return to the childcare program until a doctor says it is okay to do so.
3). Emergencies that are beyond the control of the childcare provider. A neighborhood power outrage would definitely keep a childcare provider from providing childcare services. A nanny who is ill will need the family to find childcare coverage until the nanny is physically able to care for the child again.
How do I get started creating a Back Up Babysitting Plan?
The first thing to do when creating your Back Up Babysitting Plan is to read the Parent Handbook given to you by your childcare provider. Write down the holidays, and vacation days that the program will be closed. If no Parent Handbook was given ask your provider for the days they will be closed. Let your provider know that you need notice of these days as soon as they can give them to you, so that you can have a Back Up Babysitter Plan in place before those days arrive.
Now, look at your calendar and see if you have anything personally scheduled that can not be done during your childcare program hours, but childcare will still be needed. It could be for a class, extra work hours, entertainment, etc. These dates and the days you have listed when your childcare program will not be operating become the days that childcare services will need to be provided by a Back Up Babysitter.
After looking at the days and times you have listed in your Back Up Babysitter Plan you can determine if it is childcare coverage that relatives may be able to provide for you. If they are not available during the times and days then you now know you should begin the process of hiring a Back Up Babysitter. Make sure during interviews you find out the potential back up babysitter's schedule, sometimes you may even need two Back Up Babysitters to ensure that there will be coverage in the event your child becomes ill and will not be able to attend their childcare program during the daytime hours. These days are so important to have coverage for and makes the sick day home a lot less stressed when there is a plan in place for it.
We were able to help two families last week with our on call babysitting services. One family's preschool teacher became ill, so the program was cancelled. We provided childcare services for them and dad wasn't even late for work. The other family had a child with a serious cough and could not return to childcare until a doctor said that it was okay to return. Mom still made it to work simply because she had a Back Up Babysitter Plan.
The time is now to create your Back Up Babysitter Plan, as tomorrow could be the very day the plan may be needed. So grab yourself a pencil and some paper, a calendar and your Parent Handbook and get to creating your lifesaver Back Up Babysitter Plan!