Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ba·by (ba-be) | back-up childcare

When it comes to parenting, everyday you learn something new.  Something that I've quickly had to learn was what to do when I need emergency back up care.  Whether you have a nanny, caregiver or send your child to daycare, be prepared with a list of options to call or reach out to if your primary child care provider is sick, daycare is closed for break or what happens more often - your child is sick!

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For our family, we're very lucky to have a fantastic nanny, but when she started we never had a "contingency plan" in place should she ever get sick or want a day off.  Unfortunately we don't have family around so for us it's about calling in favors.  So if you're like us and need some back-up help last minute, below are some great places to start:
  • UrbanSitter
    • UrbanSitter provides an opportunity to post last minute jobs.  We did this for the first time recently and got a great number of responses.  The other great thing about UrbanSitter is that it is really integrated with your social feeds.  If you log on using your Facebook account it will pre populate your friends who have also used UrbanSitter's service.  When you look for sitters, it will tell you if anyone from your network has used them and if they are recommended. 
  • Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Centers
    • When I was a previous Time Warner employee one of the amazing benefits we had was a service through Bright Horizons Daycare where we had discounted day rates at any daycare center (that had room for Liam) or discounted service for in-home care.  I would HIGHLY look into your work benefits and see if this is one that you have available to you.  The service is absolutely amazing and they are 24-hours...trust me I know.  I've called at 1:30am (true story)!
    • If this isn't a benefit, local Bright Horizons facilities will let you discuss emergency drop-off situations.  You have to contact each location individually, but trust me this is great to be set up for in emergency situations.  Just know that your child has to be registered ahead of time (with up to date medical records from your doctor's office).
  • SitterCity
    • We found our nanny and some babysitters through SitterCity.  We have been extremely happy with the online service provided and is another great place to post a complimentary job to other sites just to ensure you are reaching the best candidates.
  • Nanny Poppinz
    • This is a service my sister in law used when she was scrambling last minute for temporary child care as she was preparing to go back to work.  This is a national service that specializes in last minute care and serves like an agency minus all the fees.
  • Local and national placement agencies
    • There are several placement agencies out there dedicated to placing in-home care for elderly care and early childhood care.  Take some time to research ones available in your area, but specifically in Chicago we've been placed with someone from College Nannies and Tutors.  They are a great service and placed us with a wonderful temp who has asked us to consider her as a consistent babysitter for Liam.
I'm one to rarely give any advice, but I highly recommend having a number of emergency back up childcare options.  Whether you're a full-time or part-time working mom, or even if you're a stay at home mom, you never know when something might come up and you need someone to care for your child last minute - so I say be prepared before you find yourself in a desperate situation like we were in.  And to make things a little easier for you in getting your back-up childcare options ready, I'm hosting a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to UrbanSitter.  The service has truly been a life saver in my 11th hour and I know I'm not the only one who has truly benefited from this service. 


Fill out the form below for a chance to win and be sure to check out their Facebook page filled with great tips on child care.  The giveaway will end on Wednesday, June 5th and the winner will be announced the following day on the Defining Tabitha Facebook page.  Good luck!


4 comments:

Johanna said...

This is a great post...I really need to grow my bench of sitters because we rely so heavily on our nanny.

Hillary said...

I agree! You need a back-up plan always.

pilar said...

This is great - thank you for posting a summary of the various places!

Jenny @ prams pushchairs said...

Even I'm in a critical situation where I have to travel outstation every day and was looking for a responsible person to look after my kid. It is indeed not easy, these reviews are remarkable.