School Bells & Child Care: Do they ever ring together?

Written by: Sarah Wenning

Backpacks packed, hot lunches ordered and off to school and work we went. Now I was ready to focus on my work. Until the first germ was spread.

After a few weeks, sure enough we were hit with our first of many sick days. Without a nanny or babysitter as a backup, my work schedule was quickly interrupted.

After the warm weather killed all the flu bugs, we had another glitch in the schedule: school holidays and breaks. I had used all my PTO days to take care of my sick daughter. How was I going to get child care coverage for winter and spring breaks or the time in between school and summer camp?

After plenty of trial and error, here are some suggestions for securing child care during the school years:

  • Have a backup plan! Friends, neighbors and family are all fair game.
  • Network with other parents for school holiday coverage. Tap your school’s parents’ online forum.
  • Network with other nearby school parents.
  • Prearrange (well in advance) child care for non-school days including holidays. Au pairs are a great solution for school-age children because they are already living in your home (no commuting issues) and their schedules are conducive to school hours.
  • Have another backup plan.

In the end, be flexible, network and be prepared to juggle. Isn’t that what parenting is all about?

Chicago families share fantastic advice on how to navigate parenting in the city in our NPN Parent to Parent blog posts. Download the full NPN fall issue to read more! Did you receive your Parent to Parent copy at home?  If not, visit My Account and change your mailing preferences.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 9:53 PM