How to plan for emergency childcare

As a career mum you rely on childcare for when you’re at work. But what would happen if your usual help was unavailable at short notice? Or if you fell ill and needed someone to take care of your child for you?

Making plans for backup childcare in case of emergency can help make sure that, if anything does go wrong, you don’t need to panic.

Why you might need emergency childcare

As much as we may try to plan for every eventuality in our lives, there’s always the chance that something unexpected might come along. And when it comes to childcare, this can include: 

  • Your childminder falling ill and unable to look after your child.
  • Your child falling ill and school and needing collection.
  • You’re called away to an emergency meeting and can’t collect or look after your child.
  • You suddenly fall ill and are unable to look after your child.

Planning ahead for emergency childcare

The best way to cope with a childcare emergency is to pre-empt and prepare for it. Some ways you may want to do that include:

  • Ask your childminder or nanny if they would be happy to keep your child for longer if you were ever unable to pick them up at the normal time.
  • Ask your child’s nursery or childminder if they would ever be able to take your child on an unscheduled day in the event of an emergency.
  • Ask your childminder if they could recommend an emergency backup if they were ever ill.
  • If you use a nanny, ask your agency if they are able to provide an temporary replacement if your nanny is ever ill.
  • Ask friends or family if they were willing to help in an emergency (if they need to drive your child anywhere, make sure they have the correct child seat).
  • If your child’s school has an after school club, ask if they are able to take children in an emergency.
  • Sign up with a company that specialises in emergency childcare.