Care for a Sick Child

You can almost count on it. At some point in the near future your child is going to become too ill to go to the daycare. What do you do?

If you've taken the time to work out a backup care plan, you'll simply place a call and set Plan B into action, perhaps Plan C if need be. No plan? Well, get your pencil sharpened and put you're thinking cap on. You're about to make one now.

1) First, write down all the people who may be able to help you out in a pinch:

    * Relatives like Grandma or an Aunt
    * Friends
    * Neighbors
    * Members of your clubs, church, recreation group, school council
    * Students from the local college or university
    * Other stay-at-home parents you know
    * School principal, teachers
    * Other caregivers in our Child Care Registry

2) Next, call everyone on your list until you've found at least two people who will be there on short notice. Offer to repay their services by watching the backup caregiver's kids on the weekend or after hours, or pay a little more than usual if you feel this will help.

3) If you still can't find anyone, contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency and inquire about any sick child care centres that may be set up in your area. Call them. Check them out. Do your background investigation. Take you child along for a final visit. The get on their list if you find this is a great option for your family.

4) Talk to coworkers about their plans. Perhaps someone can recommend their back up caregiver. Call and check them out. Visit them. Get references and follow through.

5) Find out what arrangements you can make through your work and/or your spouses place of employment. Look into how you can use your sick days. Talk to your Human Resource personnel. Find out everything you can. You may be surprised to learn that your company is sympathetic to the plight of the working family and allows for a certain number of leave days to care for a sick family member.

6) If you belong to a union, call them and find out what rights you have under Medical Leave. In the very least they may be able to direct you to an option you hadn't thought about.

Once you've found the best care for your sick child when you simply cannot take the time off to better yourself, keep the information handy. Make a copy for home and the office so you can set your plan in motion the minute you get the dreaded call "Please pick up your child, he is really too sick for care today".