While parents would love to stay home with their ill children, sometimes it simply is not possible. Whether you don't have any sick days left, you can't get any coverage at work or you just need the money, sometimes you need to attend work while your child can't go into their normal child care situation. Here are some options.
The 'get well' room
Some child care centres have a room where you can send children who are no longer very sick but cannot yet head back into the main room as they are low in energy or still in the exclusion period. This can be a great advantage for parents with kids with recurring minor issues — such as niggling ear infections or recurring sinusitis, so it's well worth looking for this service when comparing child care centres.
Particularly if your child is not that unwell, but is still in an exclusion period after an infectious disease such as gastro, this can be a good time to take advantage of those offers from friends and family to look after your children. It's a good chance for them to snuggle up and watch a movie with your bub, or just chill out and spend some time together.
Work from home
This can also be a time to ask your boss for a chance to work from home. This isn't possible for all jobs, but if your child is going to be pretty relaxed and sleep most of the day, you can often get enough done to keep up with work. Who knows — if it works out well, it could become a permanent option, even once your child is better!
A nanny or babysitting service
If you need to go to the office and don't have anyone who can help out, it can be helpful to use a nanny or babysitting service to get a carer sent to the house. These carers have been interviewed and vetted by the service and have either experience and/or qualifications in child care. Often these services can be used for sick children and they can be a good option to keep an eye on a sick child in a way that they may not even get in a child care centre.
If you have a sick child, but still need to work, the child care options listed above are a few options that you might want to try.
I work as a nurse, and I'm separated from my husband, so it's quite complicated for us to work out child care sometimes. We have an family child care centre down the road that is amazing and does so much to keep our family ticking when we need child care out of hours. I know I'm not the only one who needs flexibility in child care, and I know that a lot of other parents are also struggling with the juggle of managing child care out of the normal opening hours of a centre. This blog is a place to share ideas and solutions we have worked out, with each other.