Back-up childcare for school age kids?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Back-up childcare for school age kids?
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 5:36pm
Well, guess it's time to start planning another school year. I've been reading the "SAHM becoming daycare" thread and have been impressed by all of you who have daycare, backup for you daycare and backup for your backup.....we had very reliable childcare arrangements for our kids when they were preschool age, but I am interested in what those of you with school-aged kids do --not when they're sick, but on snow days, days when the school is out but you have to work, early dismissal days, etc. They've been tough on us, and both DH and I have flexible hours! How do others manage?


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 6:02pm
Our after-school care takes care of all of that. They don't close for weather (all but one of their employees lives within walking distance, which makes it nice) and if there's a workday or early dismissal, they're open for that.

The only thing that's not covered is sick days, and I've always stayed home or had Grandma cover for those.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 6:03pm
I went back to work when DD3 was in 1st grade.

I made it through without back-up care, just DH and myself to depend on.

For the first three years I worked for the same school system that my DDs did so that helped a lot. Snow days I didn't have to worry about because I was off also. There was only one day a year when I had to be at work and my kids didn't. At the first school I worked at I got out early enough to handle early release days. My DD3 attended the second school I worked at so on early realease days she just walked down and spent the rest of the day with me.

I started the job I have now when my DDs were 15, 13 and 9 (they are now 20, 18 and 14). If the weather is so bad that the schools are closed then my shop is closed so no problem there. When DD3 was younger I just left early on early dismissal days but the last couple of years I took a late lunch to pick her up and take her home and then went back to work.

There was only one time in the years that I have been back in the work force that back up care has ever been an issue. I had an afternoon doctor's appointment and was not sure if I would make it home before DD3. She 9 at the time. As it was I did make it home on time but did have a neighbor ready to help if needed.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 6:20pm
If the school closes, then so does the dc so one of us stays home. My problem is emergency contacts for my kids. Our school INSISTS they be someone in the neighborhood which is a problem. I made the mistake of asking the SAHM two doors down when dd#1 was in kindergarten. Boy did I get an earful. I have no idea why it was such a big deal but you'd have thought I asked her to sacrifice her first born, lol. I always thought it was just something neighbors do. Since it is an emergency back up, it made sense to ask someone who is actually home when I'm at work. I ended up asking another WM which kind of defeats the purpose since she's not home during school hours eiter. So, they'll just have to call my dad and wait the 45 minutes it will take him to get here if something goes wrong and they can't get a hold of me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 9:09pm

that's in our nanny's contract. We just hired our new nanny last week. She trained 12 hours and will train for 12 more hours this week. By next week she should be full time.


Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 9:14pm
I can take a day off, or I can work from home, or if it's DH's day off, he'll stay with them, or my folks will come to the rescue. I do have my next-door-neighbor who is wonderful. She's a SAHM and we help each other out with our kids. Her kids view my house as their second home! LOL! They're here a lot in the afternoons and evenings after I get home from work. And I'm perfectly fine with it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 10:44pm
well, dd goes to the same daycare as ds for before/after care ... and that's where she'll go on in-service days or snow days, etc.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 10:32am
This is one of the reasons we're planning to keep our nanny. No fuss, no muss.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 10:42am
Our after-school care stays open for holidays and early dismissal days. It is expensive, though, so I usually have a teenager watch my oldest. Sometimes, the person that watches my toddler will watch Zak. It just depends.

I have quite a flexible job so sick days and snow days are usually taken care of by me. We had 7 snow days last year and it became an issue between DH and I. He would take a day off to prepare for a triathlon but he could not take off a day for snow or one of the children being sick. We had a discussion about it and this year we are going to split them up. Plus, he is getting laid off at some point and will be the back up while he is unemployed.


"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 11:00am
Dh and I are both pretty flexible WRT schedules. Unless it's an emergency (sick or injured child) we know in advance that there is a school holiday and we plan for it. We don't have snow, hence no snow days, although occassionally we have a hurricane, but n those rare occassions, the university closes also, so I am home. The only other emergency that comes up, albeit rarely, is if there is an acident on teh highway and I get stuck in traffic at dismissal time. Luckily, dh works close to home, so if I call him, he can jump in the car and meet ds school bus.

Now that dd is in HS, she is old enough to babysit ds, so sometimes dd will babysit ds so I can work part of the day. I also WAH a bit.

Having no after school care program was initially scary for me, as a WOHP, but we have managed without one for a few years now.

The irony of the "WOHPs take advantage of SAHPs" threads is that IME, I, a WOHP, have been asked to watch the children of SAHMs for various reasons, while I have never asked a SAHM to watch my children. Go figure.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 11:02am
Early dismissal never happens.

We stay home on snow days. They call snow days when its judged unsafe for the school buses to run. If the kids have a snow day, we can almost always justifiably take one too because commuting is a problem. I get them as sick days, not vacation days.

Other schedule school closing we either take a vacation day, or the kids go to a camp.