Sick days & emergency childcare

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Many parents don't have to imagine the scenario of getting up and ready for the day and only to hear that dreaded cough, sniffle or worse, vomiting sounds from your child. We've all been there and, knowing Murphy's Law well enough, it happens on the day of the big presentation, the one time you can't work from home and you have tapped out of sick days yourself. What do you do?


It is important to think about a course of action in this situation before it arises and line up help as a back up. Having a contingency plan in place will save you time and energy, not to mention a lot of stress! Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Think ahead and have a list

Just like childcare services and other educational facilities, you should have an emergency call list. This might consist of parents, family members, neighbours or friends you can call upon to help out. If you're fortunate enough to have parents or in-laws living in the area, you'll be surprised at how wonderfully supportive they can be. If possible, don't call on their help for the whole day, maybe just a few hours to handle the important matters at work and then work from home if necessary. Whatever you do, start to find your village.

Split the day with your partner

Another alternative when children are sick is to split the day. Some occupations don't allow for this or it's an impossibility, but if you're able to call your partner in and tag team the day, give that a go. You can go to work in the morning, from 7:30 until 12:30, come home, and then your partner can go in and work from 2:00 until 8:00.

Save your sick days

Try to save your sick days so that you don't have to take unpaid days although you can receive carers leave (taken out of your sick leave) if you need to take time off to look after a sick family member – ask your HR department about what arrangements can be made with flexible leave practices.

Alternative options

Having backup childcare in place is like insurance - you might never need it but should you have to, you're so thankful that it's there.  If all else fails then consider our On-line Babysitting service as it caters for emergency care situations. You can book on the same day up to 2pm or 4 hours prior!

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