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Tell me about your back up arrangements

(18 Posts)
sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 09:10:16


I was just wondering what plans other people have for if your regular childcare falls through? We have no family to help and are very reliant on the childcare we have in place. So far, our back up plan has been one or other of us taking time off work. However, we need to find something better. Are emergency nannies the only option? I am really not sure about leaving a toddler with someone they've never met before.

I am struggling to think of a good answer to the problem!

CMOTDibbler Mon 19-Jan-15 09:12:46

We just have that one of us has to take time off/ work from home. We don't have a choice

Jinxxx Mon 19-Jan-15 09:18:19

Perhaps you could look for a regular babysitter who might be able to also cover the odd day here and there as well? Lots of nannies and childminders also offer babysitting, and some students and retired people. It also depends why your usual childcare doesn't work. If it is just because they are unreliable, may be time to change. If it is because your child(ren) are often unwell, an emergency nanny may be your only option as obviously the child(ren) won't be able to mux with others.

Jinxxx Mon 19-Jan-15 09:18:55


spookyskeleton Mon 19-Jan-15 09:22:51

Our situation is exactly the same as yours and always had been - no local family so it falls to one of us to take the day off/work from home.

We have been fortunate that we both work for good employers.

It does get easier when they start school as I now have a network of local friends who I know I could call on in an emergency (more of the picking up from school if stuck in traffic emergency though rather than full day of babysitting emergency grin).

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 11:11:06

Thanks. Yes, childcare has been a bit unreliable and no option to change at the moment. I'm not sure how I would track down a local babysitter, if there even are any. Maybe I could ask a couple of the local child minders if they can do ad hoc days if they have space. Gah, it's v complicated.

Primaryteach87 Mon 19-Jan-15 11:13:23

Emergency nannies can be great. Especially if really last minute CC needed. Try it once and see how DC gets on. Usually you wouldn't sign any contract for that sort of thing.

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 11:24:14

Have you used one? How did you arrange it? I am just a bit nervous about handing my kids over to someone I've never met before confused.

Primaryteach87 Mon 19-Jan-15 11:37:58

I have worked as one in the past pre-children. It was through an agency who did CRB, references and interview. I was teaching PT so had availability on other days. Agency would ring me up the day before or morning of (early!) and I'd then ring the parents. They would usually ask about my experience if I had first aid qualifications etc (which I did). I usually suggested I get there about 30mins before they had to leave so they could walk me through the routine. The parents were often frazzled and nervous so part of the job was a bit of reassurance. We did lots of playing and chatting (if old enough). I normally stayed away from baking and painting unless the parents had asked me too (as didn't know their house or cleanliness standards!). I also wouldn't take children out unless agreed in advance. But we had a great time playing in the garden, making music together etc.

Hope that helps smile

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 11:44:09

It does, thank you.

GillSans Mon 19-Jan-15 11:50:10

What are your current arrangements and how old are your children? Do you pay someone for childcare? And if so, do they have a back up plan?

When mine were under 5, I used a mix of private day nursery, local church playgroup and school nursery. The most unreliable of these was the school, which once closed the nursery down for 2 weeks due to D&V bug! Fortunately I was able to increase the nursery and playgroup hours.

Now they are school age I use the school wraparound care and various holiday clubs. Generally, they are all very reliable but when I was recently caught out by one of the clubs closing a week early, I was able to use another provider at very short notice as the children had been there the week before.

I'm also very lucky in that, so far, work have let me flex my hours and I have built up a good network of friends who I can share childcare favours with. Like you, we have no reliable family nearby. There is always the last resort option of shipping the kids off to my mum and dads in the holidays, but thankfully we have only had to do this once.

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 12:39:33

The children are a mixture of primary school aged and preschool. We currently use a daily nanny. Our up plan at the moment is me or DH. However, I am also thinking ahead to when they are all at school, and if they are ill, as I doubt we could justify the expense of a regular nanny at that point.

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 12:41:14

No space for anyone to live in, so that is immediately ruled out.

DeanKoontz Mon 19-Jan-15 12:44:28

I try to keep some lieu time back to use when they are Ill, though I realise that may not be possible for everyone. Otherwise, it's annual leave which I can fortunately take at short notice.

I've never used a nanny though, so not sure what the options would be.

HSMMaCM Mon 19-Jan-15 13:59:27

Emergency nannies tend to know how to take over on the spur of the moment, because that's what they are used to. The half hour handover is a very good idea if possible. Don't expect them to do much more than keep your children fed and safe, because they won't know them well. Anything extra is a bonus. My mum used to do emergency care for children at my sisters kids primary school. My sister would pass on her number to mums looking frazzled at the gate and she would whiz over in her car. No outings or anything, just emergency childcare.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 19-Jan-15 14:00:27

I'm a nanny, there is a good nanny network where I am and we all try and cover for each other. The children all know each other and the other nannies and most of the parents have met all the other nannies. We all babysit for each others families as well (if their regular nanny can't do it).

It works really well, but requires everyone involved to be reasonably accommodating and laid back. You have to be happy for your nanny to look after other people's children when needed, it can't be all one way traffic. Plus you need to allow your nanny to go to and host playdates so that the children get to know the other children and nannies etc. It doesn't work for people who don't want their children at playdates/in other people's houses/never out of routine etc.

If none of the other nannies can do it then my employers either use grandparents or work from home/take the day off. On occasion if they've been really desperate I have come in sick, but they've organised someone else to do the school runs/left food that just needs to be reheated etc. so I did the absolute minimum, but they could get in to work.

sofatastic Mon 19-Jan-15 14:10:55

Wow, you sound very dedicated! I'm interested in the idea of nanny networkers. That sounds really sensible. Our nanny doesn't seem v proactive. We said we are happy for play dates (both directions), but she has never done one.

secretcbeebsfan Mon 19-Jan-15 21:30:18

similar to outraged. I have no kids but do nanny. it helps to organise play dates etc . and really get to know other mums / nannies. It works so well. All the kids are so comfortable with us all, if a child fell over they would be comforted by any of us etc.. It is brilliant if I am stuck in traffic or running late... nanny friends will just stay with the kids until we arrive (even if we haven't been able to call them!) it's also handy if we need to take a day off or are sick because we can cover for each other. I would definitely encourage your nanny to be pro active in organising play Dates. especially since you have said you are happy for them.

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