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Two working parents and a sick child?

(33 Posts)
odyssey2001 Mon 17-Nov-14 07:28:43

So, ds (3.9) is going to school next September and this week has had his first vomiting bug, which means no nursery until he is 48 hours clear. We can manage it this year but we will both be working full time.

How do parents, with no local family and limited flexibility at work (one of us is a teacher, the other works in London in a very small team of two), manage child care when their child is off school?


Bedsheets4knickers Mon 17-Nov-14 07:35:31

I'm a sahm , we also have no family near by. If I'm ever to unwell to take care if children my dh has to take day off. Maybe for you both you take it in turns . Say 48 hours you do one day dh does the other. Would that work ?

meglet Mon 17-Nov-14 07:36:57

There's a legal right to emergency dependants leave (I'm not sure that's the right title?). It can be used to care for sick children.

It's usually unpaid but if you can alternate who takes it then hopefully you won't need it very often. I've used it on a handful of occasions.

gamerwidow Mon 17-Nov-14 07:37:09

Me and dh take it in turns to be off with our dd when she is ill. But if also depends on what is going on at work. I.e. Dh works in a team of two so I would usually take time off if he us the only one in work that week or if I have a particularly important project happening (like I do this week) he would take time off.

mistymorningmemories Mon 17-Nov-14 07:37:31

You're entitled to unpaid leave to care for your dependents. Try and alternate with other parent. That's all really

Humansatnav Mon 17-Nov-14 07:39:08

Similar to above, dh was self employed & I worked ft.
I would usually do day 1and dh would have a day to rearrange work and do day 2.

funchum8am Mon 17-Nov-14 07:40:57

We take it in turns to have time off. My school allows 3 days per year emergency care leave paid, then further childcare leave is unpaid but accepted, up to the point the absence policy kicks in ( 13 days - then you have an interview with your line manager about it.). Only one person in the team I manage has ever had such a sickly child and a DH who wouldn't share the time off that they have reached that point in the past 4 years though. Bosses should understand.

Lones80 Mon 17-Nov-14 07:41:55

I'm on maternity leave at the moment but previously worked 3 days a week. If DS was sick on one of my working days DH and I would compare diaries and work out who was best positioned to take time off.

It might be that I went in very earlier and worked until lunch then swapped with DH for the afternoon, making up any time in the evenings or later in the week. Or just take the time off as a holiday.

It was really hard, especially as DS has been sick quite a lot compared to other children. When I go back to work this time we'll be getting a nanny precisely because of this.

pinkglitter80 Mon 17-Nov-14 07:42:03

once we got a babysitter although admittedly dd wasn't I'll properly, just high temp from teething so excluded from nursery

pinkglitter80 Mon 17-Nov-14 07:43:05

ill! could work if u start to get regular babysitter they know?

PacificDogwood Mon 17-Nov-14 07:43:21

Consider a childminder for your child care - many CM will take children with coughs and cold (D+V NOT so much…)

But yet, alternate taking time off, unpaid leave.

Duckstar Mon 17-Nov-14 07:43:34

There are agencies which can provide emergency nannies in theses situations. Expensive (£250 per day in my area); however, can be very useful if you are desperate.

attheendoftheday Mon 17-Nov-14 08:29:40

We alternate time off. There is no job this isn't possible.

Thurlow Mon 17-Nov-14 13:10:58

We alternate too. We're fortunate that my job is slightly more flexible than his and, to be honest, I'm at a stage now where I'm not pushing massively in my career so don't mind irritating work a bit. I do some work from home, maybe an hour or so, even though I take it as a day's leave, just to keep on work's good side. DP can take a day off but it is harder in his job (while I know there is "no job this isn't possible", some jobs it just is harder to do - people still get ill or commit crimes or burn down houses regardless of whether your child is sick grin)

How far away are your family? Ours aren't on the doorstep by any means but if we know DD will be ill for a few days, we've asked for help.

Also as others have said, IME childminder's can be a bit more flexible than nurseries when it comes to colds and teething temperatures etc.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Mon 17-Nov-14 13:16:18

You are entitled to unpaid emergency parental leave for these types of situations.

CMOTDibbler Mon 17-Nov-14 13:19:00

We fight it out discuss whose day is least flexible. Fortunatly ds is very hardy, but dh did once have to take him to a site meeting wrapped in a duvet when I was away for work

Shahrazad Mon 17-Nov-14 14:16:02

You take it in turns
DH and I both work in education
We can only book time off during the students' holidays
It's caused major problems for both of us in the past, but we've had to manage.

reddaisy Mon 17-Nov-14 14:32:30

There is no magic solution to this and all we do is argue about it a bit and then one of us takes a day off and then we swap. If one of us can easily take the time off then we do, we try and work as a team to sort it out but on bad days when we both have something important on, it is very difficult and stressful.

odyssey2001 Thu 20-Nov-14 13:48:02

Thank you all. Sorry for my tardiness.

HamishBamish Thu 20-Nov-14 14:54:47

It's really tricky, especially when they are young and catch everything going. Usually people take it un turns, it's the only fair way. For us, it's always me as I work from home and can get away with just having them camped out beside me. If I have a client call and need to guarantee total silence, then DH has to come home and cover.

hiccupgirl Thu 20-Nov-14 21:15:32

My DS had a vomiting bug in October so had to have 2 days off school. We also have no family nearby to have him. I worked from home with him the 1st day and DH did the second. But we both have flexible employers.

You could try and line up emergency childcare but if your child is still poorly they will want to be at home with you.

Iggly Thu 20-Nov-14 21:18:14

We just decide at the time who can take the days off! But we had a nanny so only needed cover for her sickness (rare) as she would look after the DC when ill.

honeyistoosweet Fri 21-Nov-14 10:53:38

I find this an absolute horrendous situation. I'm a single parent with a sick 2 year trying to work part time whilst he's a nursery. He's off more than he's there. No family close by. I always feel I'm going to be fired because of the amount of time I spend having off to care for him so I try to balance it out by using emergency nannies. Cost a fortune!

Heels99 Fri 21-Nov-14 11:02:22

We work from home. Have taken unpaid emergency dependents leave. This is a statutory entitlement. It covers dealing with the emergency only, so if it was a long term illness you would be expected to make alternative arrangements. We have two children and nobody to help and its always been fine. Everyone with a child has had this issue at some point.

vvviola Fri 21-Nov-14 11:05:16

We take it in turns.

For a while it was by child - if DD1 was sick DH would work from home, as she usually just needs rest and some DVDs. When DD2 was sick I'd take time off as only I would do when she was sick.

Now DD2 is a bit older we alternate - she's been sick on and off for the past month (infections, allergies, bad eczema) and we've both taken days here and there to cover.

But frankly, it is one of the reasons we are moving back to my home town near my parents and other family. Having no support is totally demoralising - especially when the child is pretty much fine but still can't go back to daycare/school etc. We'll still have to alternate, but we'll have an extra pair of hands occasionally.

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