Temporary & Drop-In Childcare

Questions & Responses:
Intermittent Child Care(2 responses)
Daycare Backup Options(1 response)
Archived Responses: 


Childcare when elementary school child is sick

Jan 2011


Hello parents, My husband and I wonder: what do people do when they have a very sick child, no family nearby and they cannot constantly take time off to be home wiht the children (as much as we'd love to be...) We are both self employed and of course lose money for every day taken off. Has anyone ever found or set up a creative situation that worked for them? Our daughters are 7 and 9. Thanks so much

Wheezles and Sneezles in Albany provides either in-home or center-based childcare for sick children. They require sort of a lot of documentation to get started, ie proof of employment, immunization records, income verification (they charge on a sliding scale). But they really helped a friend of mine once she was registered. Check out their website : sickchildcareprogram.com lisa


How to find drop-in, sporadic childcare?

Nov 2010


My son is almost 2 and I went back to work about 9 months ago as a per diem social worker. My neighbor had a nanny and a child the same age and was willing to let my son join in on the days that i worked. I have a set schedule of we-fri until the end of February but after that i will go back to working 1,2,3 or no days a week. I can't afford care unless I am working. I can loosely know my schedule a month in advance.

I am trying to find a drop in daycare or another family who has a 2 year old son or daughter and a full time nanny who would be willing to let my son join in on the days that i work. But I have not had any luck posting to the Childcare newsletter. Anyone have any ideas? Thank you Lily

Get a list from the County (Bananas or equivalent in other counties) of family daycares near your house, and start calling around to find one that can meet your needs. Especially if you can regularly commit to one slot per week (even if it's just one morning), I bet you can find one that can work with your schedule. good luck

Back when I had a nanny (a while ago!) I had a mom friend with a very erratic work schedule. She agreed to commit to a certain number of hours per month sharing my nanny, and then it was up to her how she would use them. If you know anyone who has a nanny, that arrangement might work for them.

The reason you are having trouble finding childcare for your new schedule is because the job you are offering is not very appealing: it might be 3 days a week, or it might be zero days a week. There is nobody who can accept a job that is that unpredictable. How could they buy groceries and pay PG if some weeks they get a salary and some weeks they don't? As for nanny shares, the extra amount you would be paying *sometimes* does not balance out the extra effort of having another child in the share. In my nanny share, the main salary was from the first child. The second child only added a few dollars to the nanny's total wage. So this is extra work for the nanny, extra planning for the other family, unpredictable schedule changes, etc. with very little benefit to the nanny or the other family, who would be better off financially with a regular guaranteed share every week.

I think what you will need to do is find a nanny share or a home-based daycare that accepts part-time children, and then pay for 3 days a week even if you are not always using 3 days a week. You basically are reserving your spot, because your offer is much less attractive than someone who can guarantee three days every week. a mom


Last-minute weekend childcare for on-call job

Oct 2008


Has anyone ever been in this situation? I am a freelancer who books events on Weekends. My partner is on-call who feels he can't say no to a job if it occurs over a weekend. He says we need a babysitter as back-up in case he gets a call to work the same day I need to work. He says that his call can occur at 8 pm Friday night for a Sat a.m. shift. This situation has gotten me frazzled. I assume most childcare professionals want some notice and are not ''on-call''. We do not have family nearby, and I don't want to over-extend with friends to not plan their weekends b/c we MIGHT need a babysitter last minute. Anyone ever been in this situation? Need advice.

It's good to keep a list of people who can babysit last minute, they are out there. I'm a full time mom in El Cerrito who provides childcare for kids age 3+, sometimes on a regular basis, sometimes on call, depends on my schedule. There are more of us out there...put a posting on the Childcare newsletter and start interviewing folks. It will put your mind at ease just having a list of people you could call if you needed to! Beth


Temporary childcare when SAHD goes out of town

Nov 2007


I work full-time and my husband is the full-time caregiver to our 2 boys, ages 4 months and 2 years. He will be traveling out of town on business anywhere from 5 days to two or three weeks at a time in the next year. Does anyone have advice about finding a nanny or babysitter who can watch the kids on this kind of intermittent schedule? Kind of like an on-call nanny. The hours would be 6:30am to 5pm on weekdays. Any advice, suggestions, or referrals would be much appreciated. Thank you! rns

We have a similar situation, where sometimes both my husband and I are out of town at the same time, or have work schedules that keep us from picking our children up from school. We have had great luck with Bay Area Second Moms. For many years, I thought they were exclusively a permanent nanny placement agency. About a year ago we discovered that they have on call childcare for situations such as yours. We have found a couple of caregivers that we really like through this agency. Even the nannies who didin't ''click'' with our kids were nice people and we felt the children were safe. In the instances where the nanny didn't work out wonderfully, they were very nice about discussing it with us, asking us what the issues were, and suggesting other people that might be a better fit. It's been a real help to us. Travelling Mom


Childcare for sick preschoolers - what do you do?

Jan 2007


Do any working parents out there want to share what they do about childcare when their kids are sick? Now that my son is in preschool (he's three) and cold season has hit us hard, I find myself missing way too much work. We live in hayward, so I am not looking for specific recommendations (unless you know of a something in my area), but would love to hear how others deal with this issue. I read the archives, but am wondering if anyone has some fresher info for me. thanks

This is always hard for working parents - and there doesn't seem to be an easy solution. My partner and I usually split the days, which is possible because we both live and work in Berkeley. If either of us had a long commute, it would be much harder.

So - for instance, I'll stay home with our sick kid in the morning, she'll come home at 1 pm and take over and then I'll go to work and stay later than usual. We both take hours in sick time when we do this, but it allows us to have ''face time'' at work which helps keep continuity in job responsibilities and is less disruptive than missing an entire day or more.

Still, I'm in the red for sick time. It was especially hard when our son started daycare a couple of years ago and got sick a lot that first year.

Unfortunately, although my parents do live locally, they are afraid of getting sick themselves so aren't usually available to do care. There are also ''sick child'' nurses but your child must be potty trained and I don't like to think of taking my child to a completely foreign environment with people he doesn't know when he is sick and feeling most vulnerable.

It's tough. Good luck with a solution that works for your family and if you come up with anything innovative, please write and let us know! Berkeley Mama

I find that it is absolutely important to keep your child at home if she/he has a fever and/or has been throwing up or has diarrea. The other reason to keep your child at home is if they have a very contagious flu (ie chicken pox, whooping cough, etc.). Children will commonly catch a cold (stuffy nose, runny nose and the just plain not feeling well.) When it comes to this common cold that is when you will have to use your best judgement. Most of the time your child may be able to carry on at a slower pace with more of a need to rest. When I worked as a nanny the common cold is well, common. It did not stop me from watching the children or vice versa. The positive side to colds and flus is that your child is developing her/his immune system and will help your child be able to better fight of sickness as he/she gets older. Formerly- Nanny in the Know

When my son was a sick preschooler, I would call the nannies on the BPN Childcare Digest who were looking for jobs. Some of them were available for one or two day care situations while they were between permanent positions. I would get references, either from the provider herself or from the parent who listed the nanny as looking for employment. I never had a bad experience or got a ''bad'' nanny - it worked out very well and was quite a relief. Luckily my son did not mind being taken care of by complete strangers. I kept the Digests in a folder on my email, when a new Digest was posted, I would save it. I still save them out of habit though now my son is in 2nd grade and I don't need them really. (Periodically I'll cull through them and delete the old ones.) ramisima

Frankly, the answer for us is to balance out the amount of work missed by either parent and be fair to eachother and attentive to our son. We've had to do this since I returned to work after the birth of our son in 2005 (at his 3mo mark). My husband and I typically share a 1/2 day of work while the other takes care of the child. My personal feeling-and you may take this as you choose-is that if my child needs me and I can't work (even 1/2 day from home) then I work at night, it's part of being a parent. However, I've also chosen to change my company and work for a company that is less rigid, and less judgemental of such absences, which my previous company was not. It was all about ''face time'' not quality or quantity of work perfomed. Of the two of us I have found a more understanding and flexible environment while my husband does not enjoy the same. That allows me to be more with my sick child than he does. We are mindfuls of eachother's commitments at work though-ie meetings conference calls or phone calls that ''must be done'' whether from home or in person. I guess what I'm saying is flexibility is paramount and VERY GOOD communications of eachother's needs key. working parent

We've recently run into the same problem. Actually we haven't missed much work altogether but we had a bad week recently and it was definitely noticed at my job. I am working on getting some names together of folks who may be available for last minute work. We know of one lady who isn't working much and needs extra income here and there, used to be a nanny. That might work. I've thought of approaching the pastor at a friendly nearby church to see if maybe there are some grandmotherly types who are looking to help a family in this situation on occasion. I sympathize with you as it is a tricky situation. I hate the idea of shipping a sick kid to a sick care. Good luck. Shivaun

We've recently run into the same problem. Actually we haven't missed much work altogether but we had a bad week recently and it was definitely noticed at my job. I am working on getting some names together of folks who may be available for last minute work. We know of one lady who isn't working much and needs extra income here and there, used to be a nanny. That might work. I've thought of approaching the pastor at a friendly nearby church to see if maybe there are some grandmotherly types who are looking to help a family in this situation on occasion. I sympathize with you as it is a tricky situation. I hate the idea of shipping a sick kid to a sick care. Good luck. Shivaun

Good question. I hope to learn something too from responses. What we are doing now is that I go in to work Half Day as early as I can in the morning while my husband stays home with our son. Then I take over the afternoon shift staying with our son while my husband goes to work. another mom

sorry to say, I think unless you have a friend or relative who will take a sickie- you need to stay home. I , too, have missed an incredible amount of work. mommy is the first job

It is very hard to maintain a job while raising a family. I call in sick when my child is sick. When I ran out of sick days I used up my vacation days. When I needed to take vacation I took unpaid leave off. (It was worth it!) I was fortunate enough to have those privileges. I used up all my time during my child's first year in daycare, but after that, he has been very healthy with occasional usual illnesses. He's in kindergarten now. I would be very sad if I had to have a babysitter care for my child while he's sick. I'm lucky to have an understanding boss with kids of her own. anaon


Back-up childcare when caregiver is sick

Jan 2007


Hi, I'm hoping to get some input from folks in the Berkeley/Oakland community about whether there are good/reputable backup childcare options for children who are not ill (i.e., caregiver is ill or briefly unavailable). I have scoured the archives and google for local resources and have not found any besides sick care. I do not want to send my healthy 10 month-old baby to sick care because the nanny's out sick. However, I've been left without a backup arrangement at least twice this season and am running out of time off days at work. My husband and I trade off and I can rely on family in some cases but it still seems very precarious. Can you offer some solutions or direct referrals? I'm interested in drop-in daycare situations and/or caregivers/nannies who have some flexibility to take on a new kid in this type of situation. Thanks so much. Need a Plan

Saint Mary's College is a great resource for babysitters. You can post an add at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/prospective/undergraduate_admissions/student_life_and_services/student_resources/career_development/parttime.html Good Luck! Kelley

Our nanny has and seems to know lots of other nanny friends who are available in a pinch. For example, if she has a doctor's appt. she can't schedule around work time she has one of them come to be with the girls (we share) and they're lovely (I've met them). Ask your nanny or your friend's nanny - often they have a whole circle of friends who nanny -- someone always seems to be in between jobs. Naomi


My employer offers back-up childcare but I don't want to use it

Nov 2006


Hello- My work recently opened a daycare center for days when regular day cares are closed. They also take sick children, although on the other side of the center. They refer to it as ''back-up and mildly sick child care.''

Most folks would probably be ecstatic to have such an option nearby, but my husband and I are not.

I am getting pressure from my supervisor to use the center for various holidays that my child has off and that I don't (like Veteran's day and the two weeks around Christmas.)

To be fair, my family checked the place out and while it is decked out with all the latest toys and such, I found the staff to be less than what we would want as far as experience -- even on a temporary basis. The fact that my child caught a very virulent rash while visiting (we saw the original infected kid nearby)didn't help with our confidence level. I should also point out that my child has problems adapting to new environments (was in OT but we had to quit so I could work) and even now at 3 years with his current provider has problems every day at drop off and pick up. My child just turned 3.

So, my question to you all is, am I being too persnickety? I initially found the concept of the whole back-up daycare to be rude quite honestly, as I think children, especially young ones like mine, do best when they are at home with someone caring for them when they are ill. I also am now discovering that my supervisor can now question my time-off, with very sly comments like, ''The holidays are coming up, have you reserved your time and days yet at the daycare?'' I just don't like the company using this dangling carrot of a daycare as a way to keep us in the office.

Am I being a grinch? Or is it appropriate for me to stand my ground and insist on taking care of our child on our terms? not happy about work daycare

I think you are right to feel the way you do, and I also think that the fact that your job has done this is a really excellent step in support of working parents. Both can be true. It is fine if you don't feel like it is the right fit for your child. It also might be the best option that some working parents have.

About your supervisor - its not right for her/him to make you feel bad for not using the daycare. You have the right to put your kid in a place that you feel comfortable with and thats not a choice your supervisor can make for you. Next time it comes up, I would deal with it in a clear, concise way. '' I'll be taking time off to spend some time with x while his daycare is on break.'' If the supervisor presses you about why you are not using the day care, you can answer simply ''its not the right fit for us right now.'' genevieve

If I were you, I'd try to separate your feelings about the existence of this at-work childcare option from your feelings about your supervisor's behavior. As you said, some people would probably be thrilled with at-work childcare, and maybe some of the people you work with are. If you're not, you just shouldn't use it. Your supervisor's behavior is quite another matter. It's none of his/her business what you're doing for childcare, and the existence of on-site care shouldn't require you to use it unless that's somehow part of your job agreement, which probably wouldn't even be legal. It sounds to me like you need to discuss this with your supervisor, but if possible, I'd steer away from general criticism of the concept of on-site care and simply emphasize that it doesn't meet your needs or expectations anon

In theory this type of back up childcare sounds wonderful, but I also wouldn't want a part of it. I agree 100% with you that sick children should be taken care of by someone who they know and trust. Preferably mom! Though the company probably intended this as a benefit for their employees, it can also easily be abused by them (i.e. them suggesting you use it vs. this being solely your decision).

No, you are absolutely not too picky. Not at all. In my search for daycares for our children, I have seen some wonderful daycares and some horrible ones. I have seen some where I wouldn't leave my dog behind, let alone my child. Finding a daycare that matches your personal criteria is crucial for your own piece of mind. No one knows your child better than you and only you can determine what is a good daycare for your child.

Stick to your guns and stand up for your right to choose a good daycare for your child! JOJ

It is nice of them to offer but for goodness sakes, this is your child you are talking about. You do with him what you wish. If you have leave days, take them. This may not make you the supervisor's pet but they cannot force you to bring your child to their daycare. And what good is it if you bring a kid who has a little cold and they end up with a virulent rash? Yuck! Don't let them push you around

My employer has backup childcare as well, though not onsite, but contracted through a larger organization. I've been glad to have it. It is defintely not a sick backup, just a vacation backup. I wouldn't want to take my well kids to a ''mildly sick'' environment, because people's definition of ''mildly'' definitely varies!

Since you don't want to use your employer's backup childcare, you just need to be really clear, well in advance, about what days you will be taking as vacation. If you have booked, say, the last two weeks of the year as vacation, then that is your vacation. If you haven't, then you are responsible for making other plans for childcare, whatever that is.

Your employer obviously can't force you to use their backup childcare. You can simply say ''I'll be on vacation that week,'' and leave it at that.

As a professional, I would not recommend bringing up your list of complaints about the childcare to your employer. Just be direct and leave your work relationship a work relationship.

In terms of sick days, it depends on your employer's policies. You definitely don't want to abuse the sick time policy at your work, but if your employer has PTO rather than segregated vacation vs. sick days, it's perfectly legit to just call in sick when your child is sick, rather than calling it vacation.

I would just recommend keeping an eye on the days you use for child sick time, because parents who abuse sick time policies make it harder for all of us parents - believe me, I know first- hand anon

By all means follow your gut instinct! I am a ''retired'' daycare provider from a company that set up corporate day care (there are several here in the Bay Area) but ours was all day care and there was no sick care anything. My 3 year old is also very timid around new people and new suroundings so I couldn't even imagine sending him anywhere else when he was unfamiliar he would be miserable! I am also a true believer of children getting well with the ones that they love around them(snuggling, kisses, ME distributing meds, good old fashioned homemade chicken soup)you get my picture. Stand your ground. Only you know what's best for your child. And at this point in their lives it's our job to do what's best for them SAHM of 2

Wow. My original reaction was how convenient, then I read on and I realized that I would feel exactly as you do if in the same situation. Sadly, as a working mama, I hate myself when my first reaction to my sick toddler is ''oh shoot, this means I have to miss work again'' instead of ''my poor baby doesn't feel well!'' I am not heartless (the caring reaction kicks in within seconds after that initial reaction), but my supervisor doesn't have kids and does not come across as terribly understanding about my missing work, even though I have racked up vacation and sick days to use. I would not want my little one at an unknown place while sick so I could work, either. If it were a day that neither my husband nor I could get off work, we would work our way down our list of family and friends before leaving her with someone she doesn't know. I say stand your ground and even have a direct conversation with your supervisor about this. Your supervisor should know that your child comes first and there should be no problem with this, especially if you are using accrued vacation or sick days to be with your child! Good luck working mama who can relate

I share the same point of view with you about sick kids, they should stay at home for both their own and other kids' benefit. As for holidays though, as long as there are well kids only, I think I would like to give it a try Also-A-Mom

No Way! Your employer cannot force you to make certain childcare decisions. That is a very personal choice. It is your JOB as a parent to provide the best childcare that you can for your kid.

If you feel persnickety about the on-site care, then don't use it. They cannot cut your sick time or force you to place your sick child in their care and continue to work. My suspicion is that your supervisor is getting leaned on to encourage employees to use the service, so that it makes financial sense for the company. I'm certain they put it in place to decrease employee absentee-ism. In principle, it's a great idea.

I think your largest problem is in being upfront and forthright with your supervisor. If you simply can't do it, blame it on your spouse and say these are his demands. But ideally, you should directly tell your supervisor that you will not be using the service because you are not comfortable with either the idea (you think your child should be with you when sick), nor the level of care. (If you think it's not your boss' business, an even better response is that the on-site doesn't work for your family at all, and refuse to give reasons. Just repeat the same thing when pressed: ''it doesn't work for my family''.) Then, equally as firmly, advise your employer that you do not appreciate being nagged to use childcare you're not comfortable with, and ask him/her to cease Child comes first

Hi, My husband's work offers the same thing and I think it's great. But, I don't think you should feel pressured to use it. It's supposed to help relieve your stress of having to leave work to take care of a sick child or if your regular daycare is unavailable. If your supervisor keeps asking you if you've reserved your days, kindly remind him or her that this is meant to be a ''back-up'' and that those days that are holidays when your child can't go to his regular school are meant to be at home to spend with family. So, you shouldn't be obligated to work those holidays just because you now have another childcare option. You can also say that the back-up care is not to your standards since your child got seriously ill there before or that he doesn't adjust well to new environments, and that you don't feel comfortable leaving him there sporadically unless absolutely necessary. Bottom line, I think you should remind (in a nice way, of course) your supervisor that the work daycare is a bonus for absolute emergencies and not something to use so that you can work more. anon


Parents' Night Out drop-in childcare?

Sept 2006


I am interested in recommendations on places that offer Saturday or Friday night supervised play time for children so parents can have a night out together. We have two 3 1/2 year old children. I have heard of a place in Oakland called Kids and Dance which is near where we live. Any recommendations on this or other places would be appreciated. Thanks Sean

My six year old is a Friday Parents' Night Out regular at Head Over Heels. The evening includes pizza, gymnastics and a G-rated video from 6pm til 11pm. Head Over Heels is in Emeryville, off of 45th Street a few blocks from San Pablo. Their phone number is:655-1265

The Albany YMCA has ''Parents' Night Out'' evenings every once in a while. Other Y's might, too. Call


Any ideas for back-up childcare when my mom can't do it?

May 2006


We are trying to figure out what possible options might be for back-up childcare on weekday mornings. We have a 2 year old daughter and another daughter on the way. My mother watches my daughter on weekday mornings while I'm at work, and will watch both our 2 year old and our newborn in the fall. But sometimes things come up and she cannot watch them (doctor's appointments, illnesses, etc.) Up until now, we have had a few friends who we can ask, but those friends are returning to work, and with another child on the way, it seems too much to ask. I am a teacher, so we will not need anything until next fall, but I am trying to plan ahead. Does anyone have any ideas for back-up childcare? Thanks for your help! df

Why not start ''interviewing'' sitters now, before you need them? As I understand it the Red Cross has a list of folks who care for children and who have first aid and cpr certification. Try some of them for short stints and when you find one you like hire them weekly or so until the Fall - be sure to tell them you'd like them to be ''on call'' at that time - Good luck! An ex-on call sitter

When I need unplanned childcare, I call the nannies who post on the BPN Childcare Digest looking for positions. Some of them are between jobs and can work a day or two for sick child care or other unexpected needs. I keep the BPN Childcare digest going back a few months. Of course I call their references and check to make sure they are reliable. Fortunately my son didn't have a problem being left with strangers - and I never had a bad experience with any of the nannies who advertised on BPN. [NOTE FROM MODERATOR: As the poster suggests, please do check references - BPN does not check nannies who are listed on our digest] anon

We have used Bay Area1< Second Mom for years. They are based in Palo Alto but serve the East Bay as well. You can find them at www.2ndmom.com and find a phone number, information, etc. For an annual fee (not too cheap), they will find you a last minute nanny (day or evening) to care for your children at a rate determined by the number of kids and their ages. We have used them when either my regular nanny was sick or needed a day off, or when my kids were too sick for the nanny share but not so sick they needed mom. I've also used one once for an evening out when my regular sitters couldn't make it.

Each time, they have found someone for the next day or even for the same day, and the person they sent has been wonderful. It is difficult to think about leaving your child with a complete stranger, but in each case the person has been stellar and sometimes they can send someone who has watched your kids before.

The service isn't cheap, but it's been a lifesaver! sabrina

You are very smart to look into this. Even people with regular nannies should have back up -- always. People get sick, need vacations, have emergencies, etc. Post on the BPN Childcare digest or maybe even posting up at Bananas in Oakland. I imagine, you will be able to get good response from the childcare digest. I would also talk to friends, family, etc. spread the word that you are looking (and also post your ads as such) for an occasional babysitter/back-up for your children -- spread the word. Even talking to other nannies that work for your friends or that you may have met and liked. You may even find that you will find someone that can be your back up as well as a handy babysitter for other times, i.e. date nights, etc. I used to be a nanny and one of the families I sat for had me come when I had the flu! Because they had no back-up. When my baby was born, a friend (who is a stay at home mom) offered to do our childcare full-time. I told her no thanks, hired someone and kept my friend as a back-up. Thank God I did, because it was such a relief to have it. I had other family friends offer help -- they were my back-ups. Good thinking ahead -- I wish more parents would do this and let their nannies/babysitters get their time off when needed! Back-up babysitter believer


Daycare options for on-call/temp worker mom

March 2003


Hello! I'm a new mom and my daughter is about 5 months old now. I'm heading back to work soon (in the next 2-3 months)and have the opportunity to work part-time as an on-call librarian. My partner is self-employed and can cover baby care sometimes but there will be occasions when we will need a ''day of'' babysitter at the last minute. Where do you find a dependable daycare provider who can take care of an ''undependable'' baby? Has anyone had a similar situation? What did you do? Oh and what's the going rate for babysitting these days? Thank you for your advice and insight!- Emma Emma

I think I would look (possibly through the childcare BPN letter) for someone with a full-time nanny, who wouldn't mind doing occasional shares, but doesn't depend on them to be able to afford it. The other thing that occurs to me is if you have a friend, probably of the stay-at home variety, who has a child, and who wouldn't mind a bit of occasional disposable income (I briefly went this route myself, when my son was an infant). Might be hard to find... but seems worth a try. Karen

Our day care has drop ins for people like you. Her rate is $12 per hour and you sign the baby in. I'm sure other family day cares have this same thing. The trick for you is your baby will be having to deal with ad hoc transitions. I would recommend finding a day care drop in program that you trust and having at least one regular drop in time you bring her in addition to your on-call work so she can get used to the place and the people. My day care had a two-week transition time for us before I went back to work where I spent a few hours with him there for a few days, then I dropped him off for a couple of hours so that when I finally had to leave him all day, he was somewhat secure. Now, my schedule is more flexible and he can totally deal with it when I leave him there.

I am told that day care providers think that kids to better if they spend a good chunk of time at the place so not sure what you can do about that. A good family day care provider should be able to handle an ''undependable 5-month-old.'' At 5 months, too, I think it's easier for a baby to attach to another caregiver.

Good luck. The day care transition seems to be harder on the parent than it is on the baby! day trippin' mom


Evening Drop-In Childcare?

March 2003


A few weeks (months?) back, I thought I saw a post in one of the Parents Network lists that advertised a childcare center in Oakland that offered drop-in evening childcare. Unfortunately, I cant seem to find the e-mail. Is anyone familiar with a center that offers this? Any good or bad experiences? PJ

Recommendations received:

  • Childcare at Local Gyms
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    Childcare for sick child on short notice?

    July 1999

    Both our kids are in full-time childcare, one at a preschool, the other about to enter kindergarten with afterschool care (preschool up to now). But a problem we've run, especially over the past winter and spring, was what to do when one of the kids has to stay home sick from school. This spring, I swear, there were quite literally only two weeks in which both kids went to preschool a full five days; the rest of the time, one or the other or both was home with colds, flus, strep, etc. My dissertation writing took a big hit. So my question is, have other people found babysitters flexible enough and willing to do sick-kid babysitting on short notice? If so, have your kids become comfortable enough with that person (who presumably they see infrequently, since mostly, they go to preschool) to be okay with her/him, even when feeling crummy? Or do most parents just take time off to stay home, and let that be the professional cost of being a parent? Any recommendations of sitters, or thoughts about this? Jeni

    Keeping a sick child at home, with you or a babysitter is a first choice, but there are days when it's not possible. On occasion we have used Wheezles and Sneezles located in Albany (near UC Village) - I believe it's a nonprofit but operated with funds from Alameda County. It is especially useful for those days when our kids were recovering, e.g. over the high temperature but still needing some quiet time. The staff have been caring and there are toys on hand to entertain. They are very scrupulous about cleaning and disinfecting. The days my kids went there, they were the only children! A nurse visits each day to check on kids, and there is an enforced quiet time when most kids nap. Just something for you to consider as a back-up. The phone number for Wheezles and Sneezles in Albany is 526-7425. Eileen

    Send-A-Pede preschool pediatric service

    Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 10:38:00 -0800
    From: Linda

    My pediatrician is starting a preschool pediatric service (Send-A-Pede)... which I think is just a great idea!!! His name is Dr. Ralph Berberich, Pediatric Medical Group, and I can attest to his skill nd sensitivity. Basically the service operates in Berkeley, Kensington and North Oakland and is set up to handle those situations where -- your child seems fine in the morning, but at 11am the preschool calls you to tell you he/she is running a fever. Rather than having to leave your job, race back from S.F., try to schedule an appointment before your pediatric service closes... for a flat fee (I believe it is around $45) you can arrange during certain mid-day hours for Dr. Ralph to go to your preschool. He would then diagose the problem, call you, provide information for you child's doctor, begin treatment with samples, and leave a prescription for the remainder of the medication course. He can also tell you whether the illness warrants your picking your child up or whether, as in case of ear infections, it is not contagious and your child could safely remain in preschool without endangering other children. Having had a child who adveraged an ear infection a month, I think this is a great service. The only disadvantage is that it is not a covered benefit on HMO plans so you pay for it out of pocket. You can ask your preschool director for information about this program or call Dr. Berberich at 510-849-1744.