Childcare in the event of sickness

As a single working parent, I am very worried about childcare in the event of sickness. My childcare provider is very good, but she does not take sick children. Because I have to work and my family is far away, I do not know what to do when my son is sick. I'd appreciate any tips.

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It's unfortunate that you don't have another caregiver to help when your child is sick, because the reality is that sometimes you'll have to stay home with him. You have a few mitigating options. First, consider a small in-home daycare (and you may already have this), since the bigger the group, the higher the exposure to illness. Second, clarify your provider's illness policy. Some providers will allow children with colds (ours does) but not with fever -- no fever is pretty much universal and for good reason. Third, and this is a stretch, you may be able to partner with a few other parents at your daycare to rotate care of sick children if a few are mildly sick at a time. I wouldn't count on this, though. 

I’ve had really good luck with Urban Sitter in these situations—it ends up costing a lot but has worked out for the days I simply couldn’t miss work. 


I recently used Swiss Cheese childcare who are great nannies for these eventualities. Someone also reco Joanna’s to me but I have not used them so I can’t talk about my experience there.


You have to take a sick day yourself. Review for yourself your workplace's rules for sick leave, and also CA state law. If you have a good rapport with your manager, in your next check-in, just say "I am starting to think about how I will handle it when my child is sick. I will call in that morning, and I will be at home with him/her, available by phone; any questions?" Try not to worry about it TOO much. Kids get sick, and almost everyone understands that.

Had this issue.  I was part of a neighborhood playgroup and also a single mom group and was able to work out arrangements with friends in these groups to care for kids together.  Try posting on Nextdoor for your neighborhood as well.

Best of luck