It doesn’t matter how dependable your go-to sitter or nanny is, at some point you’ll be faced with a gap in your child care coverage. And while it’s easy to ignore this possibility or think that you can scramble to find a backup sitter, here are six great reasons why you should start building your child care team today.
1. Your Nanny Isn’t Just Your Nanny
They’re probably someone’s child or sibling. Or maybe they have a partner, and they might even be a parent themselves. And just like you need your boss to understand that you have family obligations that may overlap with normal business hours once in a while, nannies also have personal lives that require them to take a day off from time to time, sometimes unexpectedly.
Whether it’s a family emergency, school commitment, car trouble, or a doctor’s appointment, give your nanny the same understanding that you want your boss to give you—and having a team of sitters and a backup childcare plan will make being a compassionate employer less stressful for you.
2. Illness Can Be Unpredictable
The flu is always around and always evolving. But it isn’t just during the flu season. Bugs can hit at any time, and your sitter might get sick—especially when they spend all day around kids. Let’s be real: no one likes to work when they’re feeling under the weather—and you definitely want to keep your home as healthy as possible. Let your sitter have the time they need to rest and recover while another caregiver you trust steps in to pick up the slack.
3. Your Sitter Decides it’s Time to Make a Career Change
It’s not unlikely—most of us will change careers 5-7 times over the course of our lives. According to a LinkedIn survey, job-hopping is common among millennial workers. Whether your go-to sitter is a recent college grad who’s searching for a full-time job in a different industry or your nanny has decided it’s time to move on, having a team to fall back on will make filling the gap a lot easier.
4. Different Sitters Have Different Strengths
You have a sitter who knows 10 construction paper crafts for every holiday on the calendar (and they bring their own materials), one who is going to make sure your kids get so much physical activity that bedtime is a snap, and another who will play Legos and Barbies for hours on end. Mix up your sitter selection so your kids can benefit from the full range of your team.
5. Your Schedule Isn’t Set in Stone
We all love routine, but the reality of a working parent is that our lives can be pretty unpredictable. Last-minute business trips, weeknight client dinners, or even a surprise date night call for multiple sitter options to increase the chances that someone you know and trust can jump in at a moment’s notice.
6. Your Nanny Needs a Vacation
Nannies deserve vacations just like parents do. When your work schedule doesn’t line up with their planned days off, you don’t want to be left scrambling to figure out back up child care for a week (or more). When you have a team, you already have several, vetted sitters who are willing and able to step in.
The bottom line? You need childcare reinforcements. Building your team now will help you avoid stress and anxiety—not to mention, you won’t need to interrupt your kid’s routine or your work schedule if you’re ready with several backup childcare options.