happy child playing with child care provider

Prepare for the Unexpected: Backup Care

You need a plan in place for back-up care for those times when your child is sick, or your caregiver is sick or on vacation.

  • Neighbors, friends or relatives may be able to help if you ask them in advance and discuss arrangements (whose home, how much notice, payment, etc.).
  • You, your spouse or partner may be able to stay home from work to care for your child. Be sure to check with your employer about company policies.
  • Talk with your employer and co-workers about working from home, if possible, when your child is sick.
  • Investigate sick-child care services in your area (may not be available statewide). Some agencies have staff who come to your home to care for a sick child. This option may be convenient, but it can be expensive. For a list of sick-child care services, call your local Child Care Aware agency.

State law allows you to leave work to attend a child's conference or activity. You may also leave work to drop in on your child care provider. Try to arrange time off with your employer in advance. The parental leave law applies to all employees in Minnesota and allows them up to 16 hours of unpaid leave in a year. This law applies to all children (from birth through twelfth grade) who are in a family child care home; a child care center; a half-day or preschool program; Head Start; pre-kindergarten; regular or special education; or school.