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Child Care During COVID.

Sick child sleeping on sofa

What happens when your child catches a cold? Is there child care for sick children?

Schools and daycares have ramped up safety — including extra precautions when it comes to run-of-the-mill sick policies. Thus, when your kid gets the sniffles, you’re faced with a daunting challenge of finding alternative child care.

“If I had a dime for every runny nose I’ve wiped … I would be a millionaire,” said every preschool parent ever.

We’ve all seen the Petrie dish that is a room full of adorable preschoolers in action. Drool, boogers, constant touching, swapping, sneezing, and transferring cute little germs in every imaginable way.

Pre-pandemic, this was an accepted way of life. Remedy: a prescribed shot of Dayquil in your coffee — every morning now through high school graduation.

But now, inconvenient bugs like the common cold have become a REALLY. BIG. DEAL. As you may have noticed, colds (and allergies) share many of the symptoms of COVID-19. Should little Susie or Johnny exhibit any of these symptoms, they become persona non grata at daycare for 5 to 14 days. Which means, once again, juggling parenting duties, actual work, and Zoom calls.

Prevention 101

Let’s hire a babysitter! The solution you wished you had considered earlier. Hiring a sitter — assuming they are practicing diligent social distancing measures — is the absolute safest (and most practical) childcare decision you can make.

But while a healthy family can book a sitter in minutes, families with sick kids raise a red flag for sitters. In the before-times: sitters considered a common cold as a risk to their schooling or social calendar. Now, it’s a risk to their income.

Unfortunately, with cold and flu season on the horizon, the risk of look-alike symptoms is not going away. Now is the time to consider taking steps to prevent look-alike symptoms.

Three tips to avoid a child care crisis in your home.

The writing is on all the wall — in big, green snotty letters. There is no plan B for when your kids get sick and you need backup childcare. You are Plan B. Thus, foolproof your Plan A:

  1. Start a Neighborhood Playgroup – Kids need socialization. Scratch your child’s social itch by forming a small playgroup with up to four children. Have everyone chip in $5 per child, per hour and schedule a sitter to provide short lessons and activities for your crew.
  2. Hire a Weekly Sitter – Not comfortable with small groups quite yet? Book the same sitter on a regular, weekly schedule. A familiar face (albeit, perhaps in a mask), will provide structure for your child while also providing a friend who isn’t ‘mom.’
    • We hear federal assistance to assist families with in-home child care is on the congressional docket. In the meantime, why not ask your employer if they will subsidize a portion of the expense?
  3. Invite Grandma to Visit – For families maintaining strict social distancing, invite Grandma to visit for a few weeks (or months). She may be just what the doctor (or therapist) ordered.

Book a Learning Assistant or Weekly Sitter.

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