Your worst nightmare has happened; your nanny or babysitter just canceled last minute. You have a full day OR the tickets you purchased 6 months ago to a sold out concert won't be used. Seriously?! Why can't the neighbor kids realize how important it is that you get the child care you need when you need it no matter what. Yes, they say they are sick, or all the sudden they have a test they need to study for that they forgot about OR WORSE YET...they simply don't show up at all; no phone call nothing just crickets.
Child care agencies are kind of like an insurance policy for situations like this. Agencies already have a pool of child care professionals ready to go all you need do is ask. Some have penalties for last minute requests, some charge monthly fees, and some charge a one-time fee that will last you for a life time. If you begin to build a personal relationship with an agency now then you'll be covered later when you really need it. Kids get sick, you get sick, kids don't have school and you have to go to work, snow days; there is a whole cluster of situations that arise when you need child care when you least expect it.
I want to emphasize that you need to build a relationship with an agency so that you can trust the child care professionals you send.
How to build a relationship with a child care agency:
- As always research. You need to research the different agencies and what will be a good fit for you and your family. Research their social media accounts and get a sense of what their voice is and how they handle their business.
- See if you can read about their different child care professionals and possibly do a google search yourself on them.
- Call and talk to someone in person. How do they talk to you? Do you get a sense from them that your family is important to them or just a way to make money? Are you treated as an individual or a number? Is it all formal and filling out forms or can they laugh with you, listen to your worries and reassure you about their service? More importantly do you feel like a human being?
- Are they accessible or are their hours just 8 am-5 pm M-F? They should at least take calls from 6 am to at least 10 pm. Emergencies happen and though they aren't doctors they need to be reachable more frequently than not wouldn't you say?
It's hard to find agencies that isn't a lie when you google child care agencies you'll normally get daycares, childcare information but no agencies but they are out there and they are a phenomenal resource if you find one and develop a relationship with them.