PDX Snow Day Back-Up Care: 3 Things to Do BEFORE the Snowflakes Fall

PDX Snow Day Back-Up Care: 3 Things to Do BEFORE the Snowflakes Fall

Snow days are a wintery dream for little ones and a huge headache for working parents. Many day cares and preschools take their cue from the local school district, meaning that you may just have an hour or two’s notice that school is delayed or cancelled all together. The secret to making this work is doing the legwork in advance to figure out your options so you’re not scrambling day-of.

1.) Decide as a family who’s on first.

Who’s going to take a day (or morning) off from work or be in charge of reaching out to the back-up options you’ve lined up? If you’re co-parenting or have a partner, it’s worth discussing this in advance when no one is stressed about the big deadline looming or the essential meeting that they’re going to have to miss. This could also mean having a conversation with Grandpa or Aunt Matilda or your best friend Derek about when/if they could pinch hit for you and if there are any days/times that won’t work. As snow looms in the forecast you can then confirm their availability so you’re not having to call around to see who’s up and taking your call at 5:45 am.

2.) Check out places in your area that do drop-in care in advance.

There are several child care providers that specialize in day-of, drop-in care. I’ve listed a few below for reference with the caveat that you need to do your own research (see below!) to make sure these would be safe choices for your kids.

WeVillage runs to centers that offer drop-in care for infants – elementary school, and has sites in both NE and NW Portland.

Kids Klubhouse in SW Portland can take kids 2.5 – 12 years old.

Vida Coworking in NE has drop-in child care for up to 4 hours on site at their gorgeous coworking space.

There are also smaller in-home providers who specialize in drop-in care for their neighborhood, such as PDX Kids Dropoff Day Care in Sellwood. And some providers, particularly smaller in-home sites, will offer drop-in care when they aren’t full. You can use this website to find the in-home providers in your area and call around to see which of them are open to taking drop-ins during bad weather.

While these services are great, it goes without saying that you need to check them out in advance to make sure you will feel comfortable leaving your child with them. At a minimum, you need to check their license on the state child care safety portal to make sure you feel comfortable with their record and you should tour/visit in advance.

3.) Build out your bench of sitters

When all else fails, it helps to have a solid list of names that you’ve already interviewed and reference checked. Care.com is the old standby, but there are also a number of nanny agencies that can source temporary or “in-a-pinch” caregivers – Portland Nanny, Spilt Milk, Northwest Nannies, and Caregivers Placement Agency all do temporary placements, often for as little as a few hours, but many require you to sign up in advance.

With a little bit of elbow grease now, you can save your self a ton of stress. If you’ve got questions about back-up care or just need to find child care in the first place, get in touch with me here or join my free Facebook group where I share tips on how to search for care and what to know once you’ve got it!

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