Finding an emergency back up carer - advice for parents

If your childcarer leaves you in the lurch at the last moment it can be very inconvenient for you, unsettling for your child and catastrophic for your job! Of course, in an ideal world, we all have family members round the corner who can step in at a moments’ notice to care for the children so we can dash off to work.
However, local family help is simply not an option for many families so it is very important that contingency plans are in place.

Many childminders belong to childminding networks or groups and work closely with at least one other childminder who may, depending on spaces available, be able to offer you emergency care.

Similarly, nannies often work together and know other local nannies who will be happy to step in to help each other at short notice, so it is always worth asking during interview if your childminder or nanny have local links and provide this service. have over 300,000 childcare providers listed on their website so there is a good chance you will find a childcarer in your local area who is able provide part-time or emergency cover. Remember to search using postcodes in your local area and on your journey to work as this will broaden the search area available to you and allow you more flexibility.

Short term and temporary care can take some organising and you do have to be confident that your child is happy with the childcarer you choose - plus appropriate documentation must be completed to safeguard you and your child - but it can work well in an emergency, especially if your childcarer is going to be ill or called away unexpectedly for a few days.

During the holidays there are often childcarers who work term time only and who do not mind taking a few extra children to cover for colleagues who have to take time off or who are on holiday. You should enquire about this as soon as possible so contingency plans are in place before the event. This will make it much less stressful for your child because they will be able to meet the childcarer first.

In the first instance, sign up with and register your details on the website. You might find that the ideal childcarer is right on your doorstep.

Please note that while takes every precaution to ensure only qualified childcarers register on our site we cannot verify references, DBS / PVG checks, qualifications, Ofsted registration details etc for childcarers who are registered on our database. It is, therefore, very important that parents carry out their own robust checks during the interview process.

Don’t have an account? Register free today

Member benefits include:

  • Add a free profile detailing your requirements or services
  • Search by postcode for local members near you
  • Read and reply to messages for free