In Case of Emergency, Call Back-Up Care

backup caretaker and sick child

The following post was written by Marc Bernica, Senior Vice President, Care Advantage & Product Support Services at Bright Horizons.

It's as dependable as the changing of the seasons: the kids go back to school and they come home with the cold du jour. A nasty cold yours, your spouse's can knock everyone off their feet. But when it's your child who's under the weather, it adds a whole new dimension. Not only is a child's illness worrisome, but it can also create significant challenges at work.



Whether it's a minor cold, an ear infection, or fever, the last thing you want employees worrying about is a) Will I make that big meeting? or b) Do I feel good about the person caring for my sick baby? The latter can undo a workday even when they do make it to that big meeting. So a good backup program has some tall orders to fill. It needs to get people over the "OMG" of wondering, "Who IS this person coming into my house?" and it has to be easy enough to use to leave the lasting impression of, "WOW! That was easy!"

Case Studies in Effective Back-Up Care

Scenario 1: Kyla's son is not feeling well. With a slight fever and a mild reaction from his chicken-pox vaccine, it's safe to say he's not a happy camper. Kyla calls our Bright Horizons backup care contact center and secures in-home care; it takes a few minutes and a caregiver is quickly confirmed. "Jennifer, the caregiver, came over and instantly made me feel comfortable," wrote Kyla later in her feedback. "She brought items over for my son to play with and he went to her immediately." Score one for backup care: it was easy, fast, and solved the problem. Equally important, the caregiver made Kyla feel comfortable; and with the confidence of a program she felt good about, Kyla was able to focus squarely on work.

Scenario 2: One employee has been using in-home care for her children all week; then her 7-month-old suddenly comes down with a cold. The employee later wrote to let us know that while her son "had a rough time, Emma handled it like a champ." Handled it like a champ. That's the level of confidence a successful program needs to do the job. That commitment to doing whatever it takes to get the job done will serve your employees and your company -- not only during flu season but always, regardless of what surprises life brings. Because even though it's the children and elderly loved ones that our centers and providers are directly caring for, it's really the employees that we support.