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Your Child's Day in Back-Up Care

Helping you prepare for your child's day in our center.

Back-Up or Emergency Child Care

If you've never used back-up care before, you may wonder what your child's day will be like. From what to bring to how to communicate your child's care needs, here is everything you need to prepare for a day in back-up care.


Our goal is to give each family a World Class Welcome. When your child arrives at the center, he or she must be accompanied by you or another authorized adult (18 years or older). When you enter, you and your child will be introduced to the staff and asked to sign in. Please allow sufficient time to complete a day sheet with your contact information and to have a conversation with the teacher regarding your child's care for the day, including current medications, allergies, or food restrictions. A personalized cubby space will be waiting for your child. If you have not visited the center previously, be sure to ask staff for assistance in storing your child’s personal belongings.

Adjusting to the Center

Separation from parents and adjustment to a new environment can be challenging for children. Please allow sufficient time during drop-off to transition your child. You are welcome to stay as long as necessary to help your child adjust to the center. Bright Horizons teachers are specially trained to provide support during this sensitive time. If a child is having difficulty, the teacher will allow the child to express his or her anger or sadness, offer comfort, and try to engage the child in an activity. If the child cannot be consoled within a reasonable amount of time or will not participate in the program, we will call you to discuss how the staff might help your child. Our goal is to help your child adjust and have a successful day.


The activities for the day will vary based on the needs of your child. Our programs are based on developmentally appropriate curriculum and an environment that embraces the unique cultural and individual needs of each child and family. Children rest or have quiet time after lunch. Children over the age of six may engage in quiet activities such as reading or games. Weather permitting, the daily schedule at some centers may include taking children outside for a walk (parent authorization is required). A complete schedule of activities for each age group will be posted in the classroom.


Some Bright Horizons centers provide lunch. Please contact the center regarding availability as well as center-specific food policies. If meals are not provided, you are asked to prepare a lunch for your child or arrange to take your child out to lunch. Many Bright Horizons centers ask that food items provided from home not contain nut products to ensure that the center environment is safe for children with nut allergies.


You are encouraged to visit your child at any time during the day. Others wishing to visit children must be accompanied by the child's parent, guardian, or authorized non-parent/guardian.


At pick-up time, children will only be released to a parent, guardian, or other adult (18 years or older) previously authorized in writing. You will receive a full written report  on how your child spent the day. Please allow sufficient time to speak with the teacher about your child's day, pack up your belongings, and sign your child out by the close of center business hours. Upon sign-out, you (or another authorized adult) are responsible for your child.

For additional questions about your child's day in back-up care, please contact a center near you .

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