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Weather Emergencies and Backup Childcare Plans

Weather emergencies can put a real crimp in your work plans, especially if you are a working parent. If you have a nanny or caregiver, changes in weather could mean that they can’t make it safely to your home to provide care. Whether it’s a snowstorm, flooding roads, downed power lines, or ice buildup, planning for inclement weather can minimize the stress when these events occur.

Come up with alternate childcare options

If your nanny or caregiver can’t get to work, it’s important to have a plan B for childcare. Find friends or family members to be on standby for help. Perhaps there are neighbors, other parents, or community groups who can help. Some companies provide childcare benefits that include backup childcare. These backup care companies may have a nanny nearby who is able to reach your home safely. Keep in mind that if you are not using an agency which employs the caregivers, and if you pay you childcare provider more than $2,600 in wages in a calendar year (2023), then you will need to withhold social security and Medicare taxes from their pay.

Keep your caregiver in the loop

If you have plans written into your work agreement about inclement weather, be sure you hold up your end of the deal. Everyone should stick to the agreed upon decision making and notification criteria. Make sure your nanny or caregiver knows what any temporary plans entail and keep them in the loop during their absence. For example, if there is a severe storm and schools are shut down for several days, make sure you let your nanny know and discuss if they should come in or not. Discuss whether the caregiver needs to use PTO to continue being paid for any missed days or if you’ll pay them for the unworked days. It is always best to discuss your expectations ahead of time and put it in writing so it is clear for both parties.

Keep communication central

To minimize any stress or confusion for the temporary childcare worker, be sure to write down important details and communicate your child’s general ‘schedule.’ Doing so will make things easier for your child and the caregiver, ensuring there is no confusion during a time that is already hectic.

Reposted with permission from Home Work Solutions (

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