Its best to line up several different backup options

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- A child care consultant at the program that sent you this booklet can tell you about the people and organizations in your community that provide backup care. There may be several options available to you.

- Your regular child care provider or sitter may be able to suggest or help you find substitute care.

- Family members, friends, and other parents may be willing to offer, share, or trade care. Talk to these people now and ask if you might be able to count on them for some backup care.

- Family child care providers or child care centers in your area may offer backup child care or drop-in care to a few extra children as an extension of their regular services. Backup (drop-in) child care centers, whose actual business is to provide backup or emergency care on a temporary basis, are now opening in some areas of the country.

- In-home and nanny agencies can sometimes send a provider to your home on very short notice.

- School-age child care holiday/vacation programs often extend their hours to include Monday holidays and school vacation weeks.

Remember that preregistration is generally required by organizations and programs. Be sure to ask ahead of time. Try to visit any centers, family child care providers, or other substitute caregivers you're considering. You and your child will both be more at ease when you finally need care if you have a chance to get to know the people and places ahead of time.

A consultant at the program that sent you this booklet may be able to help you plan backup arrangements for those times when you will need them.

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