You know the feeling, being stuck in traffic or on a crowded bus, racing against the clock to pick up your kid before the daycare late fees start to kick in. Next time, rather than stressing out, have your "pick up pals" contact list at your fingertips. You'll avoid late fees and your kid won't feel bad for being the last one at daycare.
Image from jhaymesisvip.
The idea behind a pick up pals list is simple: You and a couple of other parents agree to grab each other's kids at daycare if someone texts that they're running late. The more people you have on this list, the better your chances are that another parent in the group will be picking their kid up at the same time and can sign yours out, too. This will work smoother if you keep a couple of things in mind:
- Each parent in the group may need to fill out a form with the daycare that acknowledges you or others in the pick up pals group can take their kid.
- Everyone in the group needs to contribute to covering others, not just use the group to have their kid picked up.
- Agree on a communication protocol so you don't overload the group message. For example, once someone responds that they can grab your kid, move to direct messaging about when and where you'll meet them.
- Have a standard time limit the other parent will have your kid. Of course, if you're stuck in terrible traffic, you might not meet it, but in general parents should only have your kid for a short period of time. This isn't an alternative to a babysitting service, unless the group agrees otherwise.
You can customise this idea to fit your situation. Maybe you want to add reliable friends or family members to your pick up pals list. You can have pick up pals lists for everything from daycare to sleepovers to play dates and birthday parties.