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What Is Backup Care, and How Does It Work?

Here's what you need to know about this brand new Premium Member benefit, and how it can work for you.

Picture this: You have a career-altering presentation to make at work today, but you’re ready for it. You’ve made a great PowerPoint, you’ve rehearsed it over and over. And, just as you’re about to head out the door to get to work, you get the call every parent dreads…the sick nanny call.  

Or this: A friend’s mom has passed away and you need to be there for her. Your 4- and 6-year-olds will be too much to handle during their family crisis. But how can you dash out the door with no care in place?

No matter the scenario, we’ve all been in a backup child care pinch. If you don’t have family ready and waiting to pitch in, there are bound to be a few times a year when you need a vetted babysitter or nanny –fast.

That’s where Backup Care comes in.

What Is Backup Care?

This is an exclusive new benefit for our Premium Members that helps you find quality in-home or in-center child care quickly and easily, based on your needs and location. Once you submit your request,’s 24/7 concierge team starts finding, matching and booking your backup care solution.

How Does Backup Care Work?

  1. Tell Us When and Where
    Log in to and indicate when and where you need care. The form will also ask some details about your family that will help the concierge team find a match.
  2. Let Us Do the Heavy Lifting
    Once you submit your request,’s 24/7 concierge team will start sorting through our pool of vetted caregivers and child care centers to find the right option for your needs. As soon as they do, they’ll book it and let you know.
  3. Do What You Need to Do/Go Where You Need to Go!
    Sure, you’ll want to walk the new caregiver through the rules and specific needs of your child. And once you feel comfortable, you can go about your day —or night – getting as many check-ins as needed.

How Are These Caregivers Vetted?

All backup care centers meet or exceed state licensure requirements. All in-home backup caregivers are screened in advance, having successfully met our thorough vetting criteria:

  • Child Care Reference Checks
  • Video or In-Person Interviews
  • 7-year Criminal Conviction Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Check
  • Name & Address Verification via SSN
  • U.S. Work Eligibility Verification

Will the Centers and Sitters Care for a Sick Child?

Our child care centers have strict policies against accepting children who are sick.

All babysitters can care for children with mild illnesses; however, caregivers are NOT medical personnel and are present only to watch over, entertain, and delight a child who is a little bit under the weather.

Flu and stomach bugs are handled on a case-by case basis. But sitters will not come to a home in situations that make it likely that the caregiver herself could spread an illness to other children, such as head lice, untreated strep or conjunctivitis.

Why Did Start This? really wanted to offer our families the same service that we offer our business clients. (On-call back up care is subsidized if you have it as an employee benefit.) As a company, we know how important quality care is to help parents live their everyday lives, make a living and fulfill personal obligations. Sure, people have some family support at times — or have a very flexible spouse or best friend. But sometimes that support falls through – and you still really need care. That’s how we knew we could help.