5 Things Parents Need to Know About The Childcare Drop-off and Pick-up Dilemma


Kids Walking Out of School
Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

It's no secret that we are currently in the middle of the childcare pandemic. We hear a lot about how parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, are having a rough time finding programs and providers for their family's needs. But what about those parents who have school-aged children? While some families have the flexibility of working from home and scheduling meetings around school schedules. Some families do not have that luxury. Recently, I've seen an increase in job postings on local childcare Facebook groups asking for help with pick up and drop off between school and home. In my blog post with tips about finding part-time childcare, I talk about how parents need to think about how many hours they are offering and the hourly rate if they want to secure reliable part-time assistance. For some families, as much as they would love to have the help a nanny could offer, even part-time, it's just not in the budget for them. It's resulting in new posting to social media boards stating that they need "someone to only pick up from school and drop off the child at home" or parents promoting "hacks" that technically aren't safe nor legal. Here are the five things parents need to know about the childcare drop-off and pick-up dilemma:

  1. It's a massive liability for a nanny (or anyone for that matter) to pick up a minor and drop them off at home unattended. If something happened to the child, the nanny was the last responsible adult with them. While each state has different laws on how young children can stay home alone, most nannies will not want to assume this responsibility or liability. They would much rather stay until another adult comes home.

  2. Driving Companies like Uber and Lyft legally can not pick up minors without an adult present and the correct car seats. It's against their company's terms of use. You and the driver can have your account removed. Both companies do, though, offer options where you can find a ride with a car seat, but they are limited and only operate in NYC. There are companies like HopSkipDrive, which is essentially Uber or Lyft for children, but they only operate in major cities.

  3. While an afternoon nanny might not be in your budget, there could be a local neighbor or mom at your school who can help out. Nextdoor, Facebook groups, and community care companies might be your best tool. It doesn't hurt to post in your local childcare or mom's Facebook groups to see if you can set up an old-school carpool situation. When you post to Nextdoor, it is neighborhood specific, so you may find someone just around the corner who can help. Companies like JuneCare and Otter match SAHMs with parents who need childcare, which also might be another excellent option for you to check out. There are also some awesome nanny moms out there who might be willing to help if you are open to them bringing their own child.

  4. Always run a background check, including checking DMV Records on the person who will be doing the driving. Nanny agencies like Nanny Village often offer them as an a la carte service. You can use my code VIPCHECK to get $50 off your background search. If they are driving their vehicle, you want to visually inspect the car and ensure it's in safe working order. If your children need car seats or boosters, you may want to purchase a separate set for pick-up and drop-off.

  5. When you do find someone, please make sure you compensate them appropriately. Gas is expensive, cars have to be maintained, and time is valuable. These setups are often hard to arrange, so when you do find someone, make sure they know they are appreciated. I talk about this more in Choosing Childcare 101's Community Care section.

If you are still struggling with childcare, please don't hesitate to reach out. I offer free 30-minute childcare coaching consults to all new clients.