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4 Creative Child Care Options For the Holidays

Having children reignites the magic of the holidays we knew when we were young. Even though the magic may be in the air, it does not change the fact the child care options are limited during the holiday season. Regardless of what you’re celebrating, it’s likely that your care options are either closed for the holidays or your caregivers are requesting time off. This often leaves working families piecemealing care during the holidays on top of all the added stress this season can bring. 

Here are some creative care options to help you get through the holidays and enjoy more of the magic this season brings (and less stress) with friends and family. 

Pay Your Friends & Family with Childcare Subsidies 

‘Tis the time of year for family and friends, and often working families are tapping into the person networks for childcare needs during scheduled holiday breaks like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah holidays. 

If your employers offer childcare benefits through your employee benefits package, consider paying your friends and family to help with care needs during the holidays. Tools like Helpr can use the child care benefit you receive from employers to pay caregivers — even when they are friends, family, or neighbors! 

Look for a Nanny-Share 

Nanny-shares are a great solution and budget-friendly option for families who want the individualized care of a nanny but don’t have the budget for a full-time caregiver. Nanny-shares allow multiple families to come together—typically around 3 or 4—and share the financial cost of a caregiver or nanny. 

This often works well for the families involved and for the caregiver, as multiple families are able to increase the amount of pay for the caregiver. Nanny-share can be formal in-home centers, or they can be less formal. A nanny-share could be a great, creative option for the holiday season. 

Coordinate With Your Partner 

If the budget is thin this season then consider coordinating with your partner on when they’re available for childcare responsibilities. There are a lot of ways in which you can coordinate. Now’s your chance to get creative! You can have entire days in which one of you is responsible for the care, or break up the day around your availability. 

This may not be an option for you if you or your partner don’t have the flexibility to work around your child care needs, if that’s the case, consider hiring backup care through Helpr or similar services. We can connect you with a caregiver with just 3 hours’ notice. 

Have Playdates

Sharing is caring! Playdates are great ways for your children to stay social during the holidays and give you some space and care during business hours. Work with your networks of friends, you can each opt into having a playdate, giving the other family time for themselves or their work and vice versa. 


Care during the holidays isn’t always easy for parents. It may compound to even more stress during the holidays. No matter what type of care you’re seeking this season, these creative options can help you thrive during the holidays—instead of just surviving them.