Is It Okay to Bring Your Kid to Work When Your Child Care Falls Through?

Alison Green
small boy with phone and...
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Is it ever okay to bring a child to work with you when your child care arrangements fall through? If you wake up to a sick kid who can't go to school or if your normal child care provider cancels and you don't have a back-up, you might be wondering if you can simply bring your kid to work with you. Or you might have noticed a co-worker doing this on occasion and wondered what the rules are about when this is and isn't okay.

First and foremost, the answer depends on your workplace culture. There are some offices where this absolutely isn't done, and where doing it would be considered wildly unprofessional and inappropriate. But there are also offices where it's considered okay to do in rare emergencies. (There are even a handful of offices where it's okay to do more often than that, but those set-ups are unusual, and you probably already know if you're working in one of them.) But the first step here is to understand the culture where you're working.