When you don’t have time for the flu

It’s six in the morning, and your child won’t get out of bed. Maybe she’s running a fever, or maybe she’s got a stomach bug. There’s no way your child is going to school, but you’ve used up your sick days. This is the definition of being caught between a rock and a hard place, or, at the very least, being caught between a miserable child and an angry boss. Is there any way to win?

More and more, the answer might be “yes.” Although several sick daycare centers, like the one at Unity Hospital in Fridley, have opened and closed over the past few years, one company is hoping to stick it out in a tough business that depends on children catching a bug. Under the Weather opened this January in Brooklyn Park. It has six rooms designed to isolate children with different types of diseases from each other. One caregiver is on-site for every four children, and children ages 2-12 are welcome.

Children who aren’t sick but have a sick daycare provider may be dropped off as well. Under the Weather also offers in-home care, which is especially convenient for parents of infants or of children who might have more than a 24-hour bug.

Care at Under the Weather costs between $75 and $100 a day, but many large companies pay at least part of the bill. General Mills pays 85 percent of sick-child care costs and giants 3M, Park Nicollet Health, and Cargill chip in for their employees as well.

Under the Weather can be contacted at 612-968-4245, or reached on the web at UnderTheWeatherSickChildcare.com. Parents should contact their human resources manager to find out if their employer covers sick-child daycare costs.