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Bringing Children to Work

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Laura Ljungkvist

If our childcare falls through at the last minute, can I take my child to the office?

There are no rules here, just your ability to sense the culture of your employer, says Pat Katepoo, founder of the Hawaii-based WorkOptions.com, a site dedicated to helping women balance the needs of career and family. However, she strongly suggests that you bring your child to the office as part of a well-planned special treat-not the denouement of a daycare fiasco. "Always be ready with a few back-up options," she says. Try to find neighbors or other parents willing to help out in a jam; look into forming an emergencies-only childcare co-op; find out if local daycare centers have "drop-in" services available.

If you do wind up sharing your office with your child, the best work you can do is to keep your new roommate quiet and shut your door if any drama arises. The older your child, of course, the easier it'll be to have her there. Bringing anyone under the age of 5 to work with you could mean that you, too, may spend much of the day playing with blocks. Better that both of you take a sick day.

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