Endorsed by the European Oncology Nursing Society

Who can help with childcare?

Who can help with childcare? image

Childcare can become increasingly difficult when you have cancer. Your treatment and side-effects, especially tiredness, can interfere with your normal routine and may mean you need more help with childcare.1

Do not be afraid to ask for assistance. Although you may feel uncomfortable or guilty because you cannot do it all, delegating is important and allows you time to care for yourself, which benefits your family.1,2

Here are some tips and suggestions:

  • Friends and family are often more than willing to help with day-to-day childcare, such as bringing your children to and from school or arranging play dates1,2
  • Let your child’s school or childcare facility know about your situation; they may have support networks in place to also help you and your child through this difficult time1,2
  • Your local community may offer resources you can reach out to if you need additional childcare support during or after your treatment, e.g. in the form of after-school care1,2
  • Your social worker, case managers, and your doctor or nurse can help to provide you with referrals to local resources1
  • Some charities can also provide support and practical help with childcare needs; click here for a list of charities in your region1,2
  • Your employer may be able to provide you with more flexible working to accommodate your needs during this time, e.g. working from home, reduced hours, or a job share;1 click here for more tips on talking with your employer

Childcare can be expensive. Depending on your circumstances, there may be benefits or tax credits that can help to cover the extra costs of childcare while you are unwell.1



  1. Macmillan. Help Getting Childcare. Accessed March 2016
  2. Cancer.net. Parenting while living with cancer. Accessed March 2016.