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Not every job has the cliched nine to five, Monday through Friday work schedule. Parents often find themselves working weekends either at the office or at home.
Even those parents who do have the weekends off might find they need a little “me time.” Do daycares allow this flexibility? Are there childcare centers open on the weekends?
It’s not typical for daycares to be open on the weekends. Those that offer non-traditional hours usually charge an additional fee. Most parents who need child care on the weekends use alternatives like hiring a babysitter or relying on family and friends for help.
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Options for Childcare Services on the Weekends
One of the reasons I began working from home was due to daycare. In my previous job, I had to be available on weekends and evenings.
It was hard enough finding good childcare during typical hours. Finding suitable caregivers for my children on weekends was nearly impossible.
The ones that I did find charged more than I could reasonably afford. Though that wasn’t the only reason I chose to be a work-at-home mom, it was a serious factor.
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1. Daycares With Weekend Hours
Daycare facilities have fairly standard hours. They are generally open from about 7 AM to about 6 PM during weekdays. Some daycare centers have extended hours, but these places are few and far between.
If you are one of the lucky few to find a daycare with weekend hours, you will find that the cost may be a non-starter. Daycares may charge as much as $20 per hour for every non-standard hour their services are used.
2. Nannies and Babysitters
Parents who must have weekend childcare may find that hiring a nanny or a babysitter is a better option. Nannies will work with your schedule, whatever that may be. Though you will pay more than you will for daycare, you don’t have to worry about tricky schedules.
Babysitters are often used as a supplement to daycare. This is a better solution if you do not have to work every weekend. You can hire a babysitter for those rare occurrences while also keeping your child enrolled in the daycare center you prefer.
Related: Daycare vs. Nanny
3. Child Care Sharing and Co-Ops
A growing trend is child care sharing. Parents work with other parents to take turns watching their children.
You might spend a few hours on a Saturday morning watching your neighbor’s children while she cares for your kids in the afternoon.
You might offer to be the Friday night babysitter for a friend in exchange for your children spending the day at her home while you work on the weekend.
A child care co-op is a solution that works in this same manner. It is a daycare facility that relies on caregiving from parents on an alternating schedule. Many of these co-ops have weekend and evening hours.
4. Family and Friends
The vast majority of babysitters are family members. More than half of these family members watch children with no pay. If you live near family that is willing to help, it may behoove you to turn to them before seeking high-cost, weekend daycare.
It’s Going to Be Hard Finding a Weekend Daycare
You will be hard-pressed to find a daycare that takes children on weekends unless you’re willing and able to spend a large sum of money. If you need weekend child care, hiring a babysitter may be a better option.