Daycares are incredibly useful, especially for families with both parents working traditional hours. Not only are the kids safe and cared for, but they also get to develop their social skills with other children. However, there might be times when parents would also need additional help during the weekends.
Are daycares open on weekends? While you might get lucky and find some local daycares that would charge premium prices for weekend accommodations, daycares are traditionally closed during weekends. Common alternatives for weekend childcare typically include babysitters, nannies, child care shares, friends, and family.
This article will answer whether daycares are open on weekends or not, and the common alternatives parents typically go for.
Are Daycares Open on Weekends?
Unfortunately, it might be difficult to find daycares that are open on weekends as they are usually only operational during the weekdays.
Big-name daycares are going to be more predictable such that they are usually closed during the weekends. However, you might still be able to find local daycares in your vicinity that might operate during the weekends.
Since weekend operations are not as common, daycares might have different accommodations during the weekends. For example, they may not be open throughout the day as long as they would be during the weekdays.
Additionally, you might also run into surcharge prices for weekend accommodations. These establishments might operate understanding that if you are looking for a daycare during the weekend, that means you really need it and will be willing to pay a premium for it.
Common Weekend Alternatives
If you happen to find a daycare that runs during the weekends, that could be the easiest solution for you. However, you might want to look into other options – especially well before you would need them.
It is not uncommon for parents to need help looking after their kids during the weekends. Therefore, there are common alternatives that they usually run to when daycares are not available.
Babysitters are transient workers who are typically on-call to help look after kids. Informally, babysitters are often teenagers or adults who live nearby, making their services quite convenient.
Babysitters are indefinitely convenient, especially when you simply need someone to make sure your child is looked after for a few hours. They might even end up costing less than a daycare would be on a weekend.
However, the problem with babysitters is that these are people who only babysit during their free time. You might have to get your fingers crossed when making calls for weekend availability.
While some might think nannies are just the same as babysitters, there are quite a few factors that set them apart. Perhaps one of the biggest differences is that nannies are usually contracted workers that would be legally considered under the employ of the parents who hire them.
Unlike babysitters, nannies are often highly skilled and certified in taking care of children. Understandably, they also come with higher prices compared to babysitters.
However, it might not be the easiest task to look for nannies on short notice. Nannies are usually attached to a single family at any given time. If you are lucky, you might be able to find a nanny who is only contracted during the weekdays.
If you foresee your weekends in the future to require assistance in looking after your child, you might want to consider getting a weekend nanny. Having someone to come in every weekend will surely take away some of the worry and concern involved in scrambling to find a weekend solution for your kid.
Child Care Shares
Aside from babysitters and nannies, there is another option that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Child care sharing involves different parents taking turns watching over groups of children.
Child care sharing has been revolutionizing parenting as the practice helps lighten the load for parents. The setup can look different in each group, depending on the needs and capabilities of the parents involved.
For example, there might be some groups of parents who are more involved in their child care sharing. On the other hand, there might be some who would simply take turns dropping the children at school, or having an afternoon playdate every now and then.
The best thing about child care shares is that these groups can occur anywhere there are parents who want to collaborate and help one another. The best way to look for these groups would be to simply socialize with other parents.
However, that might also be its downside. Without knowing other parents with children of similar age ranges, you might find it difficult to get into a group. You will also have to make sure that you are willing to contribute to the child care sharing group – something that not every parent can promise.
Friends and Family
When you have exhausted all possible alternatives, the last resort for many parents in need of a quick solution would be their friends and family.
For some people, friends and family are often their first considerations. However, there are those who might not be comfortable asking for help, especially during the weekend.
Plenty of parents often receive help from their own parents and in-laws. However, they are only a viable option if they live close enough.
One of the best reasons for asking for help from friends and family is that they would be the easiest to show gratitude to. Unlike babysitters and nannies who would obviously cost money, friends and family would surely be cheaper.
For one, asking for help from family is usually free of charge. Secondly, repaying friends is usually done through the reciprocation of kindness and generosity. Some friends would even be willing to look after your kids for a pizza or a pack of beer.