Your work life doesn't always happen during the weekday daylight hours. And that's why 24/7 daycare is absolutely essential for many parents. Whether you work the night shift, take weekend classes, or have to travel overnights for your job, finding care in the "off" hours isn't always easy. Drop in child care, nighttime/weekend centers, and nannies or babysitters are all options that can solve your daycare dilemmas.
With several different options available, why should you choose a 24/7 daycare over an in-home care-giver (such as a babysitter or a nanny)? Take a look at the advantages that center-based care offers.
Your boss calls at 4 p.m., letting you know that your co-worker just called off. You'd like to make some extra money and offer to come in and work. But you only have two hours to find childcare. That's probably not enough time to secure a sitter.
A 24/7 daycare with drop in services is the way to go in this kind of situation. Instead of having to call a list of your friends' babysitters, hoping that one will be free, you can feel confident in knowing that the daycare center is there to watch your child. Whether it's late at night or a Saturday morning, centers that have 24/7 hours (and those with anytime drop in care) are life-savers when you need a last-minute option.
Learning and Development
Daycare isn't just a place where your child goes while you're away. It's a learning environment, too. Even though the 24/7 center cares for your child late at night, early in the morning, or on the weekends, that doesn't mean that the daycare's staff isn't also helping your child to learn and grow.
Like center's that run on regular daylight hour schedules, 24/7 daycares also provide plenty of opportunities for learning. Yes, your child will have the opportunity to sleep and eat during their stay, but that's not all. Your child will also participate in learning-based activities, such as reading books, making art, and dressing up during pretend play scenes.
While a sitter or nanny will certainly play with your child, they might not structure a curriculum or create lesson-like activities in the same way that a daycare center does.
Your child isn't the only one at their daycare. This means that they're getting social benefits from being at "school." Unlike at-home care, daycare (whether it's 24/7 or daylight hour care) offers your little one the chance to meet new friends and learn social skills such as sharing and taking turns.
Why choose 24/7 daycare over a babysitter? If you may need last-minute care, want your child to learn through structured activities, or feel that the social benefits of a group setting are what they need right now, a center-based arrangement is the way to go.