Really Drop in Care on a Whim!

Updated on April 30, 2011
M.C. asks from Saint Paul, MN
22 answers

From a previous post I find myself suprised as to the suggestion of droping my children off at a Drop-in childcare center on short notice. I could never, every drop my kids off at a center that I have never met anyone at. How many of you actually do this. We live no where close to family, just moved so don't know many people and well my kids come with me everywhere, they are as well behaved as three under 6 can be. I could never just drop them off at a center for a few hours..

Should be more specific do you drop them off if you have NEVER met them before, or do you do a meet the staff type of thing. And judgement is a part of life, get use to it everyone.

Thank you Megan

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So What Happened?

I was put off by a select few posts from my other question, I think if you really read my post,you can see that it is not rude, I am really asking a question as to how someone would drop a child off without actually meeting the staff, I then state I could not do that (I don't think that was rude) I then want to know if anyone actaully does this (it's a queston, sry forgot the question mark, I can ask questions) and I must say I am at fault for my last sentance int he origional question I should have been more specific as to the drop off for a few hours with strangers. So please read more carefully, as you can't get the full picture in just words.

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I have left my daughter at "drop-in" care at IKEA, at a Gym, at the YMCA, at "Parent's Night Out" at the school... I have a level of trust that a place that is in business to care for children will be doing a decent job of it, or they would be out of business. I don't have much family close, either, so have had to be a bit creative. My daughter has always been very social and has enjoyed the experience.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We use them instead of a sitter for date nights all the time. Kids have fun, my house stays clean, and they come home tired - win win all around. I even use the one at Ikea :)

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

I'd use a drop in care center that was referred by a good friend without having checked it out. They are licensed by the state and there are often lots of staff there.

Maybe your tone would be a little calmer if you dropped of your kids for an hour and got a massage!

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Drop in care is not really just drop in out of no where care. Most if not all states require daycares of all kinds (full, part, drop in , weekend etc) to have forms filled out, medical forms filled out and returned etc. You don't just walk in off the street and say hey I need a break take my kid. You go and interview the place and say "I don't need full time but need occasional drop in care" and that is what your signed up for. Now you may not step foot back in the door for a month but you have paid your fees to have that option. I don't think its a bad thing. I don't think its rude of you to ask "who could do that" but i do think its rude for someone to have an "I'm a better parent because I don't use daycare and take my kids everywhere" attitude

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Not sure how many people will respond saying yes since you made it clear in your question you judge them for it.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First of you just don't show up the day you need them and drop them off with strangers. Its common sense. You go and meet the teachers first. Tour the place/center. Then stick around for about 30m+ to make sure you and your kids are comfortable.

THEN, if you are really comfortable, leave the kids for an hour or so, but then as time goes on, the kid(s) should look forward to going and having a break for being with mom for a little bit.

My sitter has several drop-ins. Mostly SAHMs or WAHMs that need to go to appt. or had to run into the office for a meeting. I think its great, cuz every day my daughter has a new friend to play with.
Its just like the first time they go to preschool or K. Or even full time daycare. There has to be a 'first'. The first few times will be odd, but then they'll get used to it.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Obviously SOMEONE uses them, or there'd BE no drop in centers!


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

First I think you need to not be so judgmental in your post...the tone in your post is obviously saying since you would never, ever do such a thing you think it's just such a horrible thing to do and anyone who does is a horrible person.

With that said, I've never done it myself as I didn't even know they existed until a friend of mine told me about it. She does all the time and absolutely loves the place and the people in it. It's just like any other daycare place the same people work there, it's not like they have different people working every day and if you get to know the employees then what is the big deal?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I use one all the time. There's no way I could take my kids with me everywhere 24/7 (Nor would most people want me to! Imagine an eight-year-old boy and four-year-old girl at an OB appt, for example). The drop-in centers are wonderful and a godsend! Licensed, very clean, with great staff. Our kids love going there. Tons of fun activities and toys. I have zero worries.

But I also work part-time and have used daycare for years, so I know how awesome it can be from personal experience. Don't judge something you don't know anything about. (And WOW on your follow up. Nice.)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on


This site is a place for moms to ask for advice, ideas, help, etc. Your question does not ask for advice, ideas, or help. I'm sure your dentist and OB appointments are more fun with all the kiddos!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

We do it all the time. My kids are 7 and 2 - we used to have a reliable sitter but she's much busier now that she is older. We leave them at the gym kids club at least 3 times a week - and they go to the evening "Drop in daycare" place here in town at least once a week.

We have absolutely no family here and if we didn't use these resources we would never get out alone.

I'm always a little cautious the first time - but with a 7 year old he can report anything weird and keeps an eye on the 2 year old - but we've never had problems. the kids love it...we love the break...but you need to do what is comfortable for you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

If I had to I would, yes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Well due to your situation, I would suggest you go by sometime to different drop off places and meet them.

Then you can judge for yourself. I think you would be pretty surprised at the quality of care. and if it is only for and hour or two, I am sure you children would be fine.

And Yes, I did drop our daughter off a couple of times, she had a good time, with all of the different toys. These were times, when none of my "turn to people" were available and I just could not take our daughter to an appointment, because I was not going to be able to move for over an hour.
FYI, back to your original post, PLEASE do not take a sick child to the school. I have had whooping cough for the past 2 weeks. I did not leave my house. It just is not worth taking a chance getting others sick.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Are you Megan or M.?

I wouldn't drop my kids off at some random day care center - however, if the college I was going to had a center - I would take advantage of it.

You say you have recently moved? Then find a church and find a teenager to watch your kids for you. OR better yet - go to and get one locally.

Children SHOULD NOT be taken to a college orientation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

Nope, couldn't do it. My children are my most valued treasure. I am very particular where and with whom the stay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

DROP in daycare... sure. Absolutely. But drop-in doesn't = blind. :) :) :)

In fact, most drop in daycare centers (that I've known of or used) the parents are all quite tight with the staff, because they form relationships with the teachers the same way that one does in any other kind of daycare. One chooses a flexible creche the same way one chooses a set hours only center. You look for one that meets your standards and philosophies. You are just able to come by at any time, instead of drop off at 8 and pick up at 3 (or whatever the fixed drop off and pick up times are).

One does, however, drop their children off with absolute strangers the moment they hit kindergarten. In fact, many parents only get to speak to their elementary school teachers for a grand total of 3 or 4 times in a whole year. Middle school twice a year if EVER, and Highschool frequently never.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I dont know, I dont really see this as a rude question. I know places like Ikea have "free childcare", I had a friend years ago suggest we drop our kids there and shop, for nothing but a break. Thats not the way I parent either. I couldnt do a drop in babysitting situation or any babysitting situation until my child is clearly talking. No one looks after my kids when they are little but me & Dad, & in the case of my two older girls, my step kids watched them when they were older, school aged. I know lots of people use these centers and thats great for them, I have trust issues, and cant do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Well I use the baby sitting room at the grocery store and the that what you mean? I have FT childcare so I don't need a drop-in center (I don't even know if we have any where I am) but if I were a SAHM and there were a center nearby, I would definitely check it out and register my children for occasional care for appointments, etc. if I were comfortable with the place.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Child care licensing laws require each and every person working in a child care setting to be thoroughly checked out. Make sure the facility has a license and each staff should be experienced and educated in early childhood development.


answers from Seattle on

No way would I drop my kids off at a drop in child care center. I don't know those people, I don't know their theories on child care, and I don't care to have someone that doesn't know me or my kids watch them. They are the most important things to me and I can't imagine how HORRIBLY guilty I would feel if something were to happen.
(I am not saying all drop in centers are bad, I am just saying that if I didn't know the peple there is not a snowball's chance in hell that I would use one.)


answers from Rochester on

To each his (or her) own, I guess. My children (6 and 1) have NEVER had a daycare or a babysitter, except for the grandparents...and that's rare. I figure that we conceived, we shall raise. Makes life a little more difficult, sometimes, but on the other end of the spectrum, I know children who go from day care at five in the morning to school and then back to daycare, and then to grandparents on the weekend, and never see their parents. Yuck. I'd rather have to tote my children everywhere I go...and I do. The other day I couldn't get baby down for a nap before I left for my dr. appt, so I had to take her with instead of leaving her with husband so I could feed her at the office. Bummer, yes. Oh well...that's life! :)


answers from Bloomington on

No way! I did extensive research when my oldest was going into daycare to find the right one. I looked up the daycares on Indiana's Health Department website to check violations and visited several in person before choosing the best fit for us.

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