Working Moms! What Do You Do for Child Care?!

Updated on May 03, 2013
T.S. asks from Littleton, CO
21 answers

Hi parents,

My husband and I work full time and currently have child care in place. However, I wanted to ask what other moms or parents do for child care, and what their working hours are. We both work from 7:00-3:30 and these hours seem to not work with care providers outside the child care facility realm. Most places (that I have seen) do not even accept children before 7:00 AM. Has this been an issue with any other mom or parent? What do you do for summer care and before/after school care? Are most places flexible in accommodating your needs or schedule?

*Sorry forgot to add that my children are 4 and 2. And we cannot afford to pay someone hourly, unless it was a really low rate.

Thanks in advance for your shared information

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Denver on

My husband is a stay-at-home Dad. My house is a wreck. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to have them in child least then when I came home, it wouldn't be to chaos. But I digress.... don't say what you do for work, but is there any trade-off either of you could make? Like could one of you to work later and come home later? So the late starter drops off and the other parent picks up?

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

When my husband was local, one of us went in late and one of us came home early to avoid daycare for all 3 kids (2 were in school). The youngest was dropped at daycare after the older two were on the bus. Daycare hours were 7-530. He was there from 845-415 most days.

Now my husband works 2 hours away and all 3 kids are in school. We have a FABULOUS sitter who comes to our home at 615am and gets all 3 kids up, ready, and to school (either the bus or she drops them off). I get off at 330 to get home and meet the bus by 340. Luckily I work that close.

In the summer this year we have two sitters. One is our morning sitter who will do Mondays and Wednesdays. The other is one of my mom's college students who will do Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday. They will both work 615-345. The kids are signed up for two weeks of swimming lessons and two weeks of VBS, they are paid for any time off out of their control....and probably even time off that they take if we can work it so one of us works from home.

I don't do after care because my kids are very active and I don't want a sitter taking them to their events.

Because of our crazy schedule and needs we sought someone to come to us. We found our morning sitter on and she is FABULOUS. This is her second year and I really can't say enough good things about her. Never once late, never once called out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I can't say for your area but I don't know too many centers that don't make accommodations for some parents that go in even earlier than you guys do.

I would only do full time fully licensed child care in a center situation. They have many people on staff and if someone is sick they just don't stop functioning. They always have someone to be there and take care of the kiddo's. A center will also have more activities and might even do field trips if they have transportation.

It may be that one of you has to be at the door when they unlock it and hurry to leave and get to work, I'd say it would be the one that has less traffic to deal with once they leave the center.

I would call the licensing agency in your county and ask for a list of all child care centers too. This way you won't be missing any. Call each and every one of them.

People go to work as early as 6am so surely there is at least one or two places that open early.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I haven't had an early start like that, so I don't have experience finding care in that situation.

However, if you're talking school-aged kids, I'd look into what's offered at your school. Ours has before and after-school care, as well as summer camp (basically the same program, but all day) that starts at 6:30 am. Your district may have something that fits your schedule better than home-based providers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Nope, it has never been an issue for us. My DD has only ever attended childcare centers since she was a baby. Most centers were open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 or 7:00 PM. They did not accommodate our schedule like a home daycare provider may, you had to pick up by closing time or pay a fine... but honestly that has never been an issue for us.
All centers have run year round, so summer care has never been an issue. Our current center also has before and after school care and summer care for school age children...

I think you may just need to look around a bit to find a provider that works for your hours or someone who is willing to work with you. We have had to change daycares a couple of times due to moving and every time I spent at least 2 or 3 months checking out every center in the area making sure that it works both for our jobs and that they provide the kind of care we want. Call me OCD about finding the right childcare, but we have never had a provider that wasn't an excellent fit for DD. Sometimes we spent a little more than we would like to, but as with most other things in life, you get what you pay for.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Our center (kindercare) is open 6:30-6. So, no problem early there. Now that my oldest is in school, we use the school before care and after care as needed.

In the summer, we find a college student who wants to make some extra $, and ask them to work as a nanny. We don't pay hourly, we pay $300 per week, plus a pool membership and a science center membership for the nanny as well as the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My husband and I struggle with this as well. We had to get asitter/nanny for my son. I know people who have done this and it works well. We have struggled with the nanny situation.

There is home daycare- which is where we have my daughter. The down side to this is if her provider is on vacation or sick. Mostly this works out very well for us.

There is a nanny that can come to your home- you can find someone to fit your hours. This can be great because even if your little one is sick they will often care for them (not usually for tummy flu, but the colds and ear infections). But make sure you have a back up- with it being one person if they are sick or something happens to them you will be stuck.

Then there are daycare centers. Most schools have a place that they either bus the kids to and from or it is on site. Some of these do not open until 7.

My husband and I are fortunate that we can stager our starting times. I work the 7-330 shift and he works 9-430 to put my son on the bus in the morning and then the nanny picked him up from school at 1115.

You can barter with another family and they can maybe drop off you little one at the daycare,and then you would pick up thier child until they get off.

Summer you can hire a college student that can take your little one to the park, swimming etc.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

wow....all of the daycares here operate from 6am-5:30pm. Most inhome providers are available with comparable hours. Normally, I have kids from 7am-5:30pm....but I have one family needing me from 6:15am, so I've changed my hours to accommodate them. :)



answers from Omaha on

Our daycare runs 6-6, but they don't want your child there more than 10 hours if possible.



answers from Miami on

When my son was an infant/toddler, he was at an in-house group childcare and we LOVED it. My work hours were 8-3:30, so the hours weren't an issue. The downside to the in house provider was simple... if she was sick, on vacation, couldn't get the driveway plowed... whatever... we were stuck. It didn't happen all of the time, but often enough that when he was old enough for preschool (3), we switched to a center-based program with an infant room (for our little one). I LOVED them too! They were great with our children and generally worked with our schedule.

I would suggest that you find someone who would be willing to come to your home VERY early in the morning and get your children ready for "school" and then transport them. You may have luck with a HS or college student who has an early class anyway. If that person arrived at 6:00 and had your kids to the center by 8:00, you could pay them $50 per week (hourly plus gas). We didn't have this issue, but a coworker did and this was their solution!



answers from Washington DC on

When SD was in elementary school, we used the before/aftercare at her school. Typically, one of us dropped her off and one picked up, so we could shift our work schedules accordingly. Some families work with another family in the same neighborhood so that they drop their kids on their way to work and the other parents see the kids to school with their own kids.

When DD was an infant/toddler, we used a daycare center near my office that was open 7AM to 6PM. I dropped her off such that I was in my office by 8:30 and out by 5:30 and eeked to the daycare around 5:45. Given my 45 minute commute, dropping her earlier was problematic.

When I was in HS, I babysat for a family during work hours all summer.

In the summer, my stepkids spent their weekdays with their mom and I am not sure what she did for care. I suspect they were largely left to their own devices.

When I was a kid, we spent a lot of our time with our grandparents or in day camps.

If I return to FT work, DD will have to attend daycare, summer camp, or we'd have to hire someone like a college student home on break.



answers from Dallas on

Strange. all the child care centers I took my children to opened between 6 and 6:30 am and were open until 6 or 7:30 pm.

I'd look at hospital based child care centers and even child care homes. they are typically more flexible since they are already there:)

google child care aware and find the child care resource and referral service for your area. they are unaffiliated with any one child care location, but they do have information where they can tell you which licensed places open at the time you need and if they have space, etc. They are a wonderful resource for us working parents:)



answers from Austin on

I love the Stepping Stone schools in Austin. They open between 6:15-6:30 and have a great curriculum. I feel that most child care centers are mainly "glorified babysitters" whereas this school actually has heart, education and fun. My oldest started when she was one and her sister started a couple years ago. They teach sign language, spanish, in addition to preparing them for kindergarten. They also have enrichment programs such as music, dance and art. They are a no peanut zone - my kids don't have allergies but I thought that was pretty thoughtful. They help with the potty training and are great about really getting to know the children as individuals rather than "babysitting" them. We are lucky. I think they are Texas-based only but perhaps you can find something similar.



answers from Detroit on

most day cares open at 6 or 630 am.

however.. when your kids get to school most before school childcare opens at 7 am..

we have a kindercare here that opens at 6 and drives many kids to school in the morning..



answers from Chicago on

Most of the centers in our area are open from 6:30-6pm. I did have to adjust my work schedule so I could leave earlier to get them picked up in time. but I find that most are open as this is standard working hours.

Now they did just change their hours for summer, but I talked to the Director and told her I would have to pull the kids if they did that, and so she is going to work with us so the kids can stay at the center.



answers from Dallas on

When my kids where in daycare it was opened from 6am to 6:30pm. I would keep looking and see if you can find one that is open longer hours. My kids went to daycare till 10 and 9. It was hard and pretty much all I worked for was childcare and insurance. It was not fun. Because of where we live we were able to allow them to stay home younger than we would if we lived somewhere else.



answers from New York on

You might want to find a daycare close to work. That way, you can drop off right at 7 and be to work at 7:10 if that is possible.

Looking at places along your route might give you more flexibility.

Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I'd look at adjusting your hours if you can, as another mentioned. Also, hospital daycares - or those close to hospitals - tend to have longer hours, since many nurses, etc. work 12 hour shifts. I believe the in-home provider I used opened at 7:15am or thereabouts and closed around 5:30pm. Realistically it's not fair expect an in-home provider to work hours longer than those, and rarely would they close sooner than 5pm, since "most" people work 8 to 5.

I think you're stuck with daycare centers (possibly even smaller ones that have 2 caregivers that switch off during the day), unless you can adjust your hours slightly. If you're both teachers or something like that though, that's probably not an option.

Perhaps a neighbor/friend that can do the morning drop off? Probably asking a lot at your kids' ages. I had a nurse friend drop her son off at my house at 7am for school which started at 8:30 each day (he was about 6 or 7 though, so not much hassle).


answers from San Francisco on

My BFF has always worked full time. Her kids were in a daycare center that was open from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm. When they started school the center offered transportation to and from school, and they were open all summer and many holidays as well (not the major ones.)
When your kids start school there will be other options as most schools offer before and after school care, and there are YMCA programs and other things that are popular during the summer as well.
Any chance you can change your hours, can you start an hour later or is it totally set in stone?


answers from Philadelphia on

i changed my work hours to go in later and get out later.
although my current job has a daycare attached that opens at 6:30am



answers from Raleigh on

Our daycare is open at 6:30 which is where our youngest goes. My school-aged kid goes to before and afterschool at his elementary school. Then YMCA during the summers. He loves it!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions