Where to find childcare outside of normal working hours

December 9, 2014

Working a full-time job can be exhausting. Finding a daycare for your children if your work schedule falls outside of regular business hours can be even more frustrating. Here's some advice that could help.

Where to find childcare outside of normal working hours

The harsh reality is that it’s pretty hard finding trustworthy childcare outside of normal working hours.

  • Most regulated daycares are open between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., which leaves parents who work the night shift or who require childcare early in the morning or late in the evening out of luck.
  • Seven-day-a-week, around-the-clock daycare is a fledgling niche, but there are ways to find quality care for your child, regardless of your schedule.

It’s all about the budget

It’s difficult for operators to provide flexible childcare because they rarely have the financial resources for staffing extended opening hours.

  • The Alberta government provides a subsidy to childcare services that operate outside of normal working hours, but most similar initiatives in the other provinces and territories have faltered. Nevertheless, there are some other daycares that offer this kind of service.

Home daycare

As few regulated childcare services are open outside normal working hours, parents with nontraditional work schedules often have to turn to unregulated in-home caregivers.

  • It’s possible to find home daycares that are government approved and offer flexible schedules.
  • Some families may even prefer the home daycare option because the child is more likely to receive affectionate one-on-one care during what is usually considered to be family time at home.

Workplace childcare

In some workplaces, extended-hour childcare is available specifically because the nature of the work involves nontraditional hours.

  • This may be the case in hospitals, for example.
  • Some private enterprises offer a flexible schedule that includes on-demand evening and weekend childcare.

Costly delays

Parents with irregular work schedules would do well to know that daycares typically charge a costly penalty if they’re late picking up their children, especially if it’s after the closing time of the facility.

  • Make sure you learn about these fees and policies at your child’s daycare if there’s any chance your schedule may be disrupted.
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