For working parents, daycare is a lifesaver.
Not only that, it’s a great environment for kids to learn and grow, both sociall and emotionally.
But what if you need childcare outside of traditional working hours?
Are daycares open on the weekends? And how can you find weekend childcare when needed?
Most big name, reputable daycares are not open on the weekends. You may be able to find local options that are open Saturday and Sunday but they are rare.
You can try a chain like KidsPark or hire a babysitter for intermmitent, supplemental weekend care. Or if you need regular weekend coverage, consider hiring a nanny or even trying an au pair!
Let’s take a closer look!
Are Most Daycares Open on Saturday and Sunday?
No, most daycares are not open on Saturday and Sunday. Traditional daycare is usually only open Monday-Friday.
Daycare hours are generally from 6am to 6pm or so, but these do vary per facility. Some centers open their doors as early as 5am. Others may stay open until 7pm or later.
There are exceptions to traditional daycare hours.
Daycare centers like KidsPark are known for staying open late, and offering hours on weekends — but KidsPark is not a traditional daycare. It’s used more often for supplemental or one-off childcare.
Childcare facilities that are open on weekends and offer late hours do exist, but they are not always conveniently located.
To find daycares that are open on the weekend, you’ll need to scour your local area thoroughly.
(Are daycares open on holidays? Click to read and find out.)
How to Find Childcare on the Weekends
It’s common for parents to find themselves using a daycare that offers traditional childcare during the week.
That doesn’t help you if you need childcare on the weekends!
Not everyone works Monday through Friday. And even if you do, you may have an all-day event on a Saturday you need to attend, or any number of reasons for needing weekend childcare coverage.
So, what do you do?
Thankfully, you have other options. These tips will help you find someone to take care of your babies outside of typical daycare hours.
Use Your Support System
Parents that are lucky enough to have a sturdy support system should use it.
Ask your own parents or friends if they can help with childcare.
Most people will not want to commit to watching a child every weekend. Instead, see if you can rotate among friends and family so no one gets burnt out.
Hopefully, they won’t mind committing to watching your little ones for a few hours every other Saturday to help you out!
At Home Daycare Providers
If you need regular weekend childcare, look into home daycares.
Home-based or in-home daycares are where a childcare expert looks after a handful of children in their own home.
Not only is this more affordable than a daycare center, but the hours are often more flexible.
A quick Google should help you find some options, but you may need to dig deeper and ask around with some parents in your network to find good home daycares.
When looking for an at home daycare provider, ask them if they accept Title 20.
Title 20 providers are required to follow state guidelines just as professional daycare centers are.
Websites like Care.com offer a wealth of options for babysitters who may be available to help on Saturdays and Sundays.
This option can get expensive for a full day, but is fairly cost effective if you just need a few hours here or there.
Most babysitters can provide references so that you feel safe with them watching your child.
Asking friends and family members for recommendations is another great idea.
Friends and family can tell you a lot about a babysitter, and you can trust that they are more authentic than references provided by the potential babysitter.
Nannies are more involved in the day to day care of your child than a babysitter or daycare.
For example, a nanny may work more with your children on education, structured play, and other forms of enrichment.
You can find both full-time and part time nannies. These professional caregivers prefer to have a consistent schedule.
They need to know when they are watching children, what they are required to do, and are not a good option if you need an on-call babysitter.
Nannies generally cost more than babysitters but you often get a higher standard of care for your money.
Participate in an Au Pair Program
This may be a little out of the box, but hear us out!
When you participate in an au pair program, an exchange student will come to live with you. They will agree to be the caregiver or nanny for your child during certain days or hours of the week.
Typically, these hours are limited. For example, you may only have 45 hours of care.
An au pair may participate in other household duties. For example, they can pitch in on housework or drive children to school.
Of course, all this work isn’t free — you’ll be expected to pay your au pair.
The cost is typically lower than what you would pay for a childcare facility, however.
Most families that host an au pair also enjoy spending time with their new guests. This is an opportunity for both the au pair and the host family to learn a great deal about a new culture.
Use Facilities That Offer Childcare
If you just need a short break from parenting on the weekends, try to find some interesting places that offer short-term childcare.
For example, you could go to a gym that has a childcare center and get in a workout — or just soak in the hot tub to relax!
When I was a kid, I’d play in the ballpit at IKEA while my mom shopped — though most of these are closed, now.
Think outside of the box if you just need a little breather!
Most daycares are not open on weekends, though if you search your area thoroughly, you may be able to find one. An in-home daycare is probably your safest best for flexible hours.
If you work on weekends and need consistent coverage, you’ll probably need to hire a nanny or an au pair if you can’t find a weekend daycare.
However, for more intermittent weekend help, there are tons of options from grandparents, to babysitters, to even the childcare center at the gym!
Don’t fret. You’re not the only one who needs help on the weekends, you may just have to experiment with different options until you find the right fit and schedule.
For more, check out:
- What time do daycares open and close?
- Do daycares have cameras?
- Can you send a sleep sack to daycare?
- Should you use daycare 1, 2, or 3 days per week?
Hope this helps!