If you have an unpredictable or untraditional work schedule, it can be difficult to work with a traditional childcare provider that runs on more of a traditional, 7 am to 5 or 6 pm schedule. When you work an unpredictable or untraditional work schedule, you need a child care provider that can work with your schedule.
#1 Call Ahead
Even when working with a drop-in daycare, it is still smart to call ahead once you know your schedule and let them know what your needs will be, even if you can only give them short notice. You don't want to show up to the daycare only to find out that all their spots are filled. Even with drop-in daycares, they are required to maintain certain staff to student ratios in accordance with state laws, so giving them a heads-up will help ensure that your child had a spot.
#2 Bring The Right Supplies
Next, make sure that you pack the right supplies in your child's bag for them. If your child is going to be there during the daycares nap time, be sure to pack their favorite nap blanket and a stuffed animal. If your child will be spending the night at the daycare, make sure that you pack your child's toothbrush, pajamas, night blanket, stuffed animals, and a change of clothing for the morning.
Ask for a copy of the day care's schedule so you can make sure that you pack the right supplies for your child based on the time that they will be at the daycare.
#3 Don't Worry About Food
Most daycare providers will provide your child with the food that they need. Be sure to check the child's daycare schedule to make sure that you are not dropping your child off right after a meal time that you also skipped with your child. Be sure to feed your child before taking them to daycare and make sure that you let the daycare team know if your child has any special dietary restrictions. Most daycares are now nut-free zones due to the prevalence of nut allergies in young children. If your child has a unique allergy, be sure to let them know.
#4 Engaging Activities
Keep in mind that drop-in daycares are designed to provide your child with entertainment and education. They should offer engaging activates throughout the day for your child. They should have an engaging schedule that includes outside play time, one-on-one time, small group time, and free play with other children, in addition to meals and naps.
Drop-in daycares are great if you have a non-traditional schedule. Just make sure that you get the daycare's schedule and pack the right supplies for your child based on the time they will be at the daycare, and sync your child's food schedule with the daycare's food schedule as well. Drop-in childcare is not a lower level of daycare; it is daycare that is created to provide for the needs of parents with non-traditional work schedules.
Contact a 24/7 daycare for more information and assistance.