Late Night Care: How to Handle Overnight Daycare for Your Kid's

Posted on: 5 January 2016

Daycare is a valuable tool for parents who need to work part-time or full-time hours. One of the more difficult issues to deal with when looking for a good daycare is finding a nighttime daycare if you are a third shift worker. Luckily, daycares that offer around the clock care are beginning to crop up, both as in-home daycares and at commercial daycare centers. After you have found a daycare that will work for your overnight shift, you should properly prepare your child to attend daycare overnight versus during the day. Here are some important preparations that you may want to make.

Do you want them to sleep or learn?

Daycares are places where students will learn, play, and rest. For students who are going to daycare overnight, the schedule can vary. First, you should decide if your child will be keeping the same hours as you. If your children are still young and not in school, it may be a good idea for them to remain awake at night and sleep during the same schedule as you. If your children attend school outside of the home, they should sleep while at daycare so that they are properly rested for school in the morning.

What bedding should be packed?

Sleeping away from home for the entirety of your shifts means that your child needs to be as comfortable at daycare as they are at home. Consider purchasing a cot for your child, which can be a comfortable makeshift bed. For extra comfort, add a sleeping bag or several blankets to the cot. Speak with your daycare provider about a nighttime routine, such as brushing teeth, lowering the lights, and reading so that your child can comfortably reacclimate their sleeping time to day care.

How will breakfast be dealt with?

If your shift ends in the early morning, consider if you want to have breakfast with your child or if they will need to eat at daycare. Since your sleep schedule may be opposite of your child's, breakfast may be the time that you have to spend together. In the event that you get off late, it is a good idea to store meals weekly with the daycare provider. If you wish to have regular breakfast family time, you may want to coordinate with your daycare provider to give your child several snacks throughout the late night and early morning so that they are satiated until you pick them up after your shift.

If you're unable to locate a night shift daycare in your area, consider leaving your child at a local daycare when possible, such as Mountainside School, and have a friend or relative pick them up and watch them for the remaining hours.

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