24 Hour daycare is a good thing for Latinas, even if it feels wrong

Do you know anyone who works a 9-5 job? Or is it more like 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.? How about nights and weekends? And everyone struggles with daycare, right? Babysitters are too expensive, and family can help, but they have crazy shifts too. Have you ever wished daycare was open on Saturday?

Increasingly, daycare centers are opening on weekends--and nights--to match the actual working hours of parents. According to The New York Times, 40% of the overall workforce in America works non-traditional hours and some daycare centers are feeding dinner, doing homework and even putting kids to sleep while their mamis are working. Latinos are far more likely to be working off hours as we make up 2% of the nursing population and more than 17% of the food service industry. Even those of us who work in office jobs rarely have 9 to 5 hours (I work weekends and nights all the time).

But you are thinking, no way I am letting my kid sleep at daycare, right?

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I don't know that I could either, I have a hard time leaving him overnight with family BUT I would make use of weekend or early morning/late evening daycare and so would a lot of the women in my life.

My sister is a bank manager and she has to work 2 weekends a month and several days a week she has to be in before 8 a.m. She is a single mom and her ex is super unhelpful. My other sister works shifts at the IRS. If she's put on an early morning shift she is in trouble because her husband, who works in a supermarket, has to be at work by 5 a.m. And do you know who suffers most? My mother who is constanly covering all this weird babysitting. And it is impossible to coordinate everyone's schedule. Add my son and my weekend needs to the mix and it is mayhem. My mom is in her 60s and has a heart condition--girl needs a break but what can we do?

The idea of someone else putting my kid to sleep, giving him dinner--I don't know about that. But then I think about my former babysitter. She had to quit working because her mother went back to Colombia and she lost her own childcare. Now they are stuggling for cash. If there was nighttime babysitting she could go back to work--hell she could work at the daycare if it offered her nightime employement. It is a win-win all around.

Could you use off-hours daycare? What times would you need?


Image via Jin Aili/Flickr