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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Do You Offer Weekend Care?
FirstFriends 11:01 AM 07-12-2017
I am in the process of adding children to my family childcare, I currently have 2 toddlers enrolled plus my little one (2.5 year old)

One toddler is full time Mon-Fri (9:00-5:00), the other is part time Thur-Fri (10:00-5:00).

I have not considered weekend care, as I enjoy working Mon-Fri & having the weekend off. However, weekend care could help greatly with our finances. My husband also works as a GM in a restaurant so he currently works on the weekend.

I currently am marketing and getting responses and inquiries regarding enrollment. I do advertise that I cater to unique schedules and part time care.

So what are the pros and cons of providing care on the weekend? And do you charge more for childcare on the weekends?

The inquiry that's making me consider this, has the following schedule for 3.5 year old. Needs care Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun.
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Michael 11:33 AM 07-12-2017
Here are more threads relating to Weekend Care: http://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=weekend+care
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Sunchimes 01:41 PM 07-12-2017
I have done it when I was desperate, but it is so hard. If I read it right, you would have no days off. That really isn't sustainable unless you are super tough. I did it because I had too, but I stopped as soon as I could.
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AmyKidsCo 01:46 PM 07-12-2017
Heck no! My weekends are MY time - I don't reply to daycare emails on weekends and sometimes ignore texts too.
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CityGarden 01:50 PM 07-12-2017
I do not offer care on the weekend and would not. This is a tiring profession and I need time to recharge to offer a quality program.
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LysesKids 08:10 PM 07-12-2017
Originally Posted by CityGarden:
I do not offer care on the weekend and would not. This is a tiring profession and I need time to recharge to offer a quality program.
I need to offer a quality program, but I also need too meet bills come August; after 3 months of trying to fill a spot and loosing another in a month, I have no other options except to offer Saturdays also which I hate to do (I refuse to work 7 days again after 17 years and I already offer 6a-9p weekdays) - as a widowed empty nester, I have no option because I am still a minimum of 5 years before any SS bennies can be claimed. Things are tight when you specialize, but due to physical limitations (and no med insurance), no way can I take older kids anymore - it's under 2's or I sell everything and live on the road. I was screwed last Winter by loosing 2 babes early & my CC's were hit hard... I have to keep things paid at minimum just to float as it is
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flying_babyb 10:08 PM 07-12-2017
I work in a daycare on weekends. Its not to bad, lower number of kids, more relaxed. I know on the weekends our program is way less structured and we tend to go on feild trips to the park often!
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TheMisplacedMidwestMom 12:30 AM 07-13-2017
I did weekend care for 1 child for awhile, also advertising that I could accommodate crazy schedules. I NEEDED the income. In my case I had three M-F/9-5 dcks and the one weird schedule. Dcm was a float nurse, second shift, and days of the week varied each week, but usually included 2-3 weekends a month. For me that particular dcg became more of a nanny position and she was just my third child. If we went to the grocery, she went. Church, she went. Out to eat, she went. Trick-or-treating, I dressed her up and she went. You get the idea.
There are three reasons I didn't go completely insane with this schedule: 1) Dcm was laid back and understood that to make it work dcg would have to be part of my family. I didn't have to check with dcm every time we left the house. 2) I had ZERO drama with this family. Paid on time, every time. Picked up and dropped off as planned, every time. Provided supplies I asked for without question. 3) I had some weekend days and occasionally a whole weekend off.

Pros: It paid the bills.
Helped me realize I'm done having kids. Traveling with 3 in tow ALL the time is not for me.
I learned a lot, I found out a lot about myself and what I wanted out my daycare provider experience.
It paid the bills.

Cons: It's stressful, and my own kids took a while to adjust.
If you are signing up for both days EVERY weekend you will literally never get a day off. Oh, you wanted to go camping? visit family out of town? drive two hours away to go shopping at the outlet mall?... yeah none of that is happening.

And yes, I did charge them more than I charged my "normal" schedule folks. They understood this, and were on board. Dcm mom got a shift differential for working second and so did I .

Would I do it again? Only if I had to, and I could find another family that was easy to work with. It was rough, but temporary.
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DaveA 04:19 AM 07-13-2017
Honestly I would go back to centers or change fields before offering weekend care. I've know multiple people in my area who have ran weekday + weekend care. The longest made it a bit over a year before leaving childcare completely. She had assistants and a dedicated space and it still was overwhelming to her and put a real strain on her family.
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Cat Herder 04:44 AM 07-13-2017
I can see a huge market for weekend care in Florida where the majority are in service industry. If you set a time limit on it for a financial goal, say 24 months, it may be worth it.

Night and weekends were typically 1.5 rate or more, so it adds up pretty quick. Unfortunately, so does the stress so long term won't be worth it to your family.

The biggest risk I see is strain on the marriage since carving out time for that seems to already be difficult. If your husband is on board with a time limit it can be a team goal.
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Ariana 08:54 AM 07-13-2017
Sometimes you need to do what you need to do! I think there is definitely a need, maybe not a huge one, but a need nonetheless. We have a couple of 24/7 daycares in my City because there are a lot of people who need that option. In my opinion you are not overworked with the amount of kids you currently have and their hours so I say go for it!

I absolutely would charge a bit more for weekend care. Maybe just an extra $5-$7 per day just so its not a crazy difference.
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hwichlaz 08:22 AM 07-14-2017
I did it for many years. My ex husband worked weekends and we homeschooled. So weekends weren't any different than weekdays to us. I ended up having Mondays off most of the time.
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racemom 11:52 AM 07-14-2017
Could you get a few weekend care kids and take your days off during the week. Try to have the same days off as dh, and that can be your family time.
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LK5kids 01:28 AM 07-16-2017
Years ago I did and it didn't bother me at all. I did what I had to do to make enough $. I had a large separate two-room child care area.

For awhile two families needed Sat. Morning and I had a 4 yr. old girl and 6 yr. old boy I cared for.

Another time I had two, sweet, well-behaved sisters (2yrs & 3 yrs) that needed second shift care.

It helped my child care space was separate from my personal living space and my kids were school age and more self-sufficient.
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amberrose3dg 05:38 AM 07-17-2017
I can't. I sometimes feel tired working 60 to 65 hours a week. Lately I have been lucky to find families that want earlier care. Most of my kids are gone by 330 now. When I first opened I would have kids from 6am until 630 pm. That is simply too long of a day for me. I close at 5pm sharp and only have two families that are here that late. My weekends are to get things done or to simply relax.
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Controlled Chaos 08:19 AM 07-17-2017
Originally Posted by racemom:
Could you get a few weekend care kids and take your days off during the week. Try to have the same days off as dh, and that can be your family time.
Have a Sunday and Monday off or Monday and Tuesday wouldn't be too bad. And you could enjoy some time off while still acommadting some difficult schedules.
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Unregistered 03:35 AM 08-03-2017
I've been doing every other weekend for almost 3 years. It makes for some long weeks, but the pay is hard to turn down.
In my case, it's two girls from 530am-2pm. They are the same age as my daughters, and sweet kids. Counting the food reimbursements, I make over 700/month from the 4 days.
They love going weekend grocery shopping with us.
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Josiegirl 04:02 AM 08-03-2017
If I was desperate I would. OR more likely, try to cut back expenses. I took 3 boys for Saturdays only, for maybe 6 weeks. They were rough kids, and the mom never did all that she was supposed to do, to get paperwork in, etc. One day she showed up with the boys and I didn't accept them because I didn't have the papers yet. She was not a happy camper. But the reason I let them go was because they were not nice kids, by any stretch of the imagination and I kept thinking 'I'm giving up Saturdays for this'??
In my situation(empty nester) I'd probably seek out weekend employment somewhere else at minimum wage.
It's definitely a personal choice. Knowing myself, I definitely need weekends to recharge from a house filled with kids.
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nannyde 05:36 AM 08-03-2017
I did it for four years when I first started doing daycare.

I had pretty strict rules for it.

I wouldn't combine Monday through Friday kids schedules with any weekend day. It became a deal of constant requesting of schedule changes during the week and wanting the weekend for the same price.

I did not allow children up in the evening beyond seven p.m.. I didn't take kids who needed to stay up later. I didn't do the "stay up late because they don't have school" deal. I kept the same schedule I had for the evening kids during the week.

I didn't take infants that needed feeding from seven p.m. to whenever the parent picked up.

I didn't allow evening parents to go home after work and pick up in the morning. They had to pick up right after work. I had too many parents going out after work and then not showing up until the next morning or even afternoon because their alarm clock didn't go off or they couldn't hear the phone. If you let them go out after work and pick up the next morning you will have the kids for as long as they want you to have them the next day. Making them pick up after work could lead to them coming to pick up under the influence. If they brought the kids when they really weren't working and would just go out... you could end up with clients who came after partying.

The weekends are the most unstable shift. Most people don't want to work weekends and finding weekend work is the easiest for lower paying jobs. There was a lot of turnover in their work life which made for constant work schedule changes.

I found that most requests were for combination week day weekend schedules so I really limited the pool of potential clients. I could fill my Monday through Friday slots so there wasn't any reason to muddy the waters by adding the weekend to their possible M-F shifts.

I did not take the shifts of 10a-7p or 11a-8p. These kids took a half day slot and a half evening slot. I would rather have a full day kid and a full evening kid in the slot to make double the money. (I had this for my Monday through Friday kids too)

I did not take school agers who I didn't raise.

It was hard to find clients willing to pay more for weekend work. It stands to reason you would get more and some of them did get more because they worked the weekends but they wanted to keep that extra pay for working the weekends.

The advantages financially are huge. The time space percentage deduction dramatically increases which lowers tax liability. You only have to have one kid to make that happen.

The food program money was awesome too. In the early mid nineties I had 24/7 and my checks way back then were in the 1400 range. That helped a ton.

Once you get on your feet the weekend shift is the first to go just like any other worker.

It's very profitable with boundaries and limits on what situations you would take but it is a ton of work.

Edited to add: If you have kids who are in care or school Monday through Friday AND you have them on the weekend... you have kids who aren't with their parents awake very much. This leads to a lot of behavioral issues from both parents and kids. The parents can be highly indulgent and the children are starved for their parents attention. The evening weekend kids were easier because they spent the morning with the parents BUT sometimes they wanted a later bedtime because they wanted their kid to sleep in in the morning. They wanted to put them to bed when they got home so they could have "me" time. Just as it would a day shift kid... if the parents were away all day... the kids didn't want to go to bed when they got home from day care. The most successful ones were ones who kept their kid up a few hours after getting home and had a meal together and then went to bed together.
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Unregistered 11:10 PM 04-19-2021
Does anyone offer exclusive weekend care? I was thinking it might be easier than doing weekday care, because I could charge more for less days. The only downside is there might be huge variability in need. this way in the summer when my kids are off school we can take vacations during the week and attractions are less busy during the week typically. Plus during the week when I'm raising my kids I won't be stressed and burnt. I'm single so not worried about how this might impact that, and things can always change. I know there is a need here for weekend care.

I had a daycare a few years ago, and as others have said, doing weekday care along with weekends burned me out, and I had to quit to reassess my business plans and what was important to me. As others have said, I think its best to keep your weekday spots separate from weekend spots, so that way one group of parents has to pay for m-f, and weekend spots are extra; otherwise you force yourself to work 7 days a week to make what someone else makes who only is open m-f. This is because parents will have schedules that include weekdays and weekend days.

I was thinking I could tell parents they can find someone else to do weekdays, and I can do their weekends and keep it separate.
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Blackcat31 06:30 AM 04-20-2021
I am sure it would be highly unstable as I don't know anyone that just works weekends.

Plus the availability of low cost teenagers and free family as other options on the weekend would be more competition than I'd want.

Bottom line though is meeting the needs of your community.
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Snowmom 07:30 AM 04-20-2021
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Does anyone offer exclusive weekend care? I was thinking it might be easier than doing weekday care, because I could charge more for less days. The only downside is there might be huge variability in need. this way in the summer when my kids are off school we can take vacations during the week and attractions are less busy during the week typically. Plus during the week when I'm raising my kids I won't be stressed and burnt. I'm single so not worried about how this might impact that, and things can always change. I know there is a need here for weekend care.

I had a daycare a few years ago, and as others have said, doing weekday care along with weekends burned me out, and I had to quit to reassess my business plans and what was important to me. As others have said, I think its best to keep your weekday spots separate from weekend spots, so that way one group of parents has to pay for m-f, and weekend spots are extra; otherwise you force yourself to work 7 days a week to make what someone else makes who only is open m-f. This is because parents will have schedules that include weekdays and weekend days.

I was thinking I could tell parents they can find someone else to do weekdays, and I can do their weekends and keep it separate.
I think if you can afford the ups/downs of enrollment, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Thinking about the clientele who work weekends, the vast majority of those employees are on the lower end of the pay scale spectrum (as mentioned above).

That typically (not always) equals more issues with paying on time, job security, variable hours, income limits (state assistance).
If it were me, I think I'd rather offer babysitting services over weekend "daycare". People are more apt to pay the higher per hour range over regular daycare spots. But again, only if you can afford the inconsistent income.
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