How to pick childcare when you don’t work a set schedule

Childcare Options When You Don’t Have a Set Schedule

how to find childcare when you work irregular hours

As a working mom or grandma, one of your greatest needs is likely to be stable childcare that you trust. Your childcare situation can make or break your working experience, giving you peace when things are working well and turmoil when they aren’t. What happens when you do not have a job with reliable hours? How can you find good childcare despite your work situation? This is the mom blogger problem for sure and the mom blogger or work at home mom solution!

Check Around with Daycares

Did your conversation with a potential daycare get shut down immediately when you mentioned your crazy work schedule? Keep looking around until you find one that fits your needs. Some daycares are beginning to offer a little more availability than they once did. Check several daycares before giving up, as not all of them are run with the same rules.

Drop-In Childcare

This is an option that is becoming more available. Drop-in childcare centers give you flexibility in your work schedule, as they are often open beyond regular daycare hours. They don’t always require much notice, so they can be a good option when you don’t know your hours too far in advance. Look around and be sure to do your work as a mom. Drop in on them while they’ve got your child and others to make sure all is right with the center (all centers).

Private Childcare

Private childcare, or dayhomes, can be much more flexible than daycares. Because it is run out of someone’s home, there is more leeway when it comes to the rules and hours. Speak to the dayhome owner and negotiate options for hours and payment.

Friends and Family

Friends and family may be more willing to work around your unusual work hours. Talk to your parents, other family members and friends and see if they might be willing to watch your children. This option will give you the peace of mind that your children are in a home with people who already love them.

It will also make the transition easier for your children. For example, if you work a night shift and your children go to stay at their grandma’s house, they will feel like they are simply having a sleepover. This eases the potential stress for both you and your children.


In your situation, a combination of childcare options may be the answer that is right for you. Maybe you can use a drop-in childcare center during the daytime and evening, and rely on friends and family to care for your children at night. There are several combinations of options, and you will eventually find the perfect fit of options for the needs of your family.

Keep Your Ears Open

If you work in a place where all employees are dealing with uncertain hours, you may be able to get tips from co-workers. Ask them how they are dealing with their childcare situations. See if there are any local options for childcare that works around varying schedules. Find out about private dayhomes that others might be using. A dayhome provider might be more willing to consider odd hours if there is more than one family utilizing those hours.

Working around a varied work schedule is not easy when you are a parent. There are many things to consider, and you will want to look around and explore all options. Do your part to research the options available to you, and you will eventually find the right fit.

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