Which Days Does Daycare Remain Closed?
Formal daycares will remain closed on the following days
- Public holidays such as Thanksgiving Day , Veterans day, Labor Day, Juneteenth, Memorial Day, Independence Day, New Year’s Day
- Religious holidays, such as Christmas Day, Easter, Diwali, All Saints Day, Ascension Day
- Sundays -* some daycares also remain closed on Saturdays
- Any other unscheduled day that is declared a public holiday
- Emergencies such as bad weather or maintenance purposes. Maintenance days allows the daycare to conduct maintenance and are used for repairs, cleaning, improvement, and worker vacation.
- Daycare’s own schedule closure dates- communicated before hand
Most daycares have an annual plan of scheduled closures. The formal daycares are normally closed on all such scheduled days.
How many Days A Year Should Daycare have Scheduled Closures
The number of days in a year that a daycare can remain closed depends on the daycare. Most formal daycares will have about 3-4 weeks of closure an year, which is considered standard and normal. Usually, they total to about 15-20 days per year. Anything more than this is unreasonable and is too much.
The planned number of days annually that a daycare will remain closed is usually set out in the contract. In the contract the daycare providers should include the number of days for closures. The policy allows both daycare and the parents to arrange ahead of time for alternative care. If you have a home daycare, the same should go into the contract that you have signed.
Nonetheless, a daycare may as a matter of emergency randomly need to close more often than the set number of days. These days may be random or consecutive. For instance some unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather or illnesses can force a daycare to close.
Less than 5 consecutive days is reasonable for daycare to remain closed for whatever reason. But a daycare closing for over a week consecutively without any reasonable reason is too much.
Should you Still Pay for Days When Daycares are Closed?
You will be expected to pay your daycare even on the days that they are closed. Many moms wonder why do daycares still charge for the days they have remained closed. You still pay for such days because essentially when you enroll for daycare you are paying to keep your spot and not the days that you have actually attended daycare.
Regardless of whether the closure was scheduled or just random and an emergency, you will still be charged for these days. It is normal for the daycare to expect full pay, just like how you would pay if you keep your child at home deliberately.
Should you Still Pay for Days your Child Missed Daycares?
Just like when you pay daycare even for days they are closed, you also pay for days that the daycare did not offer any services to you. These are days that you kept your child home because they were sick or simply because you were available to look after them.
Regardless of the reason why your child missed or did not attend daycare, you are charged and expected to pay full amount. You pay because your spot was already reserved. You pay for that spot whether you are using it or not.
As such even on the days that your child stays home and does not go to daycare; you are still billed the full time. The practice is normal and standard across most formal daycares.
If you do not pay, you will most likely lose your spot and have to look for other alternatives for childcare. Given how hard it is to get into a daycare, then it expected that you continue paying to keep your spot at the daycare when when your child was not in attendance. It ensures that there is a place to come back to when they open.
Is it Fair for Daycare to Bill for Services not Rendered
Daycares are just like any other business. They need to meet bills and other needs that are independent on the fact that they are closed or not. As such looking at the business side of it, it makes sense for daycare to bill parents for closed or unattended days because they need to maintain the facility.
The below reasons are why it is fair and reasonable that daycare bills for days it remains closed and children were not in attendance;
- Even when closed the daycare has to still meet the costs of services that are running when the daycare is closed.
- Some of the services such as rent, utilities, and supplies are billed monthly whether the daycare is running or not.
- Employees at the daycare also deserve paid vacation and PTO even on the days closed.
Paying for daycares when your child is at home is important and beneficial to you as you need your childcare provider to take time off, recharge and avoid burnout .Therefore when the daycare closes, they will charge you whether the child was cared for or not.
Many working moms have a hard time understanding why the daycare would charge them for the days they remain closed. As long as the closures are reasonable, scheduled, and communicated in advance, it should not be considered unreasonable for daycare to charge you for these days.
Convenient Childcare Alternatives when Daycare Closes Randomly/Last Minute
You should always go through your daycares schedule closures ahead of time and plan for alternative reliable childcare options. However some closures are random and unplanned for, leaving working moms without a form of childcare in the last minute.
In case your daycare needs to close as a matter of emergency you should find a viable alternative for daycares. Here are some of the convenient last minute alternatives you have in case your daycare closes due to bad weather or repair or whatever reasons;
1. Temporary Nanny/Sitter – Good for Urgent Care
Hire a temporary nanny or babysitter. They offer you backup care when your daycare has temporarily or randomly closed on short notice. Since the random daycare closure must have affected a lot of other parents, ask other parents if they want to group and pay for sitters.
2. Friends and Family- Low Cost and Convenient
Ask friends and or your family to help out. If any of your parents are around, they will be willing to watch your baby whenever the daycare closes on short notice or due to bad weather.
3. Use Paid Time off
If you have paid time off, you can manage to care for your baby when the daycare closes at the last minute.
4. Partner- Last Minute Option
You and your partner can alternatively look after the baby on different days as needed till the daycare opens.
5. Work-from-Home – Popular Alternative to Daycare
If you have a work-from-home option, you can consider keeping your baby at home whenever the daycare closes on short notice or due to bad weather.
6. Mom Friends- Easy to Get Urgent Childcare
Ask within your mom’s friends group if anyone would be interested in watching your baby. Some of your friends that you are connected with can be working-from-home parents or stay-at-home parents and would not mind babysitting your child when your daycare closes at the last minute.
7. Daycare Workers
Ask the daycare workers at the center if they would consider watching your kid at your home. See if any of them are looking to make extra cash over the period the daycare is closed by watching kids.
Alternatively look for school-aged kids/ teenagers who may be home at this point and ask if they may consider watching your kid.
8. Camps- Good for Older Kids
Look into day camps for last minute childcare. Day camps offer child-care for kids above the age of 3 who are also potty trained.
If you have YMCA near where you live, you can consider them for whenever your daycare has closed either on scheduled closure or random unplanned closures or bad weather. Usually, YMCAs offer childcare for school holidays or whenever daycares are not normally running.
9. After- School Child Care Centers
Some after- school child care centers may accept drop-ins and can help you last minute when your daycare closes without prior notice.
Alternatively some places have “gap care” or places that can take a child for a day at a time without long-standing contracts. They are perfect for a day or two when your daycare has closed last minute.
Also look for facilities such as the kid’s gym, which also do daily childcare and charge daily independently. They also have other things like karate, soccer center, gymnastics, etc.
May daycares are forced to close down due to bad weather. It is hence understandable and reasonable that they will ask you to keep your child home or look for alternatives. It is however wrong for the daycare to make frequent random closures. It denies you adequate time to arrange for alternative care.
If your daycare has a lot of random and unplanned closures, you should consider switching. If the closures don’t work for you then this care situation just may not be the best fit for you. It is hence important to have a list of reliable emergency contact of people who can babysit your child on short notice.