Finding the Best Daycare Schedule for You and Your Child

When searching for the right child care provider, you want an environment where your child can grow — and daycare hours that fit your schedule. Wonderschool is here to guide you through the journey of finding a child care program that checks all the boxes for your family’s unique needs.

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Matching Daycare Options To Your Child's Needs: What To Consider

Balance child care that fits your work hours with choosing a provider who meets your child's unique emotional and physical development needs.

Your Child’s Age

Every age group has its own developmental demands. For example, a daily schedule for infants doesn’t always align with the needs of toddlers and preschoolers. Are you looking to establish a consistent routine for your 6-month-old, or are you looking for enriching learning opportunities for your 3-year-old? Your child care goals will impact the type of care and schedule you choose.

Temperament and Natural Routine

Every child has their own personal patterns of moods and behaviors. Some may thrive in highly social environments for long periods, and some may have a shorter limit before they need to rest (just like adults). Consider your child’s temperament and personality when assessing the best daycare duration for their needs.

Developmental Stage

Infants and toddlers all have their own sets of milestones to reach. Providers should thus offer daily daycare schedules with the right balance of group activities, individual attention, and rest for each developmental stage. Many daycare programs are required by their state’s laws to keep written daily itineraries available for your review.


Aligning Daycare Hours with Your Family's Schedule

Does the drop-off time allow you and your child to get through your entire morning routine? Is there flexibility on pick-up time for days you need to work late? There’s a lot to consider when searching for daycare hours that suit your schedule. Wonderschool lets you customize your search so you can find the right schedule within your budget and zip code.


Choosing the Right Daycare Provider

Child Care Approach

Find a program that aligns with your parental priorities. From forest schools with ample outdoor time to personalized microschool programs, Wonderschool can help you find the right learning philosophy for your family.

Safety & Peace of Mind

Know that your child is in good hands every day. Wonderschool only works with licensed and registered providers and holds all programs to the highest health and safety standards.


You deserve quality child care at a price you can afford. Flexible scheduling can help cut costs so that you don’t have to give up your first choice of provider.


Find a program that offers care exactly when you need it. Wonderschool allows you to tailor your child care search to fit any schedule.


Easing Your Child Into a New Daycare Routine

Be Positive

It’s normal to be nervous about starting daycare. After all, going from spending the whole day with your child to leaving them with new caregivers for several hours takes tons of trust. When parents are anxious, though, kids can tell, and the mood can be contagious. When making the transition to daycare, focus on all the exciting new things your child will learn and experience. They’ll likely pick up on this and have an easier time getting started in their new care setting.

Responding to Your Child’s Emotional Cues

While a positive outlook is important, it’s a balancing act. You also want to give your child space to express their true feelings. If they’ve got the vocabulary to talk about it, let them know it’s okay to feel uncertain before new experiences. If your baby hasn’t learned their words yet, you can ease any apprehension and pack their favorite toy or blanket so they’ve got something familiar. Making sure your child feels safe and secure is important for building trust in your new routine.

Talk to Your New Child Care Providers

Child care staff are trained to handle first-time drop-off jitters. Communicate any concerns so that your care provider can help your child ease into their new daycare routine.

Visit Before Your Child’s First Day

It’s more challenging for children to transition to an environment that’s brand new than one they’ve already experienced. Introduce your child to their new daycare before day one without any other children present. This way, your child can explore while you’re still by their side.


Balancing Socialization and Rest at Daycare

Daycare offers great opportunities for your child to build important social skills as they learn with other children in a group setting. At the same time, your child’s developing brain needs time to recover from the whirlwind of activity and new information.

Finding a child care schedule that fits your schedule supports both these needs. Full-time programs should include a rest schedule that’s consistent with your home routine, especially your child’s weekend nap times. Part-time options should allow for pick-up times that don’t disrupt naptime either.


The Changes and Challenges with a Daycare Schedule

Adjusting to New Routines

From getting dressed and out the door each morning to decompressing after pick-up, your child’s daily life is about to change quite a lot. In the beginning, give yourself extra time in the morning so you don’t rush your child out the door. Leave your calendar open after daycare so your child can rest plenty with you at their side.

Saying Goodbye

A few tears on the first day are a perfectly normal reaction, even if you’ve done everything to prepare. It’s easy to feel sad yourself, too, but saying goodbye with confidence will make it more likely for the crying to subside once you leave. Give your child a big hug and reassure them that they’ll have a great day before making a quick exit.

Addressing Setbacks

Sometimes, kids get caught up in the excitement of the first day and everything seems great, but then they’re crying at drop-off the second week. This is all part of the process as your child gets used to going to daycare each day. Be patient with them — and yourself — if the adjustment process isn’t linear.


Let Wonderschool Help Find the Best Daycare Schedule for Your Family

You deserve to find high-quality child care during the hours you need. Wonderschool’s child care finder lets you tailor your search to suit your exact needs. Whether you need more scheduling flexibility or help finding affordable programs, Wonderschool is here to make your search easier. Get started today and find trusted child care to help you and your family thrive.

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