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What You Need to Know About Overnight Daycare

Child Care SearchParent Resources

26th October 2021

With the demands of modern life, both parents in at least 46% of households in the US are working full-time jobs to ensure they meet the needs of their families. But according to a McKinsey global survey, respondents felt that most kids suffer whenever mothers join the labor force. That’s because the kids may not have someone to look after them. That’s where an overnight daycare comes in.

In some families, mothers are the sole breadwinner, while other families have both parents, but the tough economy compels parents to work even during the wee hours to make ends meet. This creates the need to leave them in a daycare overnight.

But what’s an overnight daycare, and how does it work? Read on;

What’s an Overnight Daycare?

Overnight daycare centers are facilities with caregivers whose role is to care for children left under their watch overnight, outside typical childcare hours. Professionals run these facilities, so parents can be at ease knowing that their kids are in good hands. With an overnight daycare, you can leave your kids to sleepover at the center, or you can opt to pick them early morning hours, depending on your job.

Actually, overnight daycares are a relief for parents who work irregular hours such as overnight shifts or early morning hours. As for the traditional daycare centers, most operate from 5 am to 7 pm and then close. Therefore, these are not ideal for parents looking for daycares that match their irregular job schedules. Single parents are the most affected and can get frustrated because they have few options at their disposal with child care. If you are in such a condition, overnight daycare can make all the difference. But you need to make sure it’s reliable and seek to know their overnight daycare rates.

How Does an Overnight Daycare Work?

Unlike a traditional daycare, where children spend most of their time playing and eating, an overnight daycare takes a different direction because children sometimes have to spend the entire night at the site. So, having adequate and comfortable sleeping facilities is inevitable.

Most importantly, a night daycare needs to have reputable accreditation. The facility needs to meet common licensing standards to offer overnight child care services. Licensing and accreditation vary from one State to the other. Before leaving your children in a night daycare, make sure it has complied with all governing rules. This way, you are guaranteed the safety of your children.

Also, a quality overnight daycare must be well-equipped to offer quality services. For example, children are supposed to sleep in cribs or beds because cots are unacceptable in overnight daycares. Every child gets separate toiletries and clean linens. Besides, the children’s parents must agree on gender and age-appropriate sleeping plans, and the information must be added in the Parent Contract. Rooms meant for overnight care should be equipped with a fire extinguisher and must have proof of approval by the Fire Marshal.

Furthermore, snacks and meals are offered to the children in an overnight daycare. Throughout the night, the kids are supervised to ensure they are comfortable and safe. Providers in quality overnight daycares observe mealtimes, children’s sleeping habits, age-based bedtime routines, sleep disturbances, and so on. Overnight daycare service providers can only run their facility after a go-ahead from their Regional Officer. To get approval, they must submit their operational plan, which covers the number of children under their watch, their ages, and the snack and meal schedule.

Is an Overnight Day Care Important?

With over 40% of Americans working non-typical employment jobs, overnight daycares are gaining momentum. For example, service industry workers, police officers, and healthcare workers are a group of people that mainly work during overnight shifts. And these people are always on the lookout for quality overnight daycares. Single parents are another category of people who desperately search for quality overnight childcare services.

Therefore, the need for an overnight daycare cannot be underrated. For people working for overnight shifts consistently, it’s a challenge to find a reliable overnight babysitter for the entire week or month. So, for them, reliable overnight daycare services mean everything.

If you have a safe place to leave your children overnight, you’ll have peace of mind in the workplace. You’ll know that your children are well-taken off and that they’ll enjoy some quality sleep even in your absence. It is possible to achieve this with a quality overnight daycare that has everything your children may need. The center should have a caring team, and the environment must be conducive enough.

The good thing about overnight daycare centers is that they apply a holistic approach while offering their services. They’ll cover up for you, including helping your kids complete their homework before retiring to bed. Also, if your children love bedtime stories, some providers can help with that.

Hygiene is maintained in these facilities, and they’ll make sure that your children brush their teeth before going to bed. Depending on your schedule, you can pick your child up in the morning, but if you only work during odd or late hours, you can pick them up mid-sleep. Overnight daycare centers are highly flexible and an excellent option to help you keep your job and meet all the parenting demands.

Overnight Day Care vs. In-Home Daycare

Leaving your baby under someone else’s care is a major decision. You have to decide between a home daycare or an overnight daycare. Here’s a breakdown of the two;

In-home daycare

This is a home-based daycare or family child care. It involves looking for a reliable caregiver to look after your children in your home. This is opposed to a daycare center where you drop off your children in a home-like environment. With this option, the caregivers are not necessarily required to undergo formal education in early childhood education to start an in-home daycare. Most develop programs depending on early training philosophies.

Pros of In-home Daycare

  • Cost-effective: According to a recent survey, On average, in-home daycare costs around $199 weekly, while overnight daycare rates could hit $211 per child for the same period. (The rates primarily depend on the provider).
  • Lower teacher-to-child ratio: In an in-home daycare, one teacher is limited to six children, according to the US Office of Personnel Management. This is unlike in the 1: 12 teacher-child ratio in daycare centers.
  • Highly flexible: This kind of program is flexible enough to accommodate you in case of late-night meetings or a weekend out.
  • Consistency: Your children can have the same caregiver from infancy to kindergarten.

Cons of In-home Daycare

  • Less direct educational instruction since the child care providers may lack the same level of training
  • The children may not play as much due to the lack of outdoor play space
  • Potential overexposure to screens, depending on daycare capacity

Overnight Daycare Center

With daycare centers, parents drop off their kids at the site and pick them off later.


  • They are convenient: they operate even in the odd hours, enabling parents to concentrate on their work.
  • Trained caregivers: caregivers in overnight daycare centers are highly trained to offer exceptional child care services.
  • Offer a conducive and safe environment for children: Regardless of parents’ irregular schedules, overnight daycare centers support families, so they function more happily and efficiently.


  • The rotation of daycare workers takes a toll on children
  • Sleep disruptions as children adopt the idea of sleeping at the site or home.
  • Very unsettling because children may sleep in different beds every night, depending on their numbers.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations for Overnight Daycare

An overnight daycare needs to comply with state rules and regulations to operate. The certification for the overnight program differs from the typical daycare program. The provider must register with the State’s office using a unique business name. Also, they must file a federal tax ID (Identification Number) with local and State revenue offices. The business can be registered as a corporation, partnership, LLC, or sole proprietorship.

It’s also critical for the provider to acquire a federal employer ID from the IRS office, then register the number with local and State agencies. The license is obtained from the Revenue Department and must have business insurance. However, keep in mind that legal and regulatory requirements for overnight daycare facilities differ from one State to another. Make sure you understand your State’s requirements to ensure you enroll your child in a facility that complies with the rule of law.

Need Help Finding Child Care?

Children are the future. The more reasons parents invest a lot of time in finding the best overnight daycare services. The wrong overnight daycare center can mess your career up and take a toll on your children. But no need to worry. Wonderschool is your ever-present partner when it comes to finding suitable overnight or daycare services. We understand all the must-have features of a reliable overnight daycare facility. With your children’s interests at heart, we’d love to help you find an ideal center. Get in touch with us for any daycare overnight-related questions!