Redditors Explain Why Daycare Providers Should Be Paid for Time Off

Parents break down the rationale behind paying a daycare provider even when they aren't open. Because, yeah, they deserve a break, too.

Preschool teacher coloring with students
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Raise your coffee mug if starting your child in daycare feels overwhelming. It's normal to have a lot of questions about what to expect, so it's a good thing Reddit is always there with answers. A new parent recently shared a concern about their daycare center in a thread and, in kind, parents with more experience navigating the ins and outs of daycare had a lot to say in response.

"We go to a home daycare and she is going to be closed for an entire week, but is still expecting payment for the week she's not available," the original poster said, adding, "Is this normal by you? Are you at a formal facility or a home daycare?"

Pretty much unanimously, Redditors explained that all employees need time off.

And can we just stress that especially the saints among us who care for our kids deserve days away from nap schedules and snotty noses? Because where would we parents be without these incredible humans who take care of our kids so our families can function?

"Yes, this is normal for my home daycare, and for every center I know of," confirmed one Redditor, while someone else said, "Yes, this is normal for my son's home daycare. And I'm happy to pay because daycare providers deserve paid vacation and holidays too."

As many posters pointed out, paying a daycare provider when they take time off is "kind of like giving an employee PTO (paid time off)."

"I've done centers and in-home," shared one parent. "Yes it is normal for your in-home provider to have at least one week of paid vacation. Compare it to any other job where they would normally have some PTO to use." Many parents advised that the original poster check their contract, like this person who said, "For example, our provider (also a home daycare) receives 5 days of paid vacation, 5 paid sick days, and 5 paid 'annual leave' days that she's used when her own kids have appointments, etc."

As many other posters noted, you are paying a daycare provider to keep your child's spot at the center, not per day. "Childcare worker here!" someone attested, adding about paid time off, "Every place I've ever worked at has done this. They say you pay to keep the child's spot at the daycare. Not for each day he/she goes."

"You should look at this like paying tuition at a private school—you pay for your place," seconded someone else.

Plenty of other folks had more thoughts on why it's so important to pay a daycare worker for time off. "Daycares still have expenses whether your kid is there or not," noted one poster, while another commented, "I just want to point out that home daycares are most likely open more than 8 hours a day. I bet she is putting in 10 to 11 [hours] a day to accommodate different work schedules for parents."

Another person added, "Ours described it as you still pay your mortgage and car payment when you aren't using them like if on vacation. Same idea."

According to those who shared on Reddit, the only time some centers didn't ask parents to pay (including my son's) is when they had to close for COVID-19. Finally, several comments in this thread echoed what this person shared about the support from the group, "As a daycare provider, thank you."

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