Weekend childcare: Reality of modern life or bad parenting?

Hot on the heels of 24-hour childcare centres is weekend childcare.

Butterflies Child Care Centre in Artarmon in Sydney is one such centre opening their doors at the weekend, offering care on Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 6pm.

Is this a reality of modern life or just bad parenting?

The reality is that many parents work weekends. Sometimes their job requires a 6 day week, sometimes they work one day on the weekend in lieu of a weekday...no matter the reason, demand for weekend childcare is surging.

Director Sandra Vella says many of the parents using the service are shift workers in TV, retail and sometimes even parents who are furthering their education. A dozen families have accessed the service so far.

However the centre isn't just being used by working parents. One family dropped off their children so they could attend a wedding which is where the line is beginning to blur.

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Should childcare be accessible 24 hours a day, even on weekends? It would certainly make life more convenient.

Assistant director Leann Mounteney told the Telegraph, “We had a lot of people asking us about it and we thought, ‘why not?’ Every family has a different lifestyle so opening up on the weekend helps us extend that service.”

While childcare centres offering extended hours are few and far between, demand for the services is growing with more centres likely to offer care outside of regular hours in the future.

Should childcare centre hours be extended? Would you use them?

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