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What is a 24-hour childcare center?

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Quick Answer

A 24-hour childcare center is open most hours and days of the year and provides supervision and care for children of parents with non-traditional work hours. Twenty-four-hour childcare centers are unique because most childcare centers are open from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m or 6 p.m.

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Full Answer

Twenty-four-hour childcare centers are on the rise due to the demand from parents who work night shifts and who are unable to find affordable child care. These centers accommodate a variety of work schedules and provide services such as meals, field trips, education and sleep. A parent who starts work at 2 a.m. can leave her child at the center before the child's bedtime so that the child gets an adequate amount of sleep. Some centers, such as A.V.A. 24-hr Child Care, are open 365 days a year and offer parents three full days of childcare over the weekend.

Parents can enroll their children full time or part time, depending on their budgets and work days. Cost depends on a child's age and the type of service parents choose. Full-time care can cost up to $200 a week, while part-time care is available by the hour. States such as Texas require childcare providers working in 24-hour centers to obtain a special permit, so parents need to be careful to choose a legitimate center.

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