Daycare Only for "Non-Working Mothers"

So I've been looking into daycare programs for little Bamm-Bamm, as I've been told that I need to get him on waiting lists ASAP. We wouldn't need daycare very many hours a week, and not until late August/early September, but obviously we want good care.

Yesterday, I called a Methodist church that has been highly recommended to me by people I trust, only to be told that their daycare program (called Mother's Day Out, which doesn't seem to be an uncommon name for daycare programs) is "only for non-working mothers."


Now it could be that the person on the phone just told me that because they don't keep babies past 2:00 in the afternoon, and for most people who work, those hours aren't feasible. I think Jonathan and I may be able to swing it, though.

But -- what if it really is "only for non-working mothers"? Where do I start? There are so many problems with this, even if we're just talking about heteronormative households:

  • I object to the very idea: there's no such thing as a non-working mother (or parent in general, for that matter).
  • What if the mother works and the father stays at home? The at-home dad would still need days out to run errands. Would this kind of family be ineligible?
  • What if both parents work (say, for the sake of argument, the mother works part-time) because they have to in order to pay the bills? Would this kind of family be ineligible?
  • What if the mother works from home? Would this kind of family be ineligible?
  • What about single-parent households in which the parent (father or mother) HAS to work, or the family has NO money? Would this kind of family be ineligible?

I want to join this church and use this daycare, but if they would actually ban us from the daycare program because I am employed, that's a huge red flag. I don't want to be put in a position of concealing the fact that I have a job.


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I think you ought to tell them that you volunteer for the composition program.

Mother's Day Out

I experienced daycare as both a working and a non-working mother and want to give a little insight on the idea of a mother's day out program. Those programs cost far less than regular daycare (even at the same place) because they are seen as service to the community. Realistically, stay-at-home moms or dads have less income than a two-income family. That doesn't mean that they don't get stir-crazy though, and there is a HUGE psychological need to get out even for one afternoon and see real-live grownups and talk to them face-to-face. The one I used in WV did take stay-at-home dads too and had a few.


Okay, I didn't realize it cost less. Ideally I'd still like to use this daycare and pay a rate that's equal to what other daycares charge. I guess I'll have to talk to them and see what's what.


That sounds like something that caters to "mother's day out" rather than an actual true daycare.

You should look into preschools. They do have them for early age. We wound up in an official preschool because of Tristan's premature birth, and we went to Easter Seals which was integrated, roughly 50/50 with children who had "disabilities" (ranging from as mild as T's premature birth which meant he needed gross motor therapy for three years to children who had cerebral palsy or other diagnoses) and those who did not.

There's a difference between daycare and preschool. In the preschool we used, all of the teachers had a master's degree in education in some form. Some were in elementary ed, some were special ed, etc., but the classroom was very organized because of this, and it was like night and day compared to what I observed from some friends' experiences.

Either way, it's important for you to find a good fit for you, and I'm a big believer in the instincts.

PS I just realized that the commenter above clarified the mother's day out distinction. So, there ya go.


I think most "mother's day

I think most "mother's day out" programs are set up so each mother is responsible for a day of "daycaring." Essentially, you are an active participant in keeping the program running (hence the lower rate). You might ask if that is the requirement? Maybe they assume you might not be available for your turn since you work?

This is how the "mother's day out" program worked at the church my Mom used for me.

Could be...

I'd be happy to participate in the program...I need to call and get the straight scoop on what their policies are.

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