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Real Moms Reveal the Ways Their Daycares Are Perfect for Working Parents

When it comes time to picking a daycare, many parents rightfully focus on factors like its location, philosophy and reputation. Those are all certainly important, but for working moms, let’s keep it real: Convenience is a huge selling point too.

So just what makes a daycare convenient? We asked our friends and family—as well as Working Mother’s Instagram followers—about the perks their preschools and daycares offer that make their lives as working moms oh-so-much easier. Here’s what they said:

Long hours …

“The daycare my kids go to has hours that are incredibly flexible and long. You can drop off as early as 7 a.m. and pick up as late as 6:30 p.m.” —Lauren, Merrick, NY

Plenty of play space …

“The Early Head Start daycare on the Spokane Falls Community College campus in Spokane, WA, is phenomenal. Beautiful facility with great playgrounds for the different age groups, plus a large indoor space separate from the classrooms so they could still run around when the weather was bad. They didn’t have any TVs in the classrooms—I’m so irritated that so many daycares we looked at play cartoons for the toddlers. I shouldn’t pay a mortgage to have my kids watch TV. Everything was play-based and I loved it. Because we were in school, we received funding from the state and paid about $70/month.” —Katie, Spokane, WA

Dry cleaning and prepared dinners …

“My daycare offers dry cleaning and prepared dinners that you can preorder and have it available for when you pick up your child. It’s an amazing service!” —Laura, Whippany, NJ

Field trips—with optional parental participation …

“I'm a huge fan of my son's preschool. It's open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., provides snacks throughout the day with a hot lunch option, and most of the teachers email pictures each day. Once the kids turn 3, the parents can—but don't have to—accompany the kids on field trips. We pay $1,100/month, which is pretty affordable for Los Angeles." —Rachel, Los Angeles

Friday night babysitting …

“My daycare tries to schedule all parties for 3 p.m. or later, so working parents can make it. They also have ‘back-to-school’ conferences at night and graduation on the weekend. And they provide breakfast, snack and lunch, which means I'm a little less stressed every night! They also offer 'parents' night out' quite frequently, where you can pay extra and drop the kids off on a Friday night for a few hours." —Nicole, Hillsborough, NJ

Lots of meals …

“My son's preschool offers fairly long days (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), flexible pick-up and drop-off times, and a lots of hot meals, including breakfast, lunch and snacks. No lunchbox-prepping for me! They also offer an affordable 'camp' (babysitting service) during holidays and staff development days. We were considering a more 'prestigious' preschool, but my husband convinced me convenience is just as important (plus, the school is wonderful too), and he was absolutely right. (Hear that, honey?)" —Audrey, New York City

Potty-training pros …

“My son is no longer in daycare, but I loved the one he went to! They sent out daily reports and pictures throughout the day that always managed to come at the right time for a much-needed smile. They helped us tremendously when it came to potty training. They actually initiated it and provided the consistency needed during the work week. The staff, whether they worked directly with my son or not, all were hands-on, which was appreciated. I knew they were all looking out for his wellbeing. I miss the constant communication and feeling-like-family atmosphere now that we are in public school.” —Stefanie, Staten Island, NY

Updates throughout the day …

“We love the daycare our son attends. His teacher sends us texts throughout the day of pictures, videos and milestones. We can quickly drop off our kids without being held up, the center is organized and clean! The hours are flexible and the cost is reasonable.” —Jenece, Burlington, NC

Updates via app …

“I love that our daycare uses an app where teachers can upload photos of my kids throughout the day. I can see them all at once or get notifications when I feel like being distracted by each new picture. It puts my mind at ease since I know what they're up to there.” —Meredith, Bellemore, NY

Lots of enrichment, including kindergarten prep …

“Both my kids went through the same center, and I feel like the staff is an extension of my family in caring for and loving my children. One of the perks of a center that is connected with my workplace (a university/hospital setting) is that they ONLY close for university-approved holidays. Also, if we have inclement weather, they are open if the university is open. They offer wonderful healthy meals and also have a vegetarian option every day. They also have a kindergarten-prep program for the older kids which goes a long way in helping the kids be prepared for kindy. They offer Spanish enrichment, a full-time art teacher and another teacher who works with them on movement matters (tumbling-type things).” —Marianne, Raleigh/Durham, NC

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