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Daycare open 24 hours is helping fill void for parents working outside 9 to 5 job

Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 19, 2022

WAYNE, Mich. — As students head back to school, many parents struggle with finding a daycare that can suit atypical work schedules.

This is an issue only exacerbated by the pandemic’s effect on daycare staffing.

Tiny stepping stones Childcare is that solution. Inspired by parents struggling with non-9 to 5 jobs. Before now, they had only been giving daycare options catering to 9-5 parents.

“Was an absolute God-given gift. When it opened, I was like, I was like, so my husband, I was like, need to call right away,” said mom Ashley Reed.

That urgency came after Ashley Reed spent months looking for a daycare for her one-year-old Mikey.

“We are actually still on a waitlist. We haven't removed ourselves from it, but we've been on a waitlist for KinderCare since April,” said Reed. “And every time we would call, they were like, oh, it's gonna be a couple more weeks. And we still haven't found enough workers, or we hired a teacher, but it didn't work out.”

“So, sounds like if I could properly characterize your search for daycare, it was a nightmare,” said WXYZ Reporter Brian Abel.

“Nightmare. Absolutely,” said Reed.

The nightmare is now over after discovering a first for Michigan.

“I'm China Knowles. I'm the owner and founder of Tiny stepping stones Childcare,” said Knowles.

“So, we are a full 24-hour center here at Tiny stepping stones. That means that we're open seven days a week, 24 hours. That means that we don't close. And we are the only 24-hour daycare that is fully open seven days a week, 24-hour care,” said Knowles.

Chyna’s vision for this around-the-clock daycare was born out of her own employees at her other job - running 24-hour elderly care.

“I have a lot of single mothers in my elderly care that have children, or many children, and they want to work. It's just a damper because they don't have the solid childcare,” said Knowles.

Now they do - and Tiny stepping stone’s location is filling the void for other parents too.

“My husband works for Ford, and he works at the Michigan Assembly plant. So, a lot of his coworkers that still work on nights, you know, they really, we really needed a place like this,” said Reed.

“There's parents that work overnight to be with their kid's midday. And I think that it's very important that the hospitals, Amazon, as well as Ford, GM, all, have that solid support behind them because right now, finding employees are extremely tough,” said Knowles.

Now add dropping kids off at school to an abnormal schedule.

“Knowing that I have, if I had this solid support system here where I could drop my kids off and they could feed them and take them to school, where I get off, I take a quick nap and go get my son or my daughter. It’s just, it's a good support system for everybody,” said Reed.

With 32 cameras throughout accessible to parents and staff trained in early education.

Tiny Stepping Stones is poised to be a special place for kids and a daycare model moving forward.

“Now, when I put him in the car in the morning, he doesn't cry. It's like he's excited to go or something. He's like, let's go to daycare,” said Reed.

Chyna says there are openings in Wayne, so if you’ve been looking to no avail, look no further.

Brian Abel at WXYZ first reported this story.