Daycare For The Whole Family

Actress Nicole Kidman and singer Keith Urban attend the 57th Annual BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer) AP PHOTO

At the Lane household, the day starts softly and quickly builds to a crescendo.

Dad's out the door before seven. Mom Kathleen oversees the morning rush.

Then it's time for Kathleen to go to work, making house calls as a physical therapist.

It's a lot to juggle for this working mother of three.

"I need a wife," she says. "I could use a wife."

So, as CBS News Correspondent Mika Brzezinski reports, the Lanes have found the next best thing at daycare: full service daycare.

It's where 4-year-old Emmet spends his days, and the older boys have all their activities after school.

"They have music, they have sign language and they have Spanish," says their mother.

It's also where she drops off her dry cleaning and picks up dinner that's cooked and ready to go.

The daycare industry in this country is undergoing a transformation. Once they took care of the kids, now they take care of the family by replacing support systems once provided by extended family and community.

"They look at that place as their neighborhood, where they make friends," says Linda Mason, who runs 475 daycare centers including the Lane's. "That becomes their primary place of support and friendship today.

"That's their neighborhood."

Mason says this approach faces up to the reality of today's working parents.

"For working parents their only time for parenting is that little bit of time in the evening between the time they get home from work and they go to bed," says Mason.

Daycare allows Kathleen to pick up the boys, make it to baseball practice and use the time she would have spent on errands for her kids.

The truth is, she spends just a few minutes here and a few minutes there, "but it makes a big difference when you have so little minutes," she says.

That leaves her with time for the really important things like checking out a worm.

Proof that she's not leaving her parenting to daycare, just all the other stuff.
  • Jaime Holguin

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