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11 posts from May 2010

May 26, 2010

The Evening Shift

My guest blogger today is someone I admire for her parenting and social media skills. Angie Henderson Moncada is a writer, wife and mom as well as managing director of strategy/pr at (add)ventures and a professor at Miami International University of Art & Design.  She is currently working on a social memoir, Becoming Mrs. Moncada, and writes regularly as @angiemoncada on Twitter and on her blog, The Virtual Watercooler.  

Below is Angie's take on how most of us squeeze as much as we can into a day -- and night. Can any of you parents relate? I sure can.



At 5:00 the clock watching begins. If I don’t shut down and pack up by 5:17, it will be “You’re late again,” along with my kiss when I pick up my son from school.


By six we’re nearly home, and I’ve long since adjusted my mirror to watch his face as I watch the road as I check my phone for emails at red lights and we talk about his day.


We cook.  We eat.  Dishes are washed. Cars are vroomed across the living room tile. Then it is time for the bath and our hours have been used up again already. I drag out story time most of the time, hoping for a few more minutes to cuddle until he sleeps.


When he does it’s back downstairs to log on, log in, update, plan, write. Sometimes instead I teach, I network, or, if I’m lucky, I leave the laptop in my bag and squeeze in face to face on the couch with the man I love.


We head to bed when it's already tomorrow, then I can’t help but get up again. Yes, inspiration strikes at odd hours on the evening shift at home.




May 25, 2010

Recruiters want to see candidates with work life balance

My husband puts in long hours at the office. On the weekends, he plays basketball with a bunch of guys. He's been doing this for years. Not only is it good exercise, but he's made some amazing work connections. I There are so many examples of why having an outside life makes someone a better employee. But did you realize it could affect you in the job search process. 

Recruiter Tim Tolan of Sanford Rose Associates says he has interviewed candidates who noticeably had no work life balance. And, it's a big strike against them.

On his blog, Fistful of Talent, Tolan writes: It's usually during the offer phase when we discuss the financial impact of leaving their current job and having the new employer (my client) push out their start date. I'm always a little worried (OK floored) when they say "No problem, with the delayed start date. I rarely take vacation days and the company owes me for 6 weeks of accrued PTO." WOW! WHAT?! HUH?

Another question that also raises my eyebrows early in the process (and causes some concern) is when you ask a candidate what they do for fun when they are not at work and they reply "I just like to work". Oh no. Unimpressed. OR, " I work 60-70 hours a week. Sorry. Still not impressed. All work - no play. Sad.

Burn-outis a real dilemma for employees and for their company. Tolan says he applauds companies that force employees to take time off and use their PTO. "I encourage managers/executives to get calendars each quarter from their employees to ensure they have a plan to take time off. While it helps to make sure you have enough staff on site during certain weeks or for company deadlines, it also tells the story as to who has good work-life-balance."

Tolan adds: "In case you don't get it, NOBODY CARES that all you do is work. In fact, it could raise a big red flag to some potential employers who might decide to "pass" on candidates who don't have the right work-life balance. " 

Did you ever stop to think how work life balance might affect your job hunt? Did you ever think that putting in too much time at the office could hurt your chances of getting another job?

May 24, 2010

Fitting marriage/relationships into your work life balance

Today is my 23 wedding anniversary. I have to admit that making time for my husband is the trickiest part of the work life balance equation. Deadlines I can't blow off. My kids, they need me to take them to school or check their homework. But my husband, sometimes he's the easiest one to push to the back burner. Yet, over the years, he speaks up and lets me know loud and clear when he needs attention, too. I think the big key to fitting marriage in with careers and kids for us has been date night. It doesn't always involve spending money. Sometimes, it's just walking on South Beach or roaming the bookstore, but we are together and kid free.


In honor of my anniversary, I thought I would post one of my favorite columns from a few years ago with great advice from author/marriage counselor Joel Block on making relationships work when you work a lot.




The Miami Herald Balancing Act Column.

Miami Herald (Miami, FL)

| September 07, 2005 | Copyright

After a 10-hour day at the office in Miami, Anne-Marie Estevez returns home to her family just in time to gobble down dinner and catch up on the day's events. As her husband tucks the girls in bed, Estevez often disappears into her home office and re-emerges around midnight.

Joaquin Luaces says he is "super proud" of his wife, who has become one of the top labor lawyers in the country. But he also pines for more alone time with her. It is a sentiment increasingly echoed by spouses in dual-income homes.

Take the pulse of the work force and you will find that in the work/life juggle, marriage often gets sacrificed. As work hours lengthen and home life is invaded by technology, many in relationships find they must try harder to connect as a couple.

Attitude is everything

Nationally, the odds that any marriage will last still are only 50-50, a figure that hasn't budged in decades.

But what has changed is attitudes toward marriage, as more women contribute equally to family income and bring home job-related stress.

Too often, people successful in their careers count on their marriages being low maintenance, says Joel Block, a clinical psychologist specializing in couples therapy. But to achieve success in relationships too, Block says, you need a plan to balance love and work.

"Many people are busy doing big deals all day and night and don't think about the value of their marriage," says Block, author of Making It Work When You Work a Lot. "But when you think about it, what deal is worth 50 percent of their assets and emotional wreckage?"

Shifting from worker or boss to spouse or lover can prove a painful transition. Block says it starts with the right attitude. You may come home from work overwhelmed and overtired but show basic politeness.

If you only have 10 minutes together before going to bed, "say something that will nurture your relationship, not tear it down."

Getting creative

Some couples are breaking new ground, negotiating arrangements and boundaries for time together.

Laura Kaplan, 35, a team leader for Citigroup's Private Banking group, says she and her husband, Jeffrey, a Miami securities lawyer, struggle to find time for each other. They are the parents of two toddlers, and she admits to a nighttime routine that includes reading documents in bed.

"It's a constant effort to talk and find out what's going on," Laura says.

But the Kaplans figured out another way to connect - lunch dates.

Connecting as a couple, particularly for those who travel or work odd shifts, may mean engaging in love on the run.

"There are all kinds of ways to touch each other," says Jaine Carter, author of He Works She Works - Successful Strategies For Working Couples. "Sometimes it is just the warmth of conversations on the telephone, e-mail or voice message."

Marcy Orth, 47, owner of a small film-production company, works odd hours and grabs quality time with her husband, an attorney, whenever she can get it.

"Sometimes that means riding with him to his office or going to Starbucks together for 10 minutes to get coffee," she says.

"But the truth is, a lot of our intimate conversations take place on the phone."

Learn to negotiate

Experts say you should speak up about your needs - whether it's more help with housework or quality time. Rather than criticizing his or her work habits, negotiate for change, Block suggests.

Luaces and Estevez, both 37, high-school sweethearts and parents of three young daughters, have agreed that one night a week after the girls fall asleep, they will sit by the pool, sip wine and eat cheese.

Being relieved of pressure from her spouse to detach from work at night has helped her marriage, Estevez says.

"As our careers have grown, we have hit bumps in the road," admits Luaces, who owns a real estate company.

"But I realize you don't get to where my wife is out without support from your husband."

Block says you should make your spouse a priority.

Include the spouse in your work or outside activities whenever possible.

Buster Castiglia, 62, president and chief executive of Continental National Bank of Miami, and his wife, Esther Castiglia, 59, a consultant at Lewis B. Freeman & Partners, have been married 38 years.

The two spend time together volunteering for social organizations, attending each other's business dinners, even traveling to blues bars to hear their son's music.

"We try to do things together anytime there's an opportunity," Buster says.

"But we read each other's signals and respect when someone's had a bad day and wants some time alone."

Intimate relationships, Block insists, are not incompatible with dynamic careers.

"Stress is inevitable," he says. "Struggling is optional."

May 20, 2010

Loud, clear message to Novartis about discrimination against women

Two court cases could make a HUGE difference for women in the workforce.

On Wednesday, a jury handed a victory of $250 million in punitive damages to women at the drug company Novartis, finding the company discriminated against women by paying and promoting them less than men. That was coupled with an award of $3.3 million in compensatory damages to a dozen women.

Plaintiff lawyer David Sanford told the AP he believed the award was the largest ever from a jury in a gender discrimination case. He said the court will arrange a system so all the 5,600 women in the class-action litigation can receive up to $300,000 in a process that could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the damages.

The trail gave a pretty ugly glimpse into an all too familiar scenario. The trial featured two women currently employed by Novartis and 12 others describing their efforts to advance in a company that favored men in pay and promotion and failed to act when complaints were made. Other witnesses described an "old boys network" that punished women who became pregnant, finding ways to spoil their career, pressure them to take shorter leaves, or to work while on leave.

But this could be just the beginning of big companies paying big bucks because they discriminate against women. Wal-Mart Stores is facing an even bigger class-action lawsuit than Novartis alleging gender discrimination over pay for female workers. It could cost the world's largest private employer billion in legal damages.  

I think there's a strong message being sent by these cases - that gender discrimination is costly. Could fear of legal recourse change the corporate culture at big companies? I believe it could.  I believe we will see change ahead, especially if the women at Wal-Mart prevail. How do you think employers will react to these big lawsuits? Do you think gender discrimination goes on at your workplace? If so, would fear of lawsuits create behavior change?


(Editor's note: The corporate name, Novartis, was incorrectly spelled in a prior version of this blog post. My apologies!) 


May 19, 2010

How to resolve workplace conflict

Do you ever feel like you would rather pick up trash on the side of the highway that go into work and deal with the jerk sitting next to you?

I have to answer yes to that one. Last week, I was invited to attend a workshop on how to deal with difficult personalities at work. I couldn't make it to the workshop but I talked to two women who did attend. They were amazed by how the advice they received could be applied to situations at work and at home.

Regardless of whether you have a conflict with your boss, employee or co-worker, the message from experts is Speak Up! Has that ever worked for you?

May 13, 2010

Workaholic and having fun

I originally set out to meet with two women who had broken the glass ceiling at their law firm. The 37-year-old firm, Becker & Poliakoff, had voted these women to its 7-person management committee and I wanted to find out how women fare once they break the glass ceiling. When I sat down to talk with Yolanda Cash Jackson and Rosa de la Camara, I found the two women fascinating. Neither has a spouse or kids but they both have a rich life filled with family and friends and they have careers that they LOVE. They will shape the future of the law firm and I believe will make major contributions to the community.

I changed the angle and wrote a different take on work life balance --- a look at what happens when you blend the two. Below is my column in The Miami Herald. I'd love to hear your thoughts on women who are redefining work life balance.

The Miami Herald

Networking key to success for busy lawyer-lobbyist


Yolanda Cash Jackson meets with University of Florida Law School Dean Robert Jerry in Fort Lauderdale.
Yolanda Cash Jackson meets with University of Florida Law School Dean Robert Jerry in Fort Lauderdale.
It is lunchtime at the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Becker & Poliakoff and Yolanda Cash Jackson is doling out hugs to several dozen women in power suits and designer dresses gathered in the conference room. As they swap business cards and laughs over fried okra, Jackson encourages conversation around the room. She's determined that her guests leave with new contacts.

Networking is a skill Jackson, 51, has honed in her evolution from a litigator to a lobbyist, a big reason she wields unique power both at her law firm in Fort Lauderdale and the Capitol in Tallahassee. She has created this Sister to Sister group to give African-American women of influence a place to renew friendships and make connections. She's also taken some members of the group shopping -- or rather, ``relationship building.'' ``I use every opportunity because my work and my social life are intertwined,'' Jackson tells me.

I am intrigued. For anyone who sees only the negative in making life about work, there's Jackson to prove them wrong. Hearing this woman enthusiastically describe her jam-packed schedule makes me rethink my whole concept of work-life balance. Jackson has blurred the line, and she's having a ball doing it.

She's the new breed of woman for whom work and all of its psychic rewards provide a fulfilling life. Sure she might experience fatigue and frustration at times, but she's able to cope because she's 110 percent immersed in something she finds meaningful.

``There are a lot of women who love their job, are fulfilled by their achievements and are in a place personally and professionally where they are treading new ground,'' says Rosa de la Camara, a Miami partner at Becker & Poliakoff.

Jackson moves through the halls of the state Capitol, hacks through a round of golf or hosts a fundraising barbecue with a smile that has become her signature. Her day could start with a networking breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and end with a client dinner 14 hours later.


Law partner Bernie Friedman taught Jackson the ropes in Tallahassee and gets a thrill seeing her in action: ``On the fourth floor of the Capitol, sometimes there will be 150 lobbyists in between the House and Senate. They will be worried crazy. Yolanda will be there with a great smile, talking to everyone and you can tell she enjoys it.''

Jackson's social nature goes back to her childhood, growing up in Miami's Liberty City. She earned badges as a Girl Scout alongside friends who now hold top positions in city, county and state government. Her father, a principal, held community meetings in the front yard.

Jackson, widowed at the young age of 35, remains close to her 27-year-old stepdaughter and visits her childhood neighborhood when she needs grounding. ``My 80-year-old mom tells me to get in the car and drive to [Liberty] city. She tells me, `Check on the people who helped you get where you are, because soon they will be gone.' ''

Outside her hometown, Jackson made key social connections in college, particularly through her Delta Sigma Theta sorority at the University of Florida. ``I love Delta Days at the Capitol,'' she says. After a short retail career, she graduated from UF's law school and now sits on the law school's board of trustees -- the only African-American woman at this time. That huge accomplishment has opened more doors giving her exposure to lawyers, judges and business people from around the state.


Jackson represents big corporations and health plans, but clearly she has claimed her niche as an advocate for minorities, representing Florida's historically black colleges and universities as well as municipalities. ``Because I understand my community, I am a better advocate for its issues, '' she says.

But having passion for what you do means being disappointed when a vote doesn't go your way. Florida legislator Hazelle Rogers says she has seen Jackson fighting through tears, passionately debating why legislators should continue to fund black colleges.

Beyond the evident passion, there's the reason initially I set out to learn more about Jackson. She and Rosa de la Camara are the first women to be elected to the seven-person management committee at their 37-year old Fort Lauderdale law firm. Having broken the glass ceiling, the women are initiating change, bringing perspective that differs from their white male counterparts.

Both women say that they openly have questioned decisions made only because ``it's the way things always have been done'' and they regularly voice concerns on behalf of the firm's diverse group of associates and staff.

Now, Jackson wants to teach younger women to meld work and life and have fun. She recently brought a 22-year-old female college student with her to a national conference of state legislators in Atlanta. Jackson took the young woman to a dinner meeting and to meet a top executive at AT&T. She brought her to a recognition ceremony, a shopping excursion, and to a club. ``She was exhausted. I told her she needs to work on her stamina,'' Jackson jokes.

Meanwhile, Jackson made an impression on her protégé. When they returned, the student posted this on Facebook: ``Went on my first business trip. Learned to work hard, play hard.''

© 2010 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

May 11, 2010

Fitting marriage into work life balance

We all know that marriage isn't easy, especially with all the stress we bring home each day.

Rhonda Ricardo, author of Cherries Over Quicksand, interviewed hundreds of married and single people from ages 18 to 80 about the subject of love and marriage. She picked up some interesting insights. Rhonda found that many work-related situations can either make partners start to doubt each other or make their bond grow stronger.   

1Cherries_Over_Quicksand_Cover Some of the stories she heard took her by surprise. What she realized was that there are commonalities in why marriages succeed or fail. Her new book shares more than 70 personal stories.

Rhonda offers these tips:

* Stick with your dreams. In the initial courtship, couples often share their dreams for the future. When we fall in love, we expect a similar package that was presented in the beginning.  Could one partner’s loss of enthusiasm for any of their once-passionate career goals frustrate the other partner?  The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” When a partner watches the love of their life lose their zest for their aspirations, including education and career goals, confusion can become overwhelming.   Caring and honest communication or professional counseling could be the best way to address this issue.  

* Encourage your spouse to walk in your shoes. If a wife puts her career on hold to stay home with the babies, then decides to return to work, she will need her husband to take over some of the household and child-time duties.  Men admitted that as soon as they were at home alone with the children, especially if she had to travel overnight, they gained some great ‘walked in her shoes’ respect for their women.

* Listen and set goals together.  When talking with your partner about his or her dreams and goals and how they may have evolved, listen and repeat their words back to them.  Many people complain that their partner seems to be listening but then jumps in with their opinion and obviously did not hear the ideas they had just carefully revealed.  Once everyone is on the same page it is easier to make a realistic plan for both partners to go after their career goals.

* Offer understanding about work demands. Be prepared for situations when a partner suddenly has an overwhelming project at work that requires he or she must spend so much time on the job that they barely have time to get five hours sleep and a shower before they get back to work.    I have had this subject come up many times and I almost always discover the same outcome whether it was the woman or man with the work project.  Outside pressure from a spouse is resented.  (“Why can’t she/he get it?”) Women who understood that their men were temporarily ‘too busy’ and took the extra time to enjoy their own career,  family or school goals  had very happy men. 

* Make an effort to support each other. Each should be respectful, caring and supportive at work and social functions no matter how long the couple has been together.  These simple but deliberate actions can create heartfelt gratitude and carry over to make couples even closer…and exceptionally romantic because you are a tight-exciting team.

* If you are unhappy, speak up -- creatively. If there is a career or money problem in the home sometimes it is easier hearing and discussing a story or a movie about how someone else dealt with their finance/relationship problems to get a conversation going.  While the couple discusses how they would have handled the movie character’s situation (the one that may be looming in their own current relationship) they find it easier to be open about their true opinion while still being careful not to cross the line into disrespect. Cool attitudes and wisdom are a must.   If the conversation gets too one-sided; stop, think back to that first kiss, smile and remember to look at your partner like they are the only one who can melt your heart.  If necessary, take a break, there’s always tomorrow for fresh conversation.

1Rhonda_Ricardo For more information about Rhonda Ricardo and CHERRIES OVER QUICKSAND,  visit www.cherriesoverquicksand.com. 


May 07, 2010

A Meaningful Gift for Mother's Day

I was talking recently with the mother of young children, recalling the completely delicious feeling of a hug and kiss from your tot. As my kids become teens, there's are different things they do that give me that same feeling such as make a mature decision or have a grown up conversation with me. What us moms appreciate is our kids' behavior -- what they do, not what they buy us.

Once again, Ana Veciana-Suarez writes in her recent column what I am thinking when she expresses her desires what she wants on Mother's Day. Ana says a single solitary day isn't enough payback from her kids for shat she considers the maddening, humbling experience called parenting. 

She wants her kids to be honest and good, conscientious and compassionate. Hardworking would be a plus, along with a love of God, appreciation for family and generosity of spirit. In good times, she wants to hear her kids count their blessings and share their bounty. During difficult times, she wants them to display their mettle, grace and resiliency.

My favorite part of Ana's column is this graph:

"So come Mother's Day, forget the flowers. Drain the mimosa. And, for Pete's Sake, don't bother with a schmaltzy card that you rushed to buy on your way over. Live as I raised you. In this way, you honor me every day."

Well said, Ana.

What kind of gift do you want for Mother's Day? Has that changed as you've aged?

May 06, 2010

Overtime or Employee Abuse?

With the slow economy, more employees in South Florida may be finding themselves working longer hours and taking on extra tasks in order to keep their jobs. When does the pressure to work longer and harder cross the line into flat out employee abuse? 

Today, guest Blogger James Pinkert, managing partner of the Pinkert Law Firm, a South Florida-based firm specializing in defense and prosecution of over time wage claims, banking and lending litigation, weighs in on this hot topic.

Jim Pinkert What can employees do if they believe they are being treated unfairly?  And what steps can employers take to ensure that they are in compliance and are protected against any claims against them? 

 For both, the first step is education.  Employees must understand the components of the law, its application in their circumstances, and what recourse they have if they believe violations occur.  Employers similarly must become familiar with the law, and work to make sure their managers, employee supervisors, and employees are well informed.

Facing severe financial challenges many employers are asking more from their employees.  They may ask their executives and managers to work in the evenings, on weekends and vacations.  While that is unfortunate, when the same practice extends to hourly workers and other non-exempt employees, an unfortunate situation quickly becomes a violation of the law.  Employees also face their own financial pressures, and fearing being fired, so they are hesitant to complain about working overtime.

Here is a basic overview of what both sides should know: employers who are covered under theFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must provide overtime pay, at a rate of time and a half per hour, to all non-exempt employees, both hourly and salaried, who work more than 40 hours in one week.  The exempt employee category, (those who are not entitled to overtime) includes most managers, supervisors, executives, live-in domestic help, and – believe it or not – over-the-road truck drivers, who are regularly required to work beyond 40 hours in a week in order to complete a particular delivery cycle.  While managers are exempt, just having the title of manager does not put you outside of the overtime requirements; a manager under FLSA is an employee that makes discretionary decisions such as hiring and firing.

 If an employee believes they may have a claim, they should contact an attorney to see if they in fact qualify under FLSA.

Fortunately, there are steps that employees can take.  First, it is important to know that employees can go back up to two years to collect unpaid overtime.  Even if they have since lost their jobs, they can take action against a former employer, as long as the time worked in question is within the past 24 months.  Second, employees should understand that once they make a credible allegation, the employer has the burden to refute it. Finally, the FLSA includes critical protection for employees that makes taking legal action more affordable. The law says that if an employee wins in an action for overtime pay, the employer must pay all attorneys fees.

For employers, there are important steps to take to ensure compliance.  First of all, an employer should determine whether they are covered by FLSA.  This will depend on whether they are involved in interstate commerce and the company’s annual gross sales.  If the employer is covered by FLSA, then they should be aware of the possible ways they may be in violation of the law.

Many employers are actually unaware of the level of overtime pressure exerted within their own companies.  In some cases, supervisors down the line may simply be asking an employee to work during their lunch break, and by depriving them of that hour, they are essentially requiring overtime employment under the law.  Unfortunately, a lack of awareness of the requirements of the law, and a lack of knowledge of the practices of lower-level managers, does not excuse an employer.  To protect themselves, employers should institute a clear, written policy on overtime, including a requirement that any overtime work must be approved in writing by management before the work occurs.  Some employers have gone even further, creating an outright ban on overtime work, along with a written policy that prohibits employees from eating their lunches at their desks (in order to avoid the overtime via lunch hour work dilemma).

In the end, these are difficult times for all, and perhaps the best way to cope is to stay informed.

For more on this topic, visit my new blog at

Continue reading "Overtime or Employee Abuse?" »

May 04, 2010

Where to find after-hours (24/7) daycare

Ever need child care outside the normal 9 to 5 weekday? Check out this new trend I wrote about for MomsMiami.com.


It’s 9:15 p.m. and a single mother is picking up her 3-year-old from day care.

Make that "night care."

Sleepy, the little girl still wants to tell mom about her day, excitedly waving in mom’s face the arts and crafts project she put together with crayons and glue.

For many working moms and dads, 9 to 5 is not the typical workday.

Police officers, nail technicians, attorneys, flight attendants, restaurant operators and other occupations with nontraditional hours scramble to find child care that spans their work shifts.  Child care operators are responding.

In the past year, three extended-hour centers have opened in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Jeanette Perez, whose website 2itch.com tracks businesses that are open 24 hours, calls the idea of night care “ingenious.” She says most of the 24-hour centers open near hospitals, where medical staff frequently work the more lucrative overnight shifts.

Melissa Mazzotta saw a business opportunity while operating the Downtown Learning Center on the fourth floor of Miami’s 100 S. Biscayne Tower. Mazzotta  also operates the Fort Lauderdale Learning Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

“Parents had been requesting late-night hours for years,” Mazzotta said.  Many downtown professionals unexpectedly forced to stay late at work or come in on the weekend routinely asked Mazzotta to consider longer hours.

Mazzotta obliged by opening a new facility on Eighth Street in Miami that is licensed for 24-hour care, though it is currently open only 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; and till midnight on Friday. 

Mazzotta says she plans to add more hours as demand increases.

She accepts children age 2 months to 12 years. She offers hourly, daily and monthly rates.

Along with the late-night hours, these centers provide another popular service to time-harried parents: Drop-in babysitting.  Who wouldn’t want a reliable sitter when they need it, without a lot of prior notice or set hours?

Miami mother Olga Dager, owner of Uni.K.Wax in Pinecrest, finds drop-in babysitting a huge relief. A business owner, her work hours are grueling. She wanted to spend Saturday nights having a nice dinner with her husband but found herself regularly scrambling to find a babysitter.

One Saturday night, she turned  to The Fun Club in South Miami, which offers drop-off for movie night. When her kids enjoyed it, she encouraged friends to bring their kids there, too. “We go out for a nice night out and when we pick our kids up, they love it and don’t want to leave.”

Aunt D’s considers itself one of the pioneers of the late-hours concept having been open since 2001.

Each of its three locations in Broward County vary in their hours, however, the Plantation center is open Monday-Saturday until 11:30 p.m.

Manager Cindy Gusman says parents love the hourly drop off babysitting. They must call ahead to make sure the center has enough sitters. For parents who plan to use drop-in regularly, Aunt D’s sells a pass for 25 hours for $132. It also has hourly rates of $8 an hour.