I've never posted in this area before, but your title caught my eye. I have an almost-3-yr-old with insanely curly hair (I'm white, hubby is black). It's gorgeous & really long, but boy is it a lot of work! Mine is stick-straight, so it's definitely been a learning curve.
My DD doesn't go to school yet, but I do work, so she goes to Grandma's house several times a week, leaving very early in the morning. I also can't do anything with her hair unless it's very wet, so what I do is fix it at night in a style that will hold up through sleeping, & I use product in it (Garnier Fructis curl sculpting cream-gel). So I either do a couple of braids, or 4 ponytail sections in front coming down to 2 in the back, etc. In the morning I use a couple spritzes of Garnier's curl-shaping spray gel to tame any frizzies that have popped up. For now it works well! I don't know about wearing it down in winter, though. We do that a lot when the weather is warm, but it just doesn't hold up well under a hat anyway, it ends up looking pretty bad when she takes it off. When we wear it down in summer, though, I find that braiding it at night or putting it in a loose pony after I've combed through it helps minimize tangles in the morning so that I don't have to saturate it as much to pick through it. I do plan to invest in a blow-dryer with a diffuser when she gets a little older. I've never used one, but I hear they're essential for people with curly hair. Maybe that would help you on those cold mornings?
Don't know if this has been helpful or not, but I'm looking forward to reading any other tips from veteran moms, too! Have a great day!