What do you do for after school care? — The Bump
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What do you do for after school care?

We're starting to look at our options for after school care with DS1 starting kindergarten next year. We would only need it a couple days/week since DH is normally home 3 weekdays with them. What do you all do for after school care? Do any of you use the after school care the schools provide? The schools offer it for a reasonable rate (if he did full day kindergarten), but honestly, it sounds a bit depressing to be in school all day, and then just go hang out in the cafeteria and on the playground for a couple of hours. I just don't feel like I would have enjoyed that as a kid.
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Re: What do you do for after school care?

  • We haven't faced this yet, but I am interested to see the responses. My mom was SAH, so it also sounds depressing to me to be stuck at school after the day is over. If it's only 2-3 days a week though, that's not so bad. If I am still working FT, I hope to do a combination of aftercare and MIL watching them.
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  • Our local Y offers an afterschool program.  They pick up the kids at the elementary school and bus them to the Y.  I love it because they can take swim lessons and have 2 days where they go the our family adventure pool for free swim.  If you want they will also transport your kid to gymnastics etc if you enroll them in other classes.  Our school also offers an after school program but I had the same thoughts - how utterly boring to be at school all day and then just play in the gym/playground.  It's only $2 more per day than the district sponsored after school program and totally worth it!
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  • We haven't faced this *yet* but SS will be starting Kindergarten this fall and we plan to use the Elementary's afterschool care program. I don't think it will be very depressing for him since he's currently in Daycare from 7:30am-5pm while we are at work. So the only difference is that he'll be at the Elementary school during these hours instead of at the daycare center.

    A friend of mine used to have her two sons taken from school to a daycare center after school and they would be there until 6 or 6:30pm when she got off work (she's a single mom), and those boys were always SO ROWDY all night. Which I can imagine since they were 7 & 8 years old and probably bored out of their minds being in school & daycare all day.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is every situation is different but I think they are both good options depending on your personal situation.

  • We use after school care three times a week (after full day kindergarten)

    Twice a week DD goes to the after school program at the school. She's there for about 2 hours and seems to really like it. They are great with doing crafts, music and palying outside when it's nice. Once a week, we do a nanny share with another family. She picks the kids up from school and they are able to play for a few hours before I get there. This is great because it breaks the after school care up and DD has developed great friendships with the othe kids. As for cost- It's really affordable- 15.00 per day for after school care and 20.00 per day for the nanny.

    My DH works from home and I have a flexible schedule, so we are able to pick her up the other 2 days.

  • If I go straight from work to her school I'll be able to pick DD up, but I after checking out how much it costs, I may sign her up for the after school program and the school incase I want to run an errand or go to the gym.  I never thought of it as depressing, especially since she'll be gone by 4.  I think it would probably be fun to get to hangout with their friends.  They're stuck doing school work most of the day so they don't really get to play with the other kids until after school.
  • We will probably do some sort of before and after program at a center. The center my supervisor's kids go to has a ton of different activities you can enroll your kids in (gymnastics, cheer, basketball, soccer, wall climbing, etc...). We may end up there. They provide transportation to and from school. Our current DC also has a before and after program and provides transportation to and from area schools. I just like the idea of the "bonus" programs that this other center offers.
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  • DS goes to a private school and his school offers an after care program in the auditorium.  They have homework time and play time.  He's also in Spanish two days out of the week after school and he loves that.  Once a month he also participates in an after school science club where they do experiments and things.

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  • DS will start kindergarten next fall, so I am in the process of deciding what to do. I am pretty sure we will enroll him in the school's before care program, which is run by the Y. I was initially leaning toward hiring a sitter for pickup. The daycare around the corner from our house has after care. They pickup at school. If I can get DD a spot in that daycare, then I think that would work out well.
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
  • The schools in our town all offer aftercare programs.  They're not depressing though, they have curriculum designed by early childhood ed specialists and do lots of cool art and drama projects - plus time for free play, running around, and homework.

    Our town also has afterschool programs run by numerous daycare centers, the Boys and Girls club, and the Catholic church/school.  The Catholic run one even offers transportation. 
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  • My DD's school has an after school program on-site, but it filled up quickly so she takes a bus to another one about a mile away from the school. It's reasonably priced, they do homework time, outdoor time on the playground, etc -- and, on days when school is out, they do field trips. On MLK day they're going roller skating and she's so excited! :)
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  • My son is in an after care program at school. It is run by a teacher whose sole responsibility is that program. So she is refreshed and focused at a time the other teachers may be ready for a nap. He loves it. They have some optional classes (woodworking, sports, cartooning) and they do tons of crafts and baking. The older kids get help with their homework.

  • My LO is only 15 mos so have time to decide but the school he will be in assuming we are still in the area stays open late and they do a ton of activities if you want your child to attendm its a private school though
    Good luck
  • We do after school care at the school. They have a ton of both free and extra-fee activities. We do swimming and guitar and he loves that they go outside, play, and sometimes watch cartoons. He is there from 3 to 5:30 (close at 6).
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  • Our school district does not offer after school care. My 1st grader goes to a daycare center in town for before school and after school care. The bus picks the kids up and brings them back there. It's nice having a program outside of the school system, because the daycare isn't affected by all of the school closings (winter, spring and summer break, teacher conference days, some federal holidays like this Monday's MLK Day, weather delays, etc). And because he's already used to being there, there isn't a huge adjustment for him in the summer - he knows the place and his teachers and the other kids, many of which go to his school anyway.
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  • In my area there is a big university so many people hire students to do pick up and then stay home with the kids til one of the parents gets home from work.  In college, me and another girl traded off days and did this for a family with 2 kids.  

    I also have friends who have arranged their lunch break around school pickup and then take their kids to after school care, grandma's, etc.  
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  • Is there someone maybe in your neighborhood that could babysit for you?  Or maybe another mom of a school age child?

    I'm a teacher so luckily I don't have to worry about after school care.  My mom was a teacher also but she had a very long commute and also started earlier than us so my mom used to drop us off at the neighbors house and then she would feed us breakfast and walk with us to the bus stop.  There were three other kids she watched too either before school or after school.


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