To many working parents the options for after school care for their children can seem extremely limited. And, indeed, in many areas it is. So we’ve compiled a list of both traditional and creative options to consider when seeking out after school care.
- Check with your child’s school. Many schools offer after school programs run by the school and some offer special services provided by specialists coming from outside the school. Some examples are sports, gymnastics, music lessons, art, or other activities.
If the school doesn’t offer any programs on site, ask them if they have any ideas as they often have lots of resources for after school programs
- Local Daycares. For preschool or elementary-aged children, check with your local daycare centers to see if they offer after school programs. Many will even pick up your child from their school and bring them to their daycare center. They are also a great resource if you’re in need of before school care, as well.
- Part-time Nanny or Sitter. Consider hiring a nanny or sitter part time to pick child(ren) up from school and provide care until needed. This is a popular option because the children receive one-on-one care after having been at school most of the day. And since the nanny can help with homework, prepare snacks, tend to any other needs you’ve assigned, and even tidy up and get dinner started, it can free up parents to spend more quality time with their children when they get home. Run an easy search to find part-time nannies and sitters in your area.
- Stay-at-home Moms. Know of a mom you trust who stays home during the day already. Check and see if she may be interested in providing care for your child in the afternoon and earning a little extra cash.
- YMCA. Most local YMCAs offer after school programs at very affordable rates. Check with your local Y for details.
- Specialty After School Programs. Run a search engine search or check with your local school and ask about local specialty after school programs such as sports programs, music lessons, tutoring programs, etc.
Whatever option you choose remember to check the program or center out thoroughly. Ask friends and family if they’ve heard of the program, and don’t be afraid to ask for a reference.