After School Care Options

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.

  1. 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 and other activities.
    GoodByn Lunch Box

    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
  2. 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.

  3. Part-time Nanny or Sitter. Consider hiring a nanny or sitter part-time to pick your 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.
  4. 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.
  5. YMCA. Most local YMCAs offer after school programs at very affordable rates. Check with your local Y for details.
  6. 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.

Fun Lunch Ideas for Back-to-School

Whether making lunches for a pre-schooler or a school-aged child, the task can be a daily challenge.  Here are some cool lunch options that will help you keep variety in their lunches as well as inspire ideas.

  • Goodbyn Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes. Convenient, fun, and earth friendly!  Kids can even customize their GoodByn lunchboxes to reflect their own personalities.
    GoodByn Lunch Box
  • Portable Oven.  It can be a challenge to come up with appetizing cold lunches that aren’t the same old thing every day. Thermos Vacuum Food Jars allow you to send leftovers or other hot foods to school and drastically broaden your options. (Just remember to “pre-heat” the jars by filling with very hot water just before use).

  • Laptop Lunches.  Laptop Lunchesare always an easy favorite.  The separate sections make it a snap to plan and prepare fun, easy, healthy lunches.
  • Just Too Cute.  Step away from the boring and make lunchtime fun for kids. VERY cute butterfly, monkey, frog, and many other adorable lunch bags. (Scroll all the way down the page to see them all).
  • Go Bento. For the creative lunch maker, Bento boxes are ideal! Yum-Yum Bento Box is FULL of inspiring ideas that you can use or adapt to your own needs.  If you’re truly inspired, check out our hand-picked list of accessories to help you put together these mini-masterpieces!
    Yum-Yum Bento Box
  • Shapes. Kids love their food shaped in creative animals, symbols or other shapes.  Try these bread-maximizing Sandwich Cutters or handy Vegetable Shape Cutters.
  • Love Notes. Topping off your lunch with an occasional sweet note can lift your child’s spirit and make the lunch (and their day) extra special!

Whatever method you choose remember to keep it healthy!  Children need the fuel of a nutritious lunch to help them focus and maximize their learning potential!

Feel free to comment and share your own creative lunch ideas!

Interviewing a Nanny or Caregiver Remotely

If you’ve ever considered re-locating a caregiver from another state or distant location, you know the process of interviewing can sometimes be a challenge. Traditionally, re-locating someone has involved the applicant traveling to your location for an interview, but with recent technologies more readily available to caregivers and families, interviewing applicants remotely is helping make the process easier and less expensive.

Interviewing remotely does not necessarily REPLACE an in-person interview, but can add a very critical screening step BEFORE an in-person interview and may help save the expense of conducting an in-person interview in the event the caregiver is ruled out during the remote one.

There are several options for interviewing remotely:

  1. Free Internet Video Conferencing Services.  Using these services requires a webcam (Price range: $8 & up), preferably on both ends, but at least on the applicant’s end. The popular free services are and 
  2. Free Instant Messaging programs with video capabilities.  You will need a webcam for this option, as well. Services include Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. 
  3. FedEd/Kinko’s Video Conferencing. For a fee, FedEx/Kinko’s video conferencing services are offered in most major metropolitan areas so that you and your applicant just visit your respective local FedEx/Kinko’s offices to have a live video conference.  

Choose the scenario that fits your needs best, and feel free to share any other conveniences!