School age child care??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 02-14-2009, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd love to hear what other mamas do for child care for their school age child? Our school offers after-school care, but I'm not sure what we'd do about school holidays/vacations/summer. Who takes care of the kids during these times? I know some day care centers offer this, but we are in a rural area with no close day care options.
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#2 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 01:44 AM
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snow days are a big headache then too, good luck!
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#3 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 03:34 AM
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I SAH and do a little daycare (3x a week). I watch some of my kids' playmates on those odd days (teacher conference, early dismissal, etc). I think there is a big difference between talking to a SAHM (esp. if your kids and hers play togheter) nicely before the fact if she would like to do childcare, and what often gets the venting (calling up and pretty much expecting the mom would want to watch your kid(s). ). I'm only putting this out there to say don't be afraid of asking a playmate's mom. My dh works all those days so they aren't family days here anyway, and the extra cash is nice. Also the one woman who asks me most of the time makes it clear no is a perfectly okay answer, and it won't affect our friendship at all. So I would say try to find a friend and ask. You never know. The other option could be craigslist, but I think looking for friends first is a good idea.

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#4 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 03:44 AM
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My dd goes to her school child care before and after school and they offer care on the days there is no school and in the summer if there are enough people who want the care and they just charge the same basic rate. Have you checked to see if the one at your child's school does this?
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#5 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 04:17 AM
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We have someone who picks up ds1 from school, ans she (or our other "occasional sitter") sometimes watches him during vacations. We're lucky in that my mom can sometimes take off work and stay with them too.
Also, we often swap with other working parents, where everyone takes 1-2 days off and we watch each other's kids on those days.
Lastly, especially in the summer, we use day camps sometimes.
I have to say, moving to Europe helped, since we have lots more vacation days

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#6 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 01:58 PM
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I work in a school which has advantages (I usually take spring break and Winter Break off so I don't have to worry then, and we have the same snow days which is a godsend, also if I need to bring him to work on a weekend etc . . . I've got a playground, a gym, and a library full of books to keep him entertained) and disadvantages (we often have the same professional days which means that days I absolutely can't be off are the days he's out of school. Similarly we're year round, so in August when many camps are closed is when I desparately need care -- the first weeks of school are not a time I can be out of I can expect a teacher to absorb him into their class).

So we do a combination of things. Afterschool he stays at the daycare at his school 2 long days (until 6:30), goes home with my mom who takes him to Tae Kwon Do one day, goes home with his best friends SAHM one day who takes them to soccer practice (I repay by taking him to activities on the weekends), and one day he goes to a little time at daycare and then I leave early, drive him to TKD and go back to work for another hour or so before picking him up.

His aftercare covers most PD days and conference days, and then he goes to camp all summer long. Sometimes there's an odd day when either his BF's mom will offer to take him, or my mom will offer.

But then there are days like tomorrow. I have work, his school's closed. I was going to just drag him in with me, but we had a death at work and part of the day will be a memorial service. Our staff has done an amazing job of handling their grief in front of the kids, so i feel like they need a totally kid-free day. I still haven't figured it all out.
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#7 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 03:29 PM
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My stepkid goes to school in another city, but she's in school-based aftercare (which also provides care for scheduled days off) and snow days mean a scramble.

She's here for summers and we send her to day camp. If she attended school here (or, if/when we have future children), the Y does a drop-in program for "cold" days (meaning, it's so cold out that waiting for the school bus would be harmful) but not always for snow days. Then again, if the snow is so bad that Milwaukee cancels school (which used to be rare but the weather's gotten crazier of late), chances are I'm not making it into work either.

Oh: If we have notice, sometimes my mom and dad will come up (an hour's drive) and watch SD for a day, and my mom said she'd be happy to do so when we have more children. This obviously would work better for scheduled days when there's no child care available, versus snow days (because I wouldn't be asking my parents to drive 60 miles in the snow).

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#8 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 04:26 PM
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Our SACC provides full-day care on teacher work days. I work in the schools so I get the same holidays as the kids. Same for snow days. That's why I work in the schools.

Like another poster, though, my school is year round so I have to go back in July while my kids are still out of school; I am lining up summer camps right now.

I, too, have been VERY blessed to have at least two SAHMs come to my rescue with childcare (I pay them). Even though I have SACC, I may be asking them to take my kids to swim practice after school come Memorial Day until *I* get done with school late June.

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#9 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 04:45 PM
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My dp can work from home. He's a contractor so the company he works for prefers that he doesn't but his boss is pretty cool. That is how we handle snow days. YMCA for the rest of the days.
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#10 of 15 Old 02-15-2009, 05:50 PM
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I used to work for my districts before and after school program. Yes, we covered early dismissal and teacher conference days. We had a few kids who only used those days and not daily care. During the summer they had a different program that was more like summer camp. Actually the mornings were summer school for those that needed academic help and the after noons were fun enrichment classes for all (unless there were field trips.)
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#11 of 15 Old 02-16-2009, 05:25 PM
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We don't do the at-school aftercare. We use the community center, the other popular option here is the Y, but anyway, both DO operate full-day programs on school holidays. It's a ton of fun because it's the regular staff and kids but they get to do a field trip every day.

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#12 of 15 Old 02-16-2009, 05:53 PM
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In our area the only real option is the school based program. They offers half-day and full-day and summer care. The summer care is at the community ed. building, the community ed. program runs the after-school programs, so there is alot of continuity of care. The prices are the best in town, by far, because they are subsidized in someway by the school district or the township (I'm not sure.) There are I think to licensed day care facilities that will take kids on similar schedules, but they only have maybe 40 school-aged slots total? Not much anyway.

My DD will start Kindy in the fall and we are trying to figure out this issue because I work part-time and the program doesn't do half-time and the district won't allow for partial-week busing (to the after-care program three days, home two days). I'm going to approach my neighbor to see if she could cover the 1hr.15min three times a week (for pay, of course). I know several working moms have similar arrangments with SAHM neighbors for early or late care. So around here, it's either the school-based program or coverage by friends and neighbors at home.

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#13 of 15 Old 02-17-2009, 10:24 AM
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I plan to start working this Summer, DS will start Kindy and my DSS will be in middle school. Our plan is to enroll both of them at a local recreation center. They allow for part time care, or full week, until 6:30PM each night. I like the program because homework is done First.
The other option is a daycare for my DS. My step son will be "too old" next year for most of the after school programs i have researched. I am not really sure why a 6th grader wouldn't need after school care.

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#14 of 15 Old 02-17-2009, 05:00 PM
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Our school does not offer before or after school care. Luckily my DH can drop the kids at a good time on his way to work. We have an after-school nanny who picks the kids up, takes them to their activities and shepherds homework starting for them. Even if the school did have care, I think I would opt for this arrangement because it lets them do the things they want to do after school. We pay $12/hr + milage (and there is a lot of that).

For summer vacation the kids mostly do daycamps. We are lucky and our large urban area offers more of these than we could ever imagine. Last summer this was mostly through the YMCA but this summer we are branching out to some other options.

For school vacations things get sticky. Major disadvantage of our private school is that the calendar does not match the public schools, so there are no "vacation camps" offered that work. But if we were in public school the YMCA and many other organizations offer vacation day camps. We end up cobbling together some parental vacation time, some extra hours from nanny (but only some because she's a college student) and my mother frequently comes down or has the kids go to her for a week.

We are lucky -- So. CA schools never close for weather!

For sick days generally DH or I take the day off or split the day with the nanny.
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#15 of 15 Old 02-17-2009, 10:41 PM
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How about a nannyshare with one of children's classmates? A college student at a local community college might be a good choice. If you were sharing a nanny (salary would be split in half), you'd have the convenience and flexibility of a nanny and it would be affordable too.

You could also check out the Boys and Girls Clubs of America site to find a Boys & Girls Club in your area. They have a $25 annual membership fee, (though that may have went up a little since the last time I checked, otherwise its FREE afterschool and summer programming- lots of things to do there. I worked with the organization for 7 years- we even changed are hours to accomadate the local school breaks, including the summers. Also, they have early morning arrival sometimes in the summer or for school breaks, depends on the club though.

Here's a link:

They are a pretty mainstream organization, but they have so much to offer to the communities they serve as a non-profit.
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