Finding After School Childcare

By Victoria Robertson on September 10, 2021

Finding someone to watch your children after school can be a challenge, especially because many parents are looking for the same thing. There’s an inconvenient gap between the end of the school day and the end of the workday, which can sometimes make life for parents all the more challenging.

Finding after-school care, as such, is a pain, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. When beginning your search, start with the below tips and tricks to get ahead of the rush and secure your spot.

Photo Via: Pixabay

1. Start with Family & Friends

First and foremost, leaning on friends and family isn’t out of the norm when it comes to securing childcare. Especially nowadays when more individuals are able to work from home, see if it’s possible to secure a family member or friend to watch your children until you’re back home.

Granted, this isn’t always an option, but if it’s a possibility, it’s certainly something to consider right off the bat before seeking more costly alternatives. If you have someone close to you that’s available, great! If not, no problem, just continue your search!

2. Look into Babysitters

Depending on the age of your children, hiring a local babysitter (i.e. a neighbor’s high school-aged teen) is a great option as well, so long as schools let out at the same or similar times.

Most teenagers are looking for part-time work to earn some spending money, and it’s a very quick and convenient way to ease your mind on your commute home from work. Basically, it fills in those smaller time gaps where you need someone at the house for a little bit. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of an on-call babysitter for any upcoming events you may need assistance for.

3. Look at After-School Programs

Many schools understand the difficulty parents have in picking up their children due to work schedules. Additionally, they understand that parents may not be home yet, and so sending children home unaccompanied is unsafe.

For this reason, many schools actually offer after-school programs, or sports, that children can participate in to bridge that gap. Look into what your school offers, determine whether or not your child would be interested in any of the applicable sports, and work something out with the school to help you fill the time in a safe way.

4. Check Out Local Daycares

Daycare typically comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s a solid option if you’re looking for after-school care for your children. Local daycares sometimes offer after-school availability, and you may even be able to coordinate your child being dropped off by the bus, so you don’t need to worry about how they will get there.

Again, there are a lot of caveats here, as a lot depends on the location of the daycare and their hours, but it’s definitely worth taking a deep dive into the programs around you to see what, if anything, will work best.

5. Look at the Local Park District

Many parents actually discount the park district during the school year, but believe it or not, some park districts do offer after-school programs for your kids to help you bridge the gap between the end of school and the end of your workday.

Local park district activities vary, and not all park districts offer such programs, but it’s worth looking into yours, assuming it’s close enough to your house or offers bus stop capabilities. Either way, your local park district may just help you to get things done without having to worry about your kids.

6. Check Online Platforms

Lastly, when all else fails, there is always the option of interviewing and hiring an individual to specifically care for your children after school. Online platforms offer parents plenty of search filters to narrow down the selection to what they need.

While this is a time-consuming option, as you’ll need to do your own interviewing and qualifying of the potential babysitters, and it may take time to find the right fit, you’re ultimately going to feel more confident about this option, as you’ve put in the work to find the right solution. So long as you plan ahead and have plenty of time to go through this process, it’s a great option for any parent.

After-school care for your children is a convenience that many parents struggle to find. While age is a big factor to consider here, there are countless daycares and other centers for children available to you.

That all said, finding the right option isn’t easy, which is why you should begin with this list to exhaust all options available to you before delving in a bit deeper. This list is a good starting point, just make sure to do your research before securing the best option available to you.

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