Elementary Schoolers
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Child Care

Finding appropriate after-school childcare can pose a dilemma, especially for working parents with no nearby relatives to help. While they shouldn't decide, involving your child in the decision will help them accept it. Keep in mind that after-school care shouldn't be an extension of the school day but a time to play, explore, and socialize.

Child Care: School Programs

Many schools offer after-school programs of their own, often at a reasonable fee. Some of these programs are simple and unstructured, while others offer special activities. If the school doesn't offer a program, school staff should be able to help you locate one.

Parent Referrals

Ask other parents what is available and to share their experiences regarding staff, communication, activities and safety.

Child Care: Community Resources

Organizations like YMCA and YWCA often offer after-school programs. There are specialized options as well, such as those offered by businesses that teach martial arts or gymnastics. Some churches, synagogues, and libraries offer programs as well. Many communities have child resource organizations.

Child Care Considerations

  • Is it a clean, safe, and friendly environment? Is it roomy enough?
  • Ask for references.
  • What certifications for childcare, if any, does the provider have? What, if any, specialized training has the provider completed?
  • Does the staff seem to understand the needs of school-age children and enjoy working with them?
  • Does the provider have a variety of activities at different skill levels for different ages?
  • Are nourishing and appealing snacks provided?
  • What is the adult-child ratio, and is it low enough to ensure children are properly supervised and get the attention they need?
  • Is there a written plan for activities?
  • Visit the programs and see if you can get your child involved in activities while you talk to the staff. Later, exchange thoughts with your child about the visit.

Finally, before deciding on after-school care for your child, it might not hurt to speak to your employer and explain your situation. You might find them willing to work with you to give you the flexibility you need.