after school care(24 Posts)
Hello, my DD starts school in sept & I'm wondering what's best for her in terms of after school care. I currently work three days a week & she's in nursery until 5.15 but school finishes at 3.05 I could do hours over four days & pick her up everyday, but this would mean my younger DS would have to spend more time in childcare & I'm missing out on the two days with him! I'm not sure what's best to do & who to prioritise, feels like having to choose between them! There are after school clubs until 4.10 & school may able to provide childcare until 5 but not guaranteed. So what would experienced parents of school ages children recommend? Thank you
Some nurseries close to schools do a pick up after school club
You could ring the local nurseries and ask
Or get a childminders to pick her up
Thanks for the replies-in your experience is an after school childminder not too much for reception aged? Unfortunately none of the local nurseries do a pick up-missing a trick!
What do you mean too much?
As in too expensive or too much activity for the child?
Yeah too much activity is what I mean... I don't really know what to expect with school & how tired & much demand will be having to get used to. Hope that makes sense!
I think your only good option is a child minder. Can you get her to school in the morning or will that be problematic?
A childminder would be more suitable than the after school clubs if too much activity is your concern.
When they first start school my dc were shattered by the end of the day. I would recommend (if you can) flexing your hours to start with so you do 4 short days and can pick up from school every day. Say for maybe the first term. Then once she has settled in look at an after school childminder for the 3 days and go back to your 3 day work 2 day off pattern.
Thank you. I think you can drop off to school from 8 so that should be ok...the school have given me the name of one childminder so I shall contact her. I'm really torn as to whether to shift my working hours around & not use a childminder at all, but I really like working three days only & being at home for two with DS...never easy this work & family balance is it.
By the way - be aware that after school clubs are not a reliable form of childcare. Often they only run for 10 weeks of the term and can be cancelled at very short notice (same day sometimes) if the provider is off sick.
I'm going to go against the grain and say I would choose the shorter hours over 4 days. Providing your commute isn't too long. This way once your DS is in school you get to pick them both up every day and not rely on childcare except for holidays. You get to hear about their day 1st be more involved in homework etc. DS won't remember the extra day in nursery but they both will remember mum being there every day after school.
I'd look for a CM too.
I am a bit puzzled by your first post - do you mean 'clubs' and activities run by the school until 4 ? If so, as had been said above, that can't be your childcare whilst at work - apart from anything else, there are unlikely to be clubs (or many clubs) for Reception age dc. I presume the 'possibly until 5' must be out of school provision (wrap around care) ? Do you mean that there is one but don't yet know if there will be spaces? It's worth asking if you can get her name on a waiting list though once you get your place confirmed.
However, a CM is lovely after school as they can be much more responsive to the needs of the dc they are caring for as they have fewer dc - so if you think a very 'chilled' / relaxed time is what your dd needs, then that would be the place to look.
Google 'Family Information Service' with the name of your local authority and they will be able to provide you with a list of options in your area.
I work 3 days a week and my boys (I have twins) started reception last September. I wanted a child minder as I felt it would be more relaxing for them to go to a house after school and sit and chill if they wanted (vs after school club). As it has turned out, they are begging me to go to after school club with their friends (the school runs an after school club to 5pm) rather than go to childminders so after Easter we are swapping to that
And I would add that mine have not been at all tired out by school - if anything they have more energy now! So don't necessarily think they will be exhausted, especially if they are already used to long hours (mine were in childcare 7.30am to 5pm before starting school)
Good luck - starting school is a big change for them and us, I think it can take some time to figure out the best 'routine' for everyone :-)
Thank you all again, really helpful to hear your thoughts & experiences. My commute is half an hour so not ridiculous but if I could drive an hour less a week that would be good. However having mum there everyday for pick up is probably best thing from her point of view. I hadn't thought that after school clubs can't really be considered as reliable child care so thank you. I will take a look at the local child minders & see where we go from there. Yes it's just trying to find the right new routine for everyone!
How old is ds and when does he start school?
I would keep to 3 days and use childminder. Childminder is a homely environment and more relaxing than after school clubs. And she'll only be going there 3 days a week.
I am a c.minder and for reception children esp when they first start it is very relaxe..If too tired sat in front of Tv, stories but then as they get used to it join in with everyone else
You will also be wanting to attend various things during the day, at school, once they start - from parents workshops to special assemblies to sports day and the Nativity play. If you've just changed from working 3 days to spreading those hours over the 5 days, then I presume it would be difficult for you to get to any of these, whereas if you are at home 2 days a week, you will be likely to be able to get to some (or even all, if your days can be flexible or if you are lucky enough for them to fall on your days at home).
That's good to know, I've not had any experience of child minders. Thank you
DS is 18 months & will be two school years behind dd.
Thank you backforgood, I hadn't even thought about that! In response to your earlier question, I have asked school about after school care but they were quite vague & says it depends on demand so might not be something we can rely on either.
I worked 3 days a week for years (so only able to be at pick up 2x a week). It's plenty enough to be able to get to know some of the other parents / recognise the staff / etc. It does feel horrible when you can't go to things though
even though you know lots of others won't and it can't be helped so I'd definitely keep the 2 full days at home.
Plus, with your hour travelling per day, it gets disproportional once you start working shorter days, and still have to be bundling them all out of the house early each morning with all the bits and bobs they'll need for that day.
I would keep to 3 days for the time being then switch to 4 days when they're both at school.
If the school doesn't have after school childcare (rather than clubs) then you'll need to see what's available locally. We have an after school nanny for 2 days who pick then children up and bring them to our house, gives them tea, helps with homework etc. It's brilliant. She's happy to drop at other after school stuff (DD does rainbows and DS does football) which fall on her days (5pm start) which they'd probably have to miss if they were at a child minders or nursery (I wouldn't be able to collect them and get them there).
Having said that they were shattered. If you're putting her in breakfast club (seems bizarre that they've got childcare before school but nothing after school) and then in childcare until 5/5.30 she will be tired.
Well an after school nanny sounds like a brilliant solution! I would be surprised someone would want to do so few hours a week, although I guess they would have other work. Where can you find such people?!?
Well I think there is breakfast club but I do really need to double check that!
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