Can I ask how you manage after school care for Y7...(33 Posts)
...if you & your partner work full time? My DD is in Y5 currently but the after school club in our area only takes primary school children and I am starting to wonder what we will do when she starts secondary. She will be too young to be home alone & we couldn't afford a nanny. If you are in this situation, how have you managed after school & holiday childcare? TIA x
Firstly, don't fret. Your DC will mature immensely in the next 18 months.
There isn't much organised provision, because people generally don't use it. If the gap between her home time and yours is fairly short, you may come round to the up idea that she is capable of being alone (if you can have an at-home neighbour on standby, so much the better).
If you really don't want to do that (and it's a decision to be made nearer the time), the standard alternatives are to find out if she can stay in her secondary after school (formal homework club, or simply access to the library of some other place to work), or telling her to go to the nearest public library (if you have one) to work quietly, or if you haven't got one, give her coffee money use a cafe. Or just enrol her in lots of after school activities which she can reach independently.
Would second all of the advice above - my DC were both fine being home alone for an hour or two several days a week by start of Y7. And both of their schools allow kids to stay in the library til 5.30 or so if they want.
Another option you could consider though is either a childminder, or a less formal arrangement with another parent - preferably one who lives near the school and is at home themselves - to have your DD go there for an hour or two after school each day. Childminders can do secondary aged kids though, and will often be happy to have them especially if they can make their own way there from school.
When DS was in Year 5 I couldn't have imagined him coming home by himself even within the next couple of years and by Year 7.
But now, after nearly only one term in Year 7 I could quite imagine him easily doing that, getting off the school coach and walking home for about 5pm and me turning up home from work at 6pm. Dinner on the table, pipe and slippers all ready, and the wine opened to breathe for the last hour. Good lad.
Well, maybe not all of that, but at least coming home and sorting himself out for a bit. NB: he doesn't do this, but I'd be happy for him to do so if he did have to.
They grow up quickly. Next thing you know...
In y7, your DD will be fine on her own at home until you get home.
You'll probably find she has after school stuff some days and hangs round with friends after school on other days, so the amount of time she is actually home on her own isn't much.
You'll find she changes and grows up just within the first term at her new school.
DD's school has homework club til 5 every day. This is what we do when one of us isn't home before she gets back as we're a bit way off her being happy to come into an empty house. Other days she has after school clubs, or heads to the coffee shop with a friend.
All kids are different and mature at different rates and homework club is a good way for them to spend the time.
A friend of ours paid an older child as a babysitter for an hour - they did homework together!
What are you saying she will be too young? Do you have reasons to believe she won't be able to cope, or do you believe that 11 year olds are just capable of doing so?
She has another 18 months to adjust to it, that's a long time to get her prepared for it. You can start leaving her alone for 1/2 hour or so and increase it next year. Then towards this time next year, you could start making the trip back from the school she will go to with her so she will be familiar with it. Also, if she goes to after school club right now, it is likely a number of her friends will be in the same situation, will any of them go to the same school?
Dd has being a latchkey kid since the summer holidays of Yr6. She's been fine. I did get one of those key boxes you put in your house wall with a combination lock incase she lost her house key.
They have to fend for themselves at that age. Try to encourage after school clubs a few days a week to reduce the time alone, if you're worried.
Year 7 she may well be fine to be left. After all I presume she'll get herself there and back?
Dc1 is in Y7. He comes home on his own and stays on his own until DH comes home, at about 6.00pm.
That looks like the norm around here fur parents who are working.
What I wouldn't be doing is leaving him all day on his own during the hols. Thanks god for grand parents on that one!
My year 7 ds had the choice of staying at school in the library or coming home to an empty house two nights a week. At fish he thought he'd stay at school, but soon decided to come home. It really doesn't take them long to gain that confidence once they go to secondary
Yes agree with others, no need for an 11yo to have after-school care, unless of course they are not happy or maybe if you and DP both work very late.
DH and I have always worked full time and have not sued after-school care since DS2 was in yr 5 (2 older siblings). But I do/can get home by 4.30 easily, 4.15 sometimes, 4pm in a real emergency. Sometimes that sees me being first home as DS2 does a lot of sport after school and DD often has band practice/play rehearsal.
I think you need to wait and see OP - it's a way off yet and things will change.
Thanks all for the advice and comments. At best I get home at 6pm, my DH later still. Currently my DD has the common sense of a particularly daft gnat. I would not be comfortable leaving her on her own in the house for more than 5 minutes and she will have to mature enormously before I could see her being ready for this. I will have to look in to what options there are with the school & relatives I think!
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There are some differences between kids levels of maturity naturally - some do just seem to grasp it with both hands, and others are more nervous. But it's also a lot down to expectations and practice. Unless she's got some sort of SEN, your DD, age 9/10 should be OK to be left home alone for short periods. It might be worth thinking through what your worries would be in doing so, and what hers would be, and how to address then so that you can increase her levels of self-sufficiency between now and the start of secondary school.
Everything AuntieStella said in the first reply.
Plus, you have well over 18months to let her practice taking initially small, and then increasing amounts of responsibility. Just saying that she can't do it / won't be able to, seems rather defeatest. When do you think she will be able to ? How do you expect her to get to that level if you don't help her move towards that level of maturity?
My DC were fine alone in the house (1 started leaving them home alone in year6), but letting themselves in to an empty house is a step beyond that, as is trusting them with keys. My youngest is scatty, and simply isn't ready for that responsibility.
I think you're right to look in to a range of options, 2andout
But holidays will also be a heck of a lot easier if she can let herself in. Because then you can use things like sports based camps - which may finish well before the end of the working day, but keep her safely occupied for most of it.
I think you need to let her grow up a bit. She will cope better than you imagine, if you let her. Pop to the shops. Let her get used to it.
I have a 6th former who comes and does his homework at our house. I have a DD in year 9, she is very sensible. I have a DS in year 7, he is not. They don't really get on too well, so that's not great. The sixth former basically is there as a deterrent. It keeps me happy to know they're both home, not fighting or not burning house down.
All kids mature at different rates. The beginning of Yr 7 is a lot of change and a lot of new stresses. My DD would not be happy letting herself into an empty house. She's happy to go to the shops, happy to be left for an hour while I do the shopping but coming home in the dark and letting herself into a dark house? Nope. Not yet.
Everyone's got to judge the situation for themselves, not all kids are the same. If you can find an older teenager to be in the house for an hour that would work great.
I also worried about this as both my husband and I worked in London - it would have only been two afternoons a week as we were home the other three (I worked at home one day a week and DH did two half days). But as things turned out, I changed jobs so now I work from home most days and my hours are such that even when I go into the office I can be home around the same time as ds.
He is now in year 8. I would not be comfortable with leaving him until 6pm every day, on occasion is ok. Each child is different and even though people say children mature, they do so at different rates. My ds does not hang around with friends after school although he occasionally walks home with a friend who collects a younger cousin from their old junior school. There is homework club only one day a week and the library is only open until 4pm (public library is open until 6pm though and isn't that far away so could be an option if I were really late). He goes to two after-school activities so is home an hour later on those days. He has a key and lets himself in and is generally on his own for no more than 30-60 minutes, although on one occasion I really had to leave him until 6pm. But that was once and unavoidable circumstances (husband had to give presentation at work, and I was at hospital appointment with my mother). I think it's also different in the winter when it's dark by about 4pm.
My problem is more the start of the day because I don't want to leave my son to go out to school at the right time, and more to the point, remember to lock the door!
I am glad that my job situation changed. It may do for you as well. Or maybe you can look into more flexible hours or reduced hours. I earn quite a bit less now but we still manage. If you had said I could manage on my current salary I would have laughed but it's been fine.
My DS (yr 7) has been allowed to be at home alone since around his 9th birthday, gradually increasing time and isvery happy and responsible when doing so. However it has always been when I'm in town and able to get back within 5 mins or so. If I'm at work though, I'm a minimum of 20 mins drive away which can be 45 mins in the rush hour, DH is similar and I'm not happy with him being home alone with us so far away, so that's the deciding factor for us. His school has after school clubs till 5.30 every night, so he can use those if I'm not home.
Ds is in year 7. He has ASD.
It would have been a cold day in hell before I would have left him alone in the house when he was in year 5 two years ago.
Now he is absolutely fine.
He doesn't actually go home after school because the journey is a very complicated chsnge buses journey that takes forever as there is no direct route.
So he either stays in school inthe library or student cafe which both open until 5.30pm or he walks into town & kills time in Costa, Macdonalds or the public library.
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