After School Care Ideas?

Updated on April 30, 2019
M.E. asks from Rockwall, TX
7 answers

Hi Mamas!

I work full time and my kids are too old for “day care” and now involved in after school activities such as club swim. My parents have been helping me out with transporting my kids to various activities after school for a couple of years. However, they are aging and need to start looking at other options. I have posted a job on Sitter City for a babysitter to help me out for a couple hours a day in the afternoon. However, I have not had much luck with responses. Additionally, I have tried looking at carpooling options; but not much luck so far. Anyone have any suggestions on other sites, agencies that might work to find a reliable babysitter that might be able to provide regular after school care?


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answers from San Francisco on

Most of my working friends with older kids hired college students to do this. You should advertise on Nextdoor and reach out to the local colleges directly, they post jobs in their counseling/career center.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

According to your prior posts, your daughters are now 11 and 12 years old, in 5th and 6th grade. And the school year is almost over.

Next year, when they are both in middle school, they should certainly be able to be on their own doing homework for a few hours. They are even old enough to babysit other people's children! Have them wait in a library until you finish work.

Getting them involved in sports and extracurriculars is great too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

What worked for us was after school taekwondo.
The place we went to would pick up at elementry school or school bus would drop off at taekwondo for middle school.
Kids would have a snack, get homework done, have taekwondo class, play some dodgeball and then if their homework was finished they could play some video games.
Parents would pick up on way home from work.
It was so nice having the homework done before we got home - we could enjoy dinner, get ready for next day and relax before bedtime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I hear what you are saying.

Mostly it's the car transportation that's tricky at that age - and if it were me, I'd keep your parents involved just for that, and cut back on the care (if you can) - if they are old enough.

That's what my friends who are lucky enough to have grandparents locally do.


I have friends whose parents did this for them - a couple of afternoon a week (only) when they couldn't swing it, and it was those days that they could have friends over or do activities. The kids bonded with the grandparents on those days - and are very close as teens.

My mom did this (drove my sister's kids) for my sister during that tricky age where they were home, but needed the odd drive here and there.

If you don't have city buses - then a lot of kids end up having to do their activities in evenings and weekends, and same for socializing.

Or, parents end up working from home 1 day a week (if that's a possibility and trying to swing it) or figuring something out with other parents.

I don't know of college students.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Well in my opinion a 5th and 6th grader should be fine at home for a bit. How long does the bus take? Our kid's bus takes about 35 minutes so in elementary school they are home around if I get home at 5pm that is only an hour without an adult. You can make rules, such as no answering the door, do the chores listed on the table, empty out backpack, and eat a snack. Around here kids can go to Tai Kwan Do after school (it's an after school program but also they learn martial arts) or to a gymnastics studio for an after school program. Kids here can also ride the city bus from the school downtown to the local Kids Center which is free and they can have supervised time playing ping pong, sports, board games and video games. I would try asking other parents whose kids your kids are friends with. I would also ask for references for local babysitters in your neighborhood. I used to have two teenage girls who would do child care for me in the summer. It's a great way for a teen to earn a little money. Added - I was babysitting a LOT at age 12 and in the summers took care of a family of 3 young kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm confused by your children being too old for daycare, but in need of a 'reliable babysitter.'

since you don't say just how old this strange age is, it's hard to come up with a useful solution.

are your parents too old to drive? how often do your kids need to be picked up and driven somewhere?

as for after school care, mine were home alone for a few hours at a time from 10 on. if your kids are sensible and you've prepared them, that's a start. before that they went to the after-school care provided by the school for small fee. and before that they rode the bus to their daycare provider's house.

as for being driven to activities, other parents at the activities is generally the best place to start.

as for agencies and local babysitters, since i don't live near you i don't have a clue.




answers from New York on

If the school doesn't offer after school care, I think I'd be reaching out to a local college to see if anyone is interested in doing this. Be prepared to pay well - you really are looking for a nanny/chauffeur to handle the to and from logistics in activities, cover no school/no activity days, etc. for a short period of time right in the middle of the afternoon. I'd personally need to get some serious coin to goof up my entire afternoon and drive kids around to various activities for a couple of hours a day.

I do find it a bit sad that so many adult children in the world rely so heavily on aging parents to handle their children and their needs . . .

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