After School Care Would You Use an on Line Service?

Updated on January 04, 2012
B.C. asks from Valley Cottage, NY
10 answers

Hi Momma's I wanted to get your advise on what you would do. My two children ages 8 and 5 currently get picked up from school and are bused to an after-school program. I am not happy with this after-school program, half the time when my husband picks them up at 6 the homework is not done and the times that homework is done it's not correct. I went for a tour when school was out of session and the entire staff wasn't there. I know see that most of the staff are high school seniors or college freshman and really don't engage the children. THat's my first gripe, the second is that I am paying a pretty penny for them to go to this program and I don't feel like I am getting my money's worth. I moved to my area about a year and a half ago and still don't know that many people that I could get a referral for a sitter/nanny. A friend of mine told me about sittercity I am thinking about going on line to find someone but am very leery about the prospect of a complete stranger picking up my children and being in my home alone with them. Have any of you ever tried an on line service? can you tell me about the pro's and con's? At this point I am desperate and really need someone ASAP.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of your advice and feeback. I tried the YMCA and ours is run by teenagers in the cafeteria of the school that's really not what I want for my girls. I did try the parent portal waiting to hear any responses now. I think I will try sittercity and see what happens. Just an FYI I check over my kids homework when I get home at 7pm and we do education workbooks on the weekends I don't want my children eating and doing homework at 7-8pm that's why the homework part is essential piece of afterschool. Don't you think for one minute if I could be home at 3pm cook dinner and do their homework with them I would? . I asked for advise on sittercity not judgement. Next time try to read the question and see it for what it is just a question just one mom reaching out to other mom's asking for advice not judgement.

More Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Child care businesses do not usually have the kids do homework.

#1. The kids are there to play and do activities that the facility have planned. Free play is good to so that kids can de-stress from 7-8 hours of school they have already had.

#2. It is the parents job to help the kids with their homework because how else are they going to know if their kids can't do some of it. How are they supposed to know if perhaps their child might have a learning disability in some area. If someone else helps them with their homework how is a parent to know they didn't tell them the answers and then just let them go play. Or vice versa, tell them what they thought the answers were and they were wrong.

#3. If the parents are not helping their child do their homework how are they going to be able to talk to the teacher about how their child is doing if they don't know what their child is working on or doing.

#4. Child care facilities usually hire high school students and young adults to work with the school-agers so that they are fresh and fun, so they can do stuff that older teachers have no interest in.

Bottom line, it's your job to do school work with your kids, it's the child care facilities job to do their activities and let the kids have some down time to play.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love sitter city as well. I have also had very good luck with

The con's would be that "private care" is always more expensive than "center care", and you are giving someone access to both your home and your children (however, you can mitigate this by using the background check feature and checking references as well as using your "mommy-gut" during the interview process.

I did have good luck in one school that my daughter attended in hiring one of the teachers who worked there as 'after-school care'. This will obviously depend on the scheduling rules of your school (in this case it was a non-academic teacher, so she was finished with school right when the bell rang).
This was a perfect scenario at that time since this teacher was familar with my daughters teachers and could provide a higher level of academic support (she was certified k-8 in all subjects.. she was just functioning as the computer lab teacher rather than, say the 2nd grade teacher). So, you could try that.

You can also see if your school (or grade) has a "groups" or "list-serve" and you could solicit advice directly from mom's who attend that school. You never know... maybe a parent of a student in between your kids would be looking to earn some money and would be interested in providing after school care.

Oh - and at 8 & 5 your kids are old enough to ban together and take the nanny down should the need

Good luck


answers from New York on

My daughter is in aftercare till 6 as well. From my understanding it is still the parents responsibility to look over the homework. What ever homework isn't done, we have to make sure gets done. A lot of these programs do have Highschool kids and college kids trying to make a few dollars. They do not make much. I understand a lot of us parents work full time and have lots to do. But at the end of the day it is still our responsibility to make sure our children are keeping up with their studies. I hope I did not offen you, but this is coming from someone who works full time and have 4 children and understands.

PS I would never have a complete strange come to my home and babysit my children. At least they are other counslers in the aftercare and children. I know things can happen, but a lesser chance there.



answers from New York on

Talk to your neighbors, church, high school.. These are places that could
possibly give you some names of sitters.



answers from New York on

We found my son's nanny on sittercity and really love her. The best advice i had was to try to trust my mommy intuition. Just reading their profiles online I was able to see a few people I didn't even want to interview. We did interview a couple of people, watched them with our son, and it just felt right with our nanny. Sittercity offers free background checks, so you know they don't have any sort of record. We also know where she lives, where she goes to church, etc. After just a few weeks I got to know her pretty well. I feel really secure with her in our house. We live in NY where there are thousands of people to choose from. My sister found a part time babysitter in VA and was happy with her as well. Good luck on sittercity!



answers from New York on

I never used an online service. If you are looking for a private afterschool sitter, I'd contact the local high school, community college or church/synagogue youth group, where you can get a referral for a teen or young adult sitter and interview them yourself. Screen your own sitters.



answers from New York on

Do you have a YMCA program in your school district? Their program is one of the best around, it is not a "latch key" program. The do homework with the kids for about 1 hour. Then they follow a curriculum which includes CATCH, physical and a nutritional program, they also offer other craft ideas depending on the season/holiday. To promote diversity, a country is picked to open the children to the world. It is a really good program. It is in some of the northern Monmouthy County Schools districts. Call your YMCA to see if it is the local districts.



answers from Bloomington on

Have you checked into the local Boys' and Girls' Club? I work at our local one and am SHOCKED at how much energy is put into the this great program and it only costs $20 A YEAR (at least here). Our school district buses them to us and we have them until 6 if the parents haven't picked them up sooner. They are given a nutritious snack, given quiet time for homework and then are given lots of activities to keep them occupied.

I've heard great things about as well. I used it to advertise myself for tutoring and would consider using it to find a babysitter. They offer inexpensive background checks through the site. I would interview, interview, interview! Who knows you may find a person who will become part of your family! :)

Stick with your gut and move your kids.


answers from Washington DC on

Oh I LOVE SitterCity.

We found our first nanny on there and it turned out to be horrible. I was on travel on only her second week, she got mad at my 4 year old, and pushed him. I found out the following Friday because the fool told my sister, and she was fired immediately.

We then found our morning sitter on there. She started the next Monday and we LOVE her. We use her for full days when our other sitter (who does our days) is closed. I really don't know what I'd do without SitterCity.

Both of my sisters are on there as well.

I complained to them about the bad nanny and they called me! Yes, actual people :). She was removed.

I also got another email from them about a sitter someone else had complained about and was told they were removed and they recommended to cease all contact with them. So they really look out for their sitters and families.

Interview them and just go with your gut :). It's been a lifesaver for us!



answers from Grand Forks on

i use sittercity. single momma - i can stay home the first 1-2 days when my boy's sick, but after that i have to have a back up plan. i call & talk to 'em to work out time, pay, expectations, etc.
the first girl i used was 19 - did good, played w/my son & just supervised him (fine w/me on sick days). the 2nd one was a teacher's asst. in her late 40's and more experience. paid them both the same. very happy w/both of them. i just prayed & prayed over it they'd be okay. i advised 2 nbrs i'd be gone & there'd be a stranger there just so they could look out for my boy. also, i called/text as much as i wanted to & told them i expected to hear back very within 5 mins.
you obviously would have higher requirements & pay, but yes, absolutely i recommend
good luck girl, i think you'll be really happy w/it! (approx $35/month btw)

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