After School Care...Should I Hire a Nanny?

Updated on June 26, 2015
R.D. asks from Fort Worth, TX
14 answers

Hello! I will have a 1st grader (elementary) and a 5th grader (intermediate school) in the upcoming school year. My husband and I work full time and are unable to pick them up from school or the many after school activities offered. I feel bad that my kids are not able to participate in these activities because of our work schedule (8ish-5ish) and have been thinking about hiring an after school nanny or babysitter that can pick one up from school and the other up after whatever after school activity they may have. This last school year we had them in an after school program that picks the kids up right after school and takes them back to their facility. They are great and the kids seem to have fun, so my problem isn't with the facility, I just wish my kids could participate more often. For example, last year my oldest wasn't able to join the honor chior, running club, cup stacking, etc because she couldn't stay after school. Being that she is moving up to intermediate school, I know there will be even more activities that she will miss if she can't stay after.

So my question is, have any of you hired afterschool nannies or babysitters to help out? Where did you find them and were you happy with your choice? Do you have any other alternatives that I might consider?

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I think I am going to go with the after school sitter/nanny for both kids. They like to be together and it would just be easier to have them in one place when I get home. I also don't want my 5th grader to walk home from school...there have been several attempted kidnappings of after school walkers in my area so that is not an option.

Lol! Yes...Cup Stacking Club is a thing at my kid's elementary school! I thought it was strange too but apparently some of these kids are super talented and FAST!

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answers from Austin on

We have dear friends that had 2 very active and involved children. She hired college girls to pick them up, provide snack, if they did not have an activity, she helped with homework. She also sometimes started dinner.

On activity days, she got them to the activity, gave them snack and then took them home to get their homework started or completed.

She advertised in the college news paper. They were fortunate to have the same young lady fior 2 years, the other years, they had different students.

This worked well for them, it allowed the parents to sometimes work later than after school care would have allowed.

They paid well, I think that helped.

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answers from Chicago on

Rachael you need someone like me lol. I nanny for a family. When I started the kids were 5 and 8 now they are 10 and 13. They don't really need a sitter but what they need is someone who can get the kids to and from school. and to and from activities. sometimes I stay and wait til said activity is done and sometimes I drop off and mom/dad picks up after. I go before school and make sure they have breakfast, then home and then back in the afternoon. job as it is not full time is an every day before and after school schedule and in the summer it is all over the place as for hours. I have a set amount of hours I am paid for. 20 hours. if I work 10 hours I still get paid for 20 as that is what I have scheduled both financially and actual time wise. If it ends up being more than that in the summer then I get paid more. The parents have told me many many times it has been a life saver for them to know the kids are taken care of and they don't have to stress over getting off work early, getting there late etc and the kids get to do whatever activities they want to schedule them for.

I contract through sitter city. I know some people like better but for me sitter city has been great. This family I have been with for 5 years and that is where we found each other. the trick is to interview and follow up on background checks and references

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Cup stacking??? Is this an actual activity?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd hire someone. My two youngest are 9 & 11 (3rd & 5th grade currently) and I recently changed from a very flexible schedule to one where I don't get home until after 6 PM, which is the earliest my husband gets home. Having a sitter after school has been great. They do to a neighborhood daycare with some friends after school a few days a week but the days they have piano, hockey or another activity, the sitter takes care of that and makes sure they get their homework done.

In the fall, we will hopefully keep our summer nanny for before and after school (she's taking classes at a local college and hopes to schedule her classes for the hours my kids are in school). I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to knowing that my kids can get to their lesson and sports, hang out with friends, get their homework done and that she can start or warm up dinner for them all before we get home. It's well worth what we pay to know that the kids are well taken care of after school.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Of course! I didn't do it myself (because I was home) but I had plenty of working friends who did, and for the most part they hired local college kids. If you have a college or university nearby just call their career center and submit a posting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

We've always had a full time nanny but I know several people who have after school nannies. For them it was more about getting the kids to activities not at school - usually sports practices and music lessons. They've had good luck. One friend actually uses Craigs list with great results. Usually she finds girls going to local colleges kind of part time who have some afternoons free. I have used and know many other people too who use with great luck. If you're just looking for a bridge from an after school activity until you get home a little after 5:00, that might not be enough hours to make it worthwhile to someone. The people I know have the nanny start when school gets out. But they don't always have someone every day so maybe a few days a week you have someone take your 1st grader to a class like gymnastics and then pick up your older one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I just hired a sitter a few days a week for next year. I used to post a job and find some potential sitters, then interviewed and picked one. That way you put it out there exactly what you need and how much you are willing to pay, then I didn't have to deal with "do you have a car, are you available these days, i can pay this much..." etc.

I'm looking forward to it... my older daughter burned out on the after school care at her elementary. And my mom and MIL are burning out after many years of covering all the childcare for us.

I remember doing these jobs as a high schooler and college student and I loved it and was very good at it. I am still close to some of those kids (now adults!) I cared for over the years. I think it's a great option.

PS I love that your school has a cup stacking club!!! LOL



answers from Dallas on

I agree to leave your little one in daycare after school. I also agree that the 5th grader is old enough to stay home alone until you get home (I have a 5th grader too). However, I'm in Ft. Worth and I don't know of any schools around here that will allow your kiddo to hang out after an activity until you can come get them after work so unless your work gets out the same time the activity does that probably won't work for you. Have you looked into some of the school transportation vans? I've not used them, but I wonder if they are flexible for after school activity pickups. They could bring her home right after school on regular days and home after activities on those days; that might work for you.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would contact some mothers with kids in the same organizations as my older one. Then pay them to let her ride home with them after activities to hang out a while. Is she close enough she can walk home? If so she might just go home.

At age 10 a kiddo should be learning home alone time and many kids her age are latch key kids. The Red Cross teaches a babysitter's class for 12 year old kids to learn how to babysit the right way.

I always figured that if a kid was supposed to be old enough to babysit someone else they should be proficient at watching themselves first and have much experience at it.

When our 11 year old is home every neighbor that I trust knows it. This way they all keep an eye out for strangers or if she's outside doing something not allowed, like being outdoors or having the front door open or answering the door while home alone. She is not allowed to turn on burners but is allowed to cook in the microwave and she often uses the microwave while we are home. So we know she knows how to properly use it. Especially since she set the last one on fire by trying to cook frozen bread sticks on an aluminium pan in the microwave.

In a year she will have enough experience to know how to watch someone else while also watching herself because we've allowed her that possibility.

If you don't live close to the school at all perhaps you can have another parent whose child is in the same activities drop her off at home afterwards.

I think at her age she should be able to work towards this.

As for your son, he needs a full time care giver. If you can't arrange his classes for a time when you are home then maybe he shouldn't do them? I think finding a babysitter who has transportation is not a bad idea all in all.

You are hiring a baby sitter, not a nanny. A nanny is someone who comes to your home and does many things, not just pick up the kids and tote them places.

A part time nanny or babysitter do not get a salary or benefits or paid more than minimum wage. They are temporary contract people that you hire for a service then you're done with them.


answers from Norfolk on

We were lucky enough to find a taekwondo place for after school care that picked up at school (for elementary) and had a middle school bus drop students off at the tkd place.
Parents pick kids up from there and they do most homework at tkd, too so that's a big weight off parents on the home front!.

You're not the only people who have this problem.
Ask around at your schools office and see if there are any activites that provide transportation to the activity.



answers from Chicago on

When my neighbor was working full time, she had a sitter thru for her two kids, then 6 and 8. The sitter had a car and took the kids to their activities, to the park, etc. she also came on school vacation days. They paid her $12 an hour. She was pretty happy with the services. She had one sitter for a couple years, and one for 6 months before having another baby and staying home herself.

In our school, the afterschool childcare program ends after 4th grade. I was just talking to a mom about the problem with child care at the age of 11. I was babysitting at that age but I cannot fathom my son being alone. I have a couple years to figure this out. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

For the 1st grader, since the child has fun in the aftercare, I would go ahead and have that one continue with it. For the older child, if the programs after school are anything like the ones by me, she would get out before you get off work. How far do you live from the school? Is it possible a neighbor could watch out for her? If she would be home alone for an hour, would you be comfortable with that? Maybe she could check in with the neighbor to let them know she is home and then go home and get her homework done waiting for you. If you are not comfortable with that, I would see if a neighborhood teen( if there are any) is interested in staying with her for the little bit of time til you get home.

I had a sitter for my kids several years ago. My oldest were already 10 or 11 but I also had a 1 yr old. She mainly watched my 1 yr old and kept an eye on my older kids just to be sure they were fine. I found her on sitter city. She was looking for parttime since she was also going to school. The kids loved her.


answers from Columbia on

I'd keep the 1st grader in regular after school care where they are picked up and taken to the facility. For the 5th grader? That's old enough to stay after school for whatever activities are available and wait for you to pick them up when it's over.


answers from Boston on

A friend of mine who is a single mom hired a college student to pick up, deliver kids as needed to religious school or activities, and help with homework until she arrives. If the kids are both in a program, the student can study during that time but be available for pick-up and return to home. Look into colleges but also grad school, veterinary schools, etc. Students in early childhood education sometimes like these jobs even more because they enhance the resume. Every college has a job board.

Most high school guidance offices have a job board as well, although usually high school kids cannot drive anyone except their immediate families. But they can meet the bus, supervise homework, even start dinner.

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