Before and After School Childcare

Updated on February 14, 2016
M.J. asks from Sacramento, CA
9 answers

Does anyone here use a nanny for childcare? If so, does the person cover before school AND after school, or do you have two different people help out with those time frames? And does the same person (or people, if you have two) cover summer?

I've very reluctantly had to start applying for full-time jobs (had been hoping to continue freelancing or work part-time, but not getting anywhere after two months) and just can't figure out how childcare would even work. In fact, I was awake from 1-3 am last night trying to figure this out (no luck). In theory, at almost 13, our son should be able to watch his nine-year-old sister, but with his ADHD, ODD and other issues (including a history of being horrendous to his sister) that's not possible. I'd need someone to get them to school in the morning, pick up in the afternoon, keep the peace between the kids and make sure our son actually does his homework. Just wondering if it's realistic to find a single person who could handle this kind of schedule.

(Note: There is before/after school/summer care through our daughter's school, but that doesn't cover our son. He would not do his homework if left alone and it is challenging for him to get himself to/from school because he has to haul all of his textbooks due to no lockers.)

ETA: Unless I find a job that pays extremely well, it is cost-prohibitive to pay for a different childcare provider for each child.

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answers from New York on

You might be able to get your kids to school before/on your way to work. So maybe wait and see what hours you have. Most working parents I know have one spouse that can do school drop off mornings and/or alternate who does which day. Then I know people who have found afternoon nannies. College girls are usually fun and well liked by the kids. I know of older nannies too who don't want full time anymore. has lots of people looking for PT. I do think the same person morning and then afternoon would be hard to find if they don't stay all day. Because of that, we end up having someone all day so she takes care of our dog, does the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking etc. That way on school vacations and if someone is sick, we have childcare covered. And I'd ask your daughter about after/before care. Some kids like it and mine tried it but much preferred to be home. I was surprised that even my oldest who loves to socialize a lot didn't want to go.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Honestly it sounds like it would be best to let your daughter go to before/after school care. Not only would she get extra social time with her friends (which my kids always loved) she would get a break from her brother, and he from her.
I'd probably look for a local college student to take care of your son. College students make great sitters because they usually have flexible schedules, no kids/families of their own and they need the money! We had a college girl a few days a week for close to two years and our whole family loved her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We used a before-care person for our house. The first year was kind of crazy. She came at 615am, got the two older kids on the bus at 820, and drove the younger one to his daycare by 845. This meant my youngest got to sleep in a lot later than 545am, the older two got to get ready at home, and life was easy. My husband left for work at 430am, and I was off of work by 330, home in time to get the older two off the bus. Then we picked up the youngest from daycare.

Once they were all in school, she just got them on the bus and I was again home in time for them to get home.

If you can work your hours out so you can do one end or the other, that would be awesome. Also, there are college kids looking for that kind of a schedule. But since the hours stink, be prepared to pay a little more for it. I paid $100 a week just to get the kids on the bus, and they were only awake for an hour of the time the sitter was there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

If it's possible, I would try to have you or your husband take the kids to school. My hours make it possible for me to get the kids to school. I do work late some nights (6:30 pm), so my husband needs to be able to pick them up at daycare (which closes at 5:30). He did have to change his work schedule to make that happen, but that was one of the many, many conversations we had before I became full-time.

I take our kids to school in the morning, and they ride the bus to daycare. There are some parents who need to be at work too early, and they take the kids to daycare and the bus picks them up in the morning. As far as I know, there is no additional charge for this, but that would be something you would have to find out. So it is possible to find a provider that will allow you to drop off your daughter early and have the bus pick her up there.

Since your son is 13, most child care places cannot take him at all (ours will not take 12 or older). It might work well for you to higher a college student to be a mentor/tutor after school. That could be great for him in so many ways, so that is something I would definitely consider.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree with mamazita in that I think your daughter would enjoy the after school program and the break from her brother. It might also make things easier for the nanny if she doesn't have to referee and can just concentrate on helping your son get through his homework. Less distractions for him means an easier time for the sitter/nanny. I also think your son wouldn't resent it as much if it were a college student. I can't imagine a 13 year old being happy about needing a "babysitter."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

this is a perennial problem, isn't it? i had it when i worked, and i'm sorry you modern moms still have to wrestle with it.
we were lucky enough to have a great home-based daycare not far from home when my boys were small. she'd put them on the bus and the bus would take 'em back to her. it was awful getting my poor sleepy little guys bundled up and off to daycare before dawn, but you do what you gotta do.
later on the elementary school finally instituted before-and-after school care for a minimal charge, and we utilized that. my schedule was also less stringent by then so the later start time worked.
it is possible to find a part-time nanny who can accommodate your schedule, you just have to be patient and persistent. and not succumb to the temptation to take someone you're not thrilled with JUST because she can accommodate your schedule.
network like crazy, and check references.
i wish i had a magic solution for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Right by where we live is a martial arts studio that does before and after school care. So you drop your kids off in the morning and they bus them to school at the right time. Then you pick them up after work. They give them a snack after school and have them do some Tai Kwan Do or work on homework. I would see if you can find a place like this that would take both your kids. Honestly if it were my kids I would work out a schedule where my husband and I take turns getting them to school. Then I would have my daughter stay at her school for the after school program. And at age 13 I would have my son come home and let himself in and watch himself till we got home. I would tell him he could get a snack and then he needs to get started either on homework or on a couple chores.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Do you have a Boys & Girls club nearby? If so, it might be a good option for after school and summers.

Your mileage will vary depending on what is available in your area, but our county has an amazing B&G Club system that takes members from 1st grade though 12th, at all income levels. They keep them supervised, busy with activities, have tutors to help with schoolwork, and even feed meals. There are usually transportation options, the elementary kids often get dropped off at the club by the school bus. Some locations have a shuttle, teens here use their B&GC card to ride the city bus to the club for free.

The cost of membership also varies depending on how much community support a location has, operating expenses, etc. In my city it is only $10 per year. I find this to be stunningly low, but there is so much community support for the program here that they don't need to make up costs through membership.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

So, you really only need a person to watch her. He isn't going to take to having a sitter...and he's way too old for child care. Just wondering, is he able to stay home alone until you get home. Or does he need supervision?

For the younger child I'd say you should have before and after care for her at the school or with the local YMCA.

For school kids it's not that much. In Oklahoma it's only $11-$15 per day for a school kid AND that's taking them to and from school. They might charge the same amount year round too. If they come all year they usually pay a little more each day so when they're there all day on days out they don't have to pay that additional fee right out of pocket. It works like average monthly billing.

If she has a good friend that has a mom you trust I'd ask that mom if she'd be interested in making a little on the side. Call your local child care facilities and ask them how much the charge for child care before and after. Then offer her somewhere around that amount. I wouldn't go over, she's not CPR-first aid trained or likely to have a degree in childhood development. But it should cover snacks and transportation.

If you have a household income that isn't way out there you should go to your state online site that licenses child care businesses. Follow the parent links or those that say apply for assistance. I had a couple that each made at least $14 per hour and they only paid a few hundred for the whole month for 3 kids. That was a great paying job back then too. I think teachers in Oklahoma even fall into the bracket to get some assistance in their child care payments. You could at least look and see, since it's California you might be surprised.

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