Child Care for a 12 Year-Old

Updated on January 09, 2013
B.B. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
15 answers

Hello, Moms. What do you all do when you work, and need b-4 and after school care (before 7am and after 3pm, for about 1 hour each time, 5 days a week) for your 12 yr old, who is 95% (meaning the person only really needs to be there as the responsible adult, would not have to do much other than make sure she gets onand off the school bus, make sure she does not forget her lunch, books, etc.)independent. A family member is needing this help, and she is a single mom, so she cannot afford to pay a lot of money for this. I am thinking perhaps a college student, or a stay-at-home mom, someone trying to make a little cash every week. She lives in the Freehold, New Jersey area, area code 07727. The YMCA, and any others that offer before school care do not accept kids until 7, but she needs to be able to drop her daughter off before 7, so she can be at work by 7. So far no luck on family members, and Dad is not an option. Any ideas????She cannot change jobs, or her hours. Help! Addendum: With all the things that happen to kids, and all the predators around, we just do not feel confident leaving her at home. She IS pretty responsible, but she is still a kid, and each kid isidifferent when it comes to when and how much you want to leave them alone. Me, I was babysitting when I was 7. She is not special needs, but for now she needs a responsible adult to assist her. Some things have already happened to let us know this is needed. (For your FYI).

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So What Happened?

I want to thank each and every one of you for your helpful suggestions! You mom's rock!!! The child had locked herself out of the house a couple of times in the last few weeks, and the second time her mom was caught in traffic trying to get home to her, but it got dark out, and she was on her front steps in the cold. They lost connection with their cell phones, and when a strange man started circling around, my friend's daughter got scared, and was unable to call her mom back to ask her what she should do. They do not know any neighbors, so she could not take refuge with one of them. She is a very responsible child, but recent incidents call for the presence of an adult, if only for a while. Just wanted to provide a bit more info. so you all will not think her mom is being too over-protective and not giving her daughter the chance to show how responsible she can be. My friend will explore some of the suggestions you gave, and hopefully will find a reliable source soon. Bless you all!

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answers from Las Vegas on

This child's mother knows her well enough to know whether or not she needs assistance and apparently she does.

Unfortunately, she is asking for someone's time whether it be a college student, SAHM, YMCA, or child care facility, so they should be paid. Otherwise, she is asking a favor of someone. Since that is the case, is there a friend that goes to the same school who's parents can assist? Can she have a parent assist with mornings and use the after school program at the school or YMCA? Yes, she will have to wake that child up earlier than needed, but, well, basically, too bad.

Child care facilities are a good option too, although she will have to still get between the child care and the school. Some have buses or vans to transport the children and some have a person to walk them to the school. Most of them offer an income based sliding scale.

My daughter used to get herself to and from school in 6th grade (whatever age that is) and I also caught her J-walking across a major street a few times. Sahara for those of you in the area. So while we think they are responsible, they are still kids.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Grand Forks on

I would empower her to to be at home alone. Have her take a babysitting course and/or a walk to school course/home alone course, and ask a friend or neighbour to be an emergency contact for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

No offense, but your friend needs to teach her child, not continue to handicap her developmentally.

My boys are 10 and 11, and have been getting themselves to and from the bus stop with all their gear for 2 years now. They've NEVER missed the bus. They go to different schools at different times, so they are leaving and arriving alone. They each wear a watch.

A 12 year old should be perfectly capable of coming and going on her own. She can call mom right before she leaves the house in the morning, and right when she arrives home in the afternoon to check in. When she arrives home, she stays indoors with the doors locked, makes a snack, does homework and can watch TV or play in her room.

The rules in our house when kids are alone are: Stay inside, no cooking on the stove, nobody comes inside.

Since the boys have been alone a while now, they have been allowed to microwave a snack, but no cooking on the stove. They have been taught to use the EMS (9-1-1) properly, and when and how to use a fire extinguisher (there are three in our home). They call me at work as soon as they are home and are home alone after school for about an hour and a half.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would say college student, neighbor, or friend from school. Another option is to see if there is a nanny in your neighborhood for another kid who might be happy and willing to start her day early.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

How about a neighbor? She can leave for work and the child can walk next door when she's ready or before mom leaves for work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The 12 year old should be able to do this herself...maybe in the morning mom could just call to make sure kid is up and ready and then after school have the kid call mom to check in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Check if there is an in home child care in her area. They may do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

In Oklahoma a 12 year old child can actually work in the classroom as a teachers helper. Since most child care centers just don't take kids that old they have some other options. This way the child does not feel like they are with the little kids and they learn valuable skills for later in life.

Page 2

"Teen aide" means a 13- to 15-year-old who works under the direct supervision of a master teacher and is not considered in the staff-child ratio as a staff or as a child".
If she just can't find one that has a program like this where the cost is very minimal she is going to have to poll her neighbors who have kids the same age. Then she'll have to drop her child off on her way to work then pick them up after she gets off.

I had a friend who had to be at work by 5:30am or 6am most days of the week. She dropped her daughter off about 15 minutes before work, her daughter could be at school by 7:45 to eat breakfast. She got off at 3 or 4 and she picked her daughter up about 20 minutes after she got off work.

She paid me the same as if I were a child care center. Especially since I was transporting her child and providing an after school snack for her. She paid me $12 per day. This covered about 3-4 hours.

If she left her the whole day during the week when the kids were on break she paid me a bit more but she worked in a hotel cleaning rooms and didn't make a lot. So I didn't charge her a lot. The $12 per day was primarily to cover the cost of the gasoline taking her child to school and to feed her the one snack per day.

If your friend looks around she should be able to find someone who'll do the same for her. She needs to call the local child care centers though just to see which ones have school kid programs. These centers will have kids close to your friends child's age and she'll enjoy it more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would ask at the school to see if they know of any moms who do in-home daycare. My daughter goes home twice a week with a girl in her class. Also, I would try Does the school have some sort of day care set up? Most schools have some sort of childcare in place for working moms.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A 12 yr old should be pretty self sufficient to take care of this herself.

Get to/from bus stop?? Morning and afternoon?

Many children around that she are already babysitting.

Is this child special needs?

Our now 18 yr old was getting herself up and ready for school by age 10. Granted, I was SAHM/WAHM so I had contact and she had a phone.

Maybe this 12 yr old needs to learning independence!

Mom could pay the 12 yr old for making sure she holds down the fort at home independently... Win Win situation!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Your best bet for before school care is to find a mom in your area that could use a few extra $$ a week. You can ask around, the school office, parents you know, etc.

After school care would be easier. Yes, I think a college or high school (senior) would be an excellent choice.



answers from Kansas City on

Our school is affiliated with a before/after school care program where they bring the kids to school and pick them up. She might want to call the school and see if they have one.

Barring that, does she have a schoolmate nearby who's mom might be amenable to this situation?



answers from San Francisco on

I suppose since she is not yet mature/responsible enough to handle herself you could ask if one of her friends' parents would be willing to take her in the morning and get her to school. In the afternoon couldn't she take the bus to a safe public place, like the library? That's what a lot of kids do around here.



answers from Detroit on

My high school cousins do not do this alone. If they did, they would NEVER get to school, let alone come with a lunch. Their parents help them.
12 is young!

If the mother qualifies for a subsidy, she can use a daycare center. They take up to age 12, and have before and after. It's a good, wholesome environment. Many open at 6am.



answers from Dallas on

Our Adventure Day Camps on Lake Grapevine are for ages 4-13 and we are there Spring Break and 12 weeks in the summer. Our hours are 7am-6pm, but I can work with special requests....have even had campers dropped at my house before I leave, etc. we are going on our 10th year, and would love to have your daughter join us!!!

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