Ideas for After-School Care for 5 Year Old

Updated on April 20, 2012
M.F. asks from Los Angeles, CA
13 answers

Hi! Am (sadly) a working mother whose amazing boy is heading to kindergarten in the fall and a summer program in June. The late pick-up is 6, but I get off at 6p and can't be there until 6:30p. What do other parents do with their kids in these situations? Hire a student to pick up (not sure how that works for 30mins a day)? Have a neighbor or fellow school parent watch them? My husband works erratic hours & I don't feel comfortable leaving him with anyone (obviously) and want something a bit more steady than having my in-laws do 2 days, fellow mom 1 day, etc. Flex time is not an option & I feel badly enough for working so no need to comment in that regard. Just thought I'd ask if you all have any ideas. Greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

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So What Happened?

Just wanted to thank you all SO much for responding. These are all great ideas. So greatly appreciated!!! :)

Featured Answers


answers from Chicago on

I worked a deal out with my employer that I would come in 30 early to leave 30 early - worked out VERY well, and I was in a corporate job, HR agreed and they exteneded the offer to other parents in need.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Most of the programs mentioned before are closed before your situation calls for. I would continue to call around and find one that stays open later. My child care center stayed open until 2am so the strippers could leave their kids with me. I can honestly say they were the best moms ever They always paid on time and never left the kids there late.

Anyway....there are other options if the center will not be open the hours you work. If your employer is not going to allow you tl leave early so you can pick up your child then you must select something different.

I don't understand why hubby can't pick him up, no reason he can't if he is off work, he is the dad and should learn what it's like to take care of everything so he will appreciate you more.

You can call your local licensing agency and ask for a list of licensed child care businesses and they should have a list on line.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think I'd probably do something totally different for after schools rather than try to make the school program work with 30 minutes of something else afterwards. So, I'd look into other after school programs (Boys/Girls club, YMCA, daycare places) and I'd see what it would cost to hire a nanny for the afternoons or to have him bussed to an in-home daycare nearby. That way he wouldn't have to spend another three hours at school every day. I have a few friends who's kids go to the school after care program and they've said it's hard when their kids go the full time, because the kids watch all of their friends getting picked up at 3:30, 4, 5, etc and want to go home too. If you find an in-home daycare, your son will at least be somewhere a bit more relaxing than the school cafeteria or gym, and he won't be watching everyone else get picked up before him.

Don't feel guilty for working. We all do what we have to do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We have Boys and Girls Club at our school and they have pick up at 6 too. Definitely speak to everyone you know about how they handle this situation because someone will come up with a good solution for you. I think looking for a place that stays open later is a good idea but it may not be an option for you. I have a teenage babysitter that will pick up my son and take him home (we also have karate class twice a week so my babysitter drives to karate too). If you do use a sitter to pick up at 6:00, I would at least pay them for an hour. Or have them pick up your son at 5:30 so you get your hour's worth from the sitter. If your in laws can do a couple of days that will save some babysitter money. I have had weeks where 3 different people picked my son up - but you just do what you have to do. If it is any consolation to you, my son LOVES staying at Boys and Girls club after school and he gets mad when I pick him up early - it's like having a playdate every afternoon. I feel guilty for leaving him at school so late but a bunch of his friends stay too and the staff has them do homework first then they play games. So don't feel bad for leaving your son. He'll be fine and you'll figure out your pick up situation. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

If the late pick up time isn't late enough to work for you, what about looking into different after school care instead of trying to fill that last thirty minutes? Is there a neighborhood mom who might be able to pick your son up directly from school when she gets her own child? You'd have to pay her, obviously, but perhaps the same amount as you would be paying the aftercare program. Daycares often do afterschool care as well, call around to local places and see what they offer. The on campus late care isn't your only option.



answers from Los Angeles on

It sounds like you know what your choices are and you just need to pick which one is best for you. Either having a friend/neighbor take him home for the extra 30 minutes or hiring a local student to cover the gap. If I was in your situation, I'd probably lean towards hiring a student, simply because of the time of day. 6:00 - 6:30 is a busy/hectic time of day for a lot of families and it might be kind of a burden on another family to take in your son every day when they need to be making dinner, finishing homework, going to activities/sports practices, etc. If you are paying someone who is dedicated to just your son, it might make the evenings a lot calmer for everyone.


answers from Dover on

Some do the before and after care at the school, others have thier kids ride the bus to a sitter/daycare or are picked up by someone (sitter, family member, daycare). Most daycares close around 6 pm too so that may not work for you. You may need to seek out a family member, friend, fellow parent, or college student. One thought would be to utilize the aftercare at the school and "hire" one of their workers independently for that extra 1/2 hr a day (maybe they would drive your child home/meet you there).



answers from Detroit on

the kindercare in our area .. has a small bus and picks up kids at the local elementary school .. drives them back the center and the stay there till mom gets them.

they can only go 2 or 3 miles so the day care has to be close to the school..make some phone calls..

personally .. I would hire a nanny.. after a long day at school.. I would hate for my kid to be in day care for another 3 hours.. I am sure your boy would rather go home and relax.

Maybe grandma would enjoy a day or two and a nanny could cover the rest of the days..


answers from Phoenix on

check with some of the karate studios in the area. we have a local one that does aftercare I believe until 7pm and they pick up the kids from school. also check with the boys/girls club. ask the school if they know any moms who stay home who may want to watch him for you or someone from a local church. good luck.


answers from Austin on

Is there any way to take a later lunch or no breaks until 5:30? Ask your boss about that as an option.


answers from Kansas City on

I do this for our grandson who is now in first grade. I pick him up and watch him until the parents get him. I enjoy it and it's time to spend with him. Maybe you could find someone to pick him up at school and take him home until 6:30 when you get him. If you have family near enough to do it that is always good, well hopefully good. I am sorry you have to do this sadly and understand how you feel although I was home with our kids and didn't have to go through this. On the other hand if you can find someone who really cares and takes care of him that helps.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would keep looking for a different after school program that is open later. Ours was open until 6:30. You may have to find an in-home program.

Or ask around at the school for suggestions. You may find that one of the daycare staff that could keep him after the school closes until you get home for a nominal fee. I know several that work daycare and they would do that for someone.

Otherwise, would your in-laws do it everyday for you? I mean, it is just 1/2 an hour?

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

You might do better to have an in home daycare situation after school. and thru the summer. they sometimes have more accommodating hours. I agree that having your pick ups piece mealed together would not be a good idea. Better to have one solid plan. You might find that a college aged nanny might be a better solution for you. that way she / he could pick your child up each day.

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