Opinion of Afterschool Care Center That I Visited...

Updated on March 25, 2011
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
23 answers

I am starting to look at after-school programs for my son this fall when he starts kindergarten. I visited a martial arts based program this morning. It is a family based business that has three adults working there. Their enrollment runs from about 80-90 kids. There is no school today apparently so there were less kids there. I saw about 30-40 kids while I was doing the tour. The guy I spoke to was the only adult that I saw walking around. The kids kept coming up to him asking questions, so I suspect that he was the only one there. Another guy came in the door the same time that I did and was apparently picking up a child. He said that he was picking up "Johnny". The owner said OK and the guy left with the child. (I'll get back to this one shortly). Anyway I asked if there was a list as to who could pick up your child. He said yes and used the guy that came in with me an an example. He had never seen the guy before. He said that the child's mother had call and said that her boyfriend would be picking up the child. I then remarked that he did not check the guy's ID to confirm that it was the boyfriend. He said no, but the child identified the guy as the mother's boyfried. The owner indicated that the doors are always kept locked to prevent kids from getting out...(Really? I was able to walk right in). He said that the kids were never allowed in the lobby...kids kept coming in the lobby asking the owner questions. Needless to say, I got a real bad vibe about this, so I am running away from this one. However, I am asking for opinions on this...I was just horrified that the owner did not know this other man and did NOT physically check his ID. I really don't care if the child seemed to know him...children can be too trusting. I just got a lot of red flags on the place... Would you have been as freaked out about this?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for validating my fears here. For clarification, this place is not registered as a license daycare facility...it is labeled as an "after school program with martial arts". I didn't realize that there was such a difference. I am looking at several options.

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answers from Chicago on

is this an actual daycare center or is it just an afterschool martial arts lesson? 2 totally different things. I would think if it is an afterschool lesson that might be run a little more lax. but if it is an actual daycare/afterschool program they are allowed by law to have no more than I think its 12 kids at a time per adult. different laws different states but no state in the US is going to license a center giving 80 kids to one adult. i would skip this one

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

my issue is the adult to kid ratio that would have made me hit the door running I would not have even gotten to the pick up part ... just my opinion.

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answers from Phoenix on

No ID checks, no possible way one adult to 30-40 kids can be safe let alone structured and already seeing that the safety precautions promised aren't followed=no way my child attends.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

RUN, don't walk, to another option!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yes, I would have been freaked out and definitely would not have registered my 5 yr old there either!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I would contact the state on this one. Not only should you RUN from this place, but I would feel an obligation to have it checked out by the authorities!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Yes. Move on and find another place. Our son goes to a program run by the city and school district in the summer and even though they recognize me from previous summers, I still am asked for ID at the beginning of the summer. If they don't recognize you, you will definitely be carded.

I'm not sure you'll find a place that's locked from the inside because that's not safe from a fire safety standpoint. However, you should feel confident your child will be safe overall. If you're questioning it in any way, red flag. Lack of appropriate staffing levels is also a red flag.



answers from Tampa on

I would report the place to the county. That is really scary.


answers from Columbia on

I would have been really uncomfortable with that. What if it had been a non custodial parent. Think how easy it would be for an ex to have some random woman call and give the kids information and say that someone was picking him up. The ex shows up and Johnny walks out with him because the provider said, "He knew who he was."
I'm glad you are walking away!



answers from Jacksonville on

no you are right, and that place needs to be reported.



answers from Oklahoma City on

You will run in to this situation every time when you are not looking at licensied child care facilities. Even the Y is not a licensed child care facility. They only have the kids a couple of hours after school so they are not required to be licensed. They are part time child care. A full child care facility will be licensed and do the things you are looking for.


answers from Lincoln on

yes! how did he know that wasn't some ex not allowed to see the kid but the kid always liked him? I would definitely keep looking!!



answers from Boston on

I would be so freaked out, I would call the department of early childhood ed. Not okay.



answers from Salt Lake City on

keep looking, go with your gut and it sounds like it is telling you to do just that.



answers from Portland on

Yikes! Go with your gut. Just the adult/child ratios alone sound terrible. The 'boyfriend' waltzing in, and your experience, sound appalling. I think this is only the tip of the iceberg for that center!



answers from Miami on

Yes, I would've been freaked out by it and completely appalled!


answers from Boston on

I would NOT let my DS go there. Keep looking !


answers from Stockton on

I guess it would depend on how old "Johnny" is. If he is obviously old enough to know who was picking him up - then I would not be so worried.....a 5 year old - yeah, I would probably be concerned.


answers from Minneapolis on

90 kids with 3 adults (the max amount you cited)? How is that legal, even with school age kids. 30 to 1 ratio?? That just does not sound right.

I too would be alarmed by the lack of security and supervision. YIKES!!



answers from Tampa on

Too many red flags- this place probably isn't licensed and guess what, they probably don't have to follow any rules about checking ID, number of children allowed, staff training or even screening their staff because they are running an after school enrichment program rather than child care.


answers from Kansas City on

This too has always made me very nervous. I do check Id's some of the time. But often I don't. I ask the moms if they have any friends or relatives or most importantly, Ex's that know who I am or where the child is staying. They all tell me the same thing. They don't tell people who I am or where I am unless it's their Grandparents or someone else currently allowed to pick them up. We tell them not to ever send anyone without a call and I collect info about what the person looks like, when they will be coming, and what they are driving. If anyone came without me knowing in advance, then I stop and call the parent. Fortunately, the few times it's ever happened the parent did answer. I am in a private home though.

That does sound like a LOT of kids to be cared for by just one or two people!



answers from Louisville on

Definitely not the place to be!
Do you have a YMCA program there?



answers from Chicago on

Wrong and careless on so many levels!!!!!! Take your own advice and look elsewhere :)

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