Thursday, August 21, 2008

After-school care for wait pool kids

A question from an SF K Files visitor:

I am wondering what parents are doing about aftercare for their waitpool option. We are assigned to Ortega MI and got into the YMCA aftercare program that is starting there this year. Unfortunately, Ortega's location and start time make it a real challenge for us to stick with it.

So, we are in the waitpool for Stevenson, which has a reasonable start time for us and is closer by. I have been totally unable to connect with KEEP, the ASP for Stevenson and have been told that I won't be able to talk to them until school starts. So, I have no idea if we can even get in, never mind when.

This is adding to my level of stress over this whole process.

I am wondering if parents have any insight on how hard it is to get into an ASP after school starts? Also, are there are other options, if we can't get into the ASP for the school we end up at?



  1. It can be hard to get into aftercare at many schools. One option might be to look into hiring a part-time caregiver to pick your child up from school and watch them until you get home. Perhaps if you tried to set something up with another family it might make this option more affordable? Craigslist often has listings offering this type of limited care. And, then get on the waitlist for the onsite aftercare for next year. Good luck.

  2. I'm sure it varies from site to site, but I have seen even fully booked aftercare programs have openings in the weeks after school starts, as families move around, change their routines, and so forth. If you are in regular touch with the director and clear that you will jump on a spot immediately, you may get lucky.

    Also, some schools have school buses that stop at child care options in other locations. The child care site or the school may keep a list of these on hand.

    Child care is such a major issue now. School is structured as if kids have parent at home, or a farm that needs working in the summer, and the school schedule does not conform to the now-standard family routine of two parents working. I am often envious of my SAHM friends who can pick up their kids at 2pm and have long afternoons to do many things together at home (or errands like doctor visits), but it is not the reality for the majority of us.

    Yet childcare options remain potluck. I'm so grateful for those pioneering parents and childcare professionals who have set up the good programs we have--but they need to be standard on *every* elementary campus (and federal/state subsidized too to make them affordable on a sliding scale, and high-quality, and to have enough room for all who need it).

  3. This may seem like whistling in the dark, and I definitely sympathize with the stress of trying to figure out afterschool care with a late assignment, but just to say--this will be worked out, somehow. There are options that will come together for you. Keep asking around (parents, principal, etc.), and take it one day at a time. In a few months you will have it together along with a new routine.

  4. Aftercare will work out. We got into a sought-after K last yr, at the end of Sept (well after 10-day count). If we could not get afterschool care, we would have had no choice but to turn down the school, but we got a spot at a good afterschool care program that someone else had cancelled on.