As a single parent, you probably breathed a sigh of relief when your children finally entered grade school and you no longer had to pay for full-time child care. Unless you're usually home by 3:00 pm, though, you're probably going to need some form of after school child care for your kids until they're old enough to stay home alone
. If you're searching for after school child care solutions, consider these options:
School-Based After School ProgramsMany schools now offer after care programs for children who need care from the hours of 3-6 pm. The benefit of this type of after care is that it takes place right at your children's school, with children your kids may already know. In addition, your children will have the opportunity to make new friends, play games, and even receive tutoring as needed.
Community-Based After School ProgramsCommunity-based after school programs are another alternative. Many communities even provide busing from local schools to the after school program, which may be located at a local community center, church, or YMCA. Once your children arrive at the location, they will be able to play games, socialize, and even get a head start on their homework.
Swap Child Care Hours With Another Single ParentIs there another single parent who lives near you whose work hours are slightly different from yours? Perhaps she needs to leave early in the morning, but is usually home by mid-afternoon. If this is the case, you could watch her kids before school, and she could watch your kids after school. The benefit of this solution is that it's cost-free and also offers your children a consistent routine.
Free After School Child Care OptionsConsider whether there is a friend, neighbor, or relative who would be willing to watch your kids after school. The benefit of this type of after school child care is not only that they may not charge you, but that they might also be available to drive your kids to and/or from various extra curricular activities, including sports practices school clubs.
Hire an After School BabysitterAnother after school child care option would be to simply hire a babysitter to stay with your children until you get home from work. The benefit of this option is that your children would be cared for in their own home and would be able to stick to their regular after school routine in your absence.