After school child care programs

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by jeffisjeff, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Our school district runs before and after school child care programs at the elementary schools. The programs are fee-based, and seem to be highly used. My kids go to the after school program. The before school program is highly used since the elementary schools don't actually start until 9:15am.

    Anyway, our district came out with its new budget, which calls for eliminating the before and after school programs. In a news article about this, our superintendent was quoted as saying that most school districts don't provide any kind of before/after school childcare programs. That surprised me - it seems that everyone I know sends their kids to some kind of similar program run through the school district.

    So my questions are: (1) Are these programs really rare or is the superintendent just making excuses? (2) What other options are there for a parent who cannot be home everyday to meet the school bus?
     
  2. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Our school district does not run before or after school programs, but nearly all the local daycares and quite a few of the churches have programs, which always include pickup service. Most have some sort of homework program and activities and snacks and such.

    Since your school district has provided programs until now, there probably hasn't been any need for anyone else to do it. But I would be really surprised if some enterprising soul with a gym somewhere doesn't see this as a great opportunity to fleece the masses provide a much-needed service.
     
  3. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    we don't have them

    almost everyone I know hires an older lady to get their kids on the bus and/or take them off the bus
     
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The only ones I'm familiar with are private programs, including the one I worked for. Basically, they're day care for school-age kids but don't want to admit it. The district where I grew up never had them and the ones around here don't.
     
  5. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    my kids are long out of school, but when they were growing up there were programs in our school district. But I also had a daycare provider who would drop off and pick up kids from school.
     
  6. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    Around here most all school districts have some kind of program for after school at least. It usually runs until about 6 p.m.
     
  7. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    The private elementary my daughter went to had after school care. They charged just enough to cover the cost. If the program is breaking even or making money what is the point of stopping it?
     
  8. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall school based programs when I was a kid. We used the Y. The schools around me don't have programs like that, though I think the building is usually open to about 4. You miss your busing if you stay though.
     
  9. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses. I guess the availability of the programs varies widely. Pretty much all of the suburban districts around here seem to offer those programs, but the city school districts don't seem to.

    The superintendent was quoted as saying that even though the program charges fees, there are costs involved. :duh: And, he said that while enrollments are down (across the district, not just in these programs), the cost to operate the child care program hasn't decreased. The fees really are quite reasonable (especially since we were used to paying full time day care costs :yikes: ), so I'd be willing to pay more to cover the costs.

    I was speaking to someone this afternoon who thinks the public threats to close the program are just ways to either (1) get people to accept paying more without complaints or (2) get people to accept bigger property tax increases. We'll see.

    It seems that this is just one of many budgetary issues facing school districts. Last year, our district closed a school due to budget shortfalls. Apparently, this year's shortfall is even bigger, and there aren't any more school closing options, so things are going to be :scream: .
     
  10. timing

    timing fragrance free

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    When my kids were in elementary school the local YMCA ran after school program at their school. It was very popular and had a waiting list. There were also a few private after school programs not located at the schools.
    At some point the after school program changed and is now run by the school district.

    School starts at 8 AM and there is no before school program.

    Many people higher someone to watch their child(ren) at their house.
     
  11. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Our district doesn't offer them, but coordinates with outside programs such as the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA. They run special bus routes to the centers.
     
  12. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    So, first off, the extended care programs don't make money, as a rule, and I assume the school district needs to cut expenses.

    And, your superintendent has chosen to publicize a cut in an area where parents are going to be in an uproar! Gets everyone's attention really fast.:hat1:

    I don't know if schools in my area offer extended care. I expect they do....with two parents working, and kids needing a place to be until after work, I would be surprised if they didn't. Where one set of grand kids live, there are several day care/school enrichment programs that run separately from the school (the kid gets on a bus and goes somewhere) but coordinate rather seamlessly with the school. The teachers all know who goes where, when...and the programs, know who comes from where. My grand kids get dropped of at 7:00 AM, are then given breakfast, and taken to school. They are then picked up, and taken to the after school care.

    I just betcha whatever the shortfall is in your district, it could be handled by....oh say......a 5% across the board cut in expenses, and a small increase in the fees for the extended care.

    It is hard times right now, and people are having trouble making cuts. And of course, who would want to. The Superintendent can shaft the parents (oops - ask the parents to make sacrifices) but won't have any luck with the teacher's union.

    In the district here....the teachers tried to ban parents from helping in the classrooms. Why? Because there is a part of the contract that says you can't put a parent in the classroom if there are teachers and union workers available, who could be doing the job. So, eliminating a...........lunch supervisor parent would not work, if they were trying to cut payroll expenses somewhere else.

    Good luck.
     
  13. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Our elementary school only offered before/after school programs for kids who required tutoring or were in financial distress. (The morning programs includes breakfast.) The schools don't open the doors earlier than 20 minutes before first bell. In middle school, they have sports and clubs after school, but not for elementary schools.

    There's a brilliant entrepeneur who opened a daycare/aftercare program in a small house next to an elementary school near us. School starts at 8:30am, so people who have to commute drop their kids off at the center and the staff walks them to the school building in time for classes. Their pre-school siblings spend the day at the center. At dismissal, staff members walk around the fence to meet their charges, then escort them back to the building. They have a snack, do homework and play outside in the fenced-in yard. It's a little pricey, but their clients said it's well run and very safe. Not having to worry about getting them from school to off-campus aftercare is worth a little extra money, imo. (We didn't need the program since I have a flexible schedule.)

    There's a YMCA day care program at our community clubhouse with pick up and drop off to the elementary and middle schools.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  14. hoptoad

    hoptoad Well-Known Member

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    Easier said than done. Do you cut 5% of the bus routes? Use 5% less electricity?

    That would be great, actually. A district near me had plans to upgrade some infrastructure that would save energy over the long haul. But that ended up being one of the things they cut. :lol:

    Most districts will pay more for fuel and electricity next year, just like the rest of us, so it's hard to see those expenses going down.

    That's stupid, no doubt. :mad:

    More volunteers in schools would be GREAT, in addition to the basic supervision needs. Schools can't depend entirely on volunteers showing up when they say they will, though. They will still need a back-up for the minimum staffing needs.

    and :slinkaway.... um, btw, I've been wondering for years, what is DH?
     
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  15. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Ours are run by the YMCA, though they're not located in every school.
     
  16. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of schools doing this. For those that do, it must be nice...
     
  17. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    The city where I currently live has had before and after school programs in its public schools for 20 years at least. The town where I lived until this past November doesn't have either.
     
  18. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    I don't know of any school-operated before- or after-school programs in our school district or any surrounding ones. Any that operate are privately run and may rent space from a school, but the school or jurisdiction has nothing to do with the operation.
     
  19. jp1andonly

    jp1andonly Well-Known Member

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    we have them in our district HOWEVER..they are run by a private daycare and they are renting out aclassroom for a small fee, which helps keep the cost down for parents. However our district is growing and some of the before and after daycares are being forced about because the empty classrooms are now being used
     
  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    After school and school break programs here are run by the Volusia County's Parks, Recreation and Culture Division.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  21. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Since my neighborhood is a stone's throw from a university, one popular option here is for a couple of parents to pool their money and hire a college student or two to meet the buses and take care of a group of kids at home for a couple of hours. Most college students are done with classes by that time of day; you just have to find some who aren't working after school themselves then.

    The advantage of that as opposed to a program is that your caregiver there can run the kids to sports or playdates or whatever after school. I have seen a lot of college students tapping their toes in the orthodontist's waiting room.

    As with anything else involving US schools, though, that varies. I volunteered in the elementary and middle school here all the time. The high school doesn't want parents around, but the lower-level schools most certainly do. I've never heard any of the teachers express anything but gratitude for the help and the union has never made a peep.

    Yep, I hear people suggest cuts in spending here all the time, but none of them ever seem to have the slightest clue how school money is spent, much less where spending can be cut.
     
  22. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

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    The programs are not rare. Where I live (small town by any standards) the before- and after-school programs are still up and running. So are those in the city closest to me. That school district has before- and after-school programs available in 23 elementary schools.
     
  23. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Just heard that a neighboring town that does have before/after school programs is rethinking how they're supported. In the proposed budget, the programs need to break even or make money. If the programs can't pay for themselves, they will be shut down. That would mean a huge increase for those who can pay in order to subsidize those who can't, making the school's program about as expensive as private ones.
     
  24. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    That's a possibility, but it requires finding a completely reliable college student. It can be done, but it takes a lot of work...

    Today it was revealed that the district also plans to go from full day to half day kindergarten. So glad my youngest is in kindergarten this year! I can't imagine trying to coordinate two kids getting out of school at two different times without some kind of after school childcare program!
     
  25. DCA

    DCA Member

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    Arlington, VA, public schools have a fantastic extended day program, and I don't know what I would have done without them. Even middle schools have an after-school supervised program. It's the only experience I've had, and I just assumed that it was common. Staff were great, I didn't have to worry about transportation connections, and it meshed nicely with after-school extra-curricular activities.
     
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  26. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    A lot of districts around here that have went to full day are now going back to half day. Apparently, they don't get any more money from the state for having full day. My daughter went all day, 3 days a week. Really liked that!