After School Care – What Should You Do?

Written by Jana Angeles 

After School Care is a tricky one for all parents. They say it’s a struggle being a parent, taking care of toddlers and cleaning up their mess, but when they grow older and start attending school, it’s a different ball game for us. We have to organise what’s going to happen when it comes to pick up time and who is responsible for this daily task. When we’re juggling a 9-5 job, we sometimes don’t have that luxury to tell our employer to cut out early and continue working from home after our parental duties are done. In this article, we look at all the options regarding After School Care and what you can do depending on your circumstances and budget.  

Family and Friends  

If you have family and friends that have flexible work arrangements, retired or have the luxury of having weekends off during the weekday (shift work woes!), it’s easy to organise pick up times, especially if an immediate member of the family is available. Whether it’s grandma, grandpa or your closest family friends, the people who you genuinely keep close in your life are your best options because you trust them to give the best care. Plus, your children will be comfortable around them and there’s no awkward interactions, which is a bonus!  

Hire A Nanny and Look For Back Up 

There are many people out there who are nannies for a living and this could be a great option for you and the family. You can organise your nanny to undertake some household duties, meal prep, homework assistance and providing transport if your kids are doing any after school activities a couple of afternoons a week.  

It’s important that they have all the required checks and qualified driver’s license as well as some decent references from previous families. It’s also worth looking for a back up as well, especially if your main sitter has fallen ill or has to stop work due to circumstances beyond their control. Make sure you are clear on the duties they need to undertake and follow-up regularly to see how the kids are doing. 

After School Child Care 

Schools often run an after school child care program, looking after kids when school has finished up. However, this is something not all parents can afford and when you’re juggling shift work and are a single parent, it’s difficult to arrange this depending on your work circumstances. However, if you have an office job, after school care will benefit you greatly. Not only that, but if the program is based at your child’s school, they will be extremely comfortable as they are already familiar with the environment. 

Arrange Your Work Schedule   

If you and your partner have the privilege of having flexi starts for work, take turns in pickup and drop offs for school. Not only will you reach a compromise, but this will save arguments especially if you’re both working together to make after school care work. Not all parents have the luxury of picking start times and finish times for work, so ensure you make the most of it if you have a flexible employer that allows you to start and finish whenever you like!   

Overall, it’s not rocket science when it comes to after school care. How you manage your priorities, especially when it comes to work commitments is entirely up to you. When it comes to working together as parents, it’s important to show support and have paramount organisational skills when it comes to your children.  

Also, discuss with your employer about flexible arrangements and see if you can come to an agreement, especially if you’re juggling full-time work and are a single parent. There are many options that are available to you so ensure that you know what’s affordable and the things you need to sacrifice in order for your child to receive after school care.