The Learning Curve is a weekly column that answers questions about schools using plain language. Have a question about how your local schools work? Write me at email@example.com.
My grandparents lived with us when I was growing up. My grandmother watched my brother and I after school, driving us around to activities, helping us with our homework and cooking dinner for everyone to help my parents, who both had full-time jobs.
My family was lucky. My parents didn’t have to worry as much about what I was doing and who I was with from 3 p.m., when school ended, until 6 p.m. when they got off work. They got free after-school care from someone they trusted.
That’s not the case for many working parents.
In August, Ashley Lewis, who does consulting work for VOSD, asked me about before- and after-school care.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Oh man! It’s so good to hear that I am not alone!
I’m a single dad who was looking for after school care for my adhd son as he transitioned into kindergarten. Before the school year got underway I found ESS was full for his grade, so I began casting about for options. I found one in a neighborhood mom who was looking to start watching kids as a side business.
Unfortunately, a week into school, she had a health issue and was unable to continue watching my son after school. (I do not blame her a bit, I would have made the same call in that position)
So then I had to spend two weeks disrupting my son and my schedules trying to find ANY replacement at all. Luckily I was able to find a spot at one of the two enrichment centers (and the only one that is all 5 days) that actually picks up from my son’s school.
Looking into other options, it looked like a nanny was my only other option. They run 3-400 a week (hiring direct), and that’s before factoring any additional costs for making sure the taxes work out. Worse, nannies willing to do afternoon to early evening are in short supply also.
Hopefully I can keep my son where he is at the moment, but I’m afraid it’ll be easier/similarly priced to get into a private school if ESS stays as full as it seems it will.