We have just achieved lift off on a new school year, which means it’s time for “What am I going to do without my kids all day?” to quickly morph into “How did it get to be 2:30 ALREADY?”
Maybe you’re just now realizing the benefit of enrolling your kids in one of the excellent after care programs around town. Or, maybe you’re looking to switch locations, or possibly you’re planning for the future, when full-time school becomes a reality for your family (hang in there, Mom). Whatever the case, we’ve got the rundown on what to expect in after care programs and where to find them.
- No matter where you go—whether to a public or private establishment—you’ll pay extra for this service.
- You may be able to choose certain days of the week on which your kids will participate, and pay less accordingly.
- Some programs also offer before-school care, also for an extra fee.
- All programs should offer not only supervision, but enrichment activities as well.
- All programs have strict on-time pick up policies.
Other Options Around Town
If your school doesn’t offer after care, or it does but you’re looking for something different, choices abound. For starters, many private, in-home daycare providers are willing to take on a few older kids after the school day is over. The U of I’s Child Care Resource Service offers a database the public can search to locate home daycare options in the area (you will need to create an account to do this). Getting your child to the after care location is the biggest challenge with this option.
Several local day cares offer after school care for elementary schools with the benefit of bus service to pick your children up from school and bring them to the center. Centers pick up at different schools, so your child’s may not be on any given place’s route, but your child’s school bus may drop off at the center.
Following are some local daycare facilities offer busing to their after care programs for elementary school children:
- The Caring Place
- Chesterbrook Academy (both locations)
- La Petite Academy
- Little Hearts and Hands
- Next Generation
Still not finding what you are looking for/ need for after school care? You can always try looking for an after school babysitter to care for your child.
Rachael McMillan teaches sixth and seventh grade history at Campus Middle School for Girls. She also tutors at The Reading Group and volunteers for Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer in downtown Champaign. She is totally in love with her Chambana life, which she shares with husband Scott, fourth grader Jack, third grader Kate, and William the Toddler.