For many families, securing after-school care is a necessary part of the school year schedule
Where to find after-school childcare in the Champaign-Urbana area
Finding a spot in an after-school care program can certainly be a process. To make the search a little less daunting, we have compiled this list as a starting point. Many of these programs do a push for registration prior to the start of a new school year; however, many will accept new students throughout the school year as spots are available.
Thanks to Champaign’s Best Kids for presenting this list of after-school childcare options.
Champaign’s Best Kids are the BEST! CBK is dedicated to the empowerment and development of children and families. Its goal is to teach the life skills of confidence, discipline, and respect all while having fun in a safe environment!
When to look for after-school care
Maybe you’re just now realizing the benefit of enrolling your kids in one of the excellent after-care programs around town. Perhaps you’re looking to switch locations, or find yourself planning for the future, when full-time school becomes a reality for your family. Whatever the case, we’ve got the rundown on what to expect in after-care programs and where to find them.
Important things to know
Many local schools, both public and private, have their own after-care programs (including Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana District 116). In Champaign, the after school program run by Unit 4 is called Kids Plus. You can find the information on Urbana before/after school programming here. There is also a grant-based program in Urbana called SPLASH.
Keep in mind that:
- After-school programs will always have a cost that comes with enrollment and/or attendance. Some programs will accept CCRS and some will not.
- You may be able to choose certain days of the week on which your kids will participate, and pay less accordingly. You also may not have flexibility as an option.
- Some programs also offer before-school care, also for a fee.
- All programs should offer not only supervision, but enrichment activities as well.
- All programs have strict on-time pickup policies.
Other options around C-U
If your school doesn’t offer after care, if spots are full, or if 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 Illinois Cares for Kids Online Child Care Search offers families an easy way to find a list of child care providers in your area. Getting your child to the after-care location is the biggest challenge with this option.
Choosing a provider in your school’s city can sometimes mean that busing is an option (but not a guarantee, so check with the transportation department before you commit somewhere).
Several local daycare centers offer after-school care for elementary school students with the benefit of bus service to pick up your children from school and bring them to the center.
Following are some local daycare facilities that may offer busing to their after-care programs for elementary school children:
- The Caring Place
- Chesterbrook Academy (both locations)
- IA After School Camp
- La Petite Academy
- Little Hearts and Hands
We also know of places that provide after-school care but may not include transportation as an option:
- Champaign’s Best Kids – Champaign
- Stephens Family YMCA – in addition to sites at Unit 7 (Unity West and Unity East) and Mahomet (Middletown and Lincoln Trail), there is a site at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign
- Champaign Park District – Leonhard Recreation Center and Douglass Community Center
- I-Power School of Gymnastics – Champaign
- Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club – Champaign and Rantoul
- Sprouts Art & Nature School – Champaign
Still not finding what you need for after-school care? You can always try looking for an after-school babysitter to care for your child.
Read all about childcare in Champaign-Urbana now.