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  1. #1
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    Before and after school care or not?

    I have decided to add my final (5th) daycare child in September as my own 4 year old will be in school full-time and my daughter will be over 2. My current group will all be that much older, so I was thinking I would take another full-time one year old (I actually have an interview this weekend). However, it just occurred to me that maybe I should instead, take a before and after schooler around my son's age so that he has someone to play with and my days are not as heavy. The money is less of course, but never having offered school care, I am wondering about the pros and cons of it from some of you who have.

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I personally do not like being bound to the 'clock' of having to work around drop off and pick up from school so offering before and after school care is not my cup of tea

    However if I was HAVING to do this anyway because my OWN children were school age and needing to be dropped off and picked up from school than this IS a service that is generally high in demand and if you can find a client at the SAME school to provide transportation for or pick up at the same bus stop as your child if they are bused this could have many benefits for you!

    Yes while the income would be a little less the investment in a playmate for your son could pay of in SPADES at making your daycare run smoother for sure cause he could come home from school and have someone to 'hang with' verses being with younger peers he might not have the patience for after the long day of school plus on PD, March Breaks and summer someone his age for those LONG daycare days
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  4. #3
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    Pros as Reggio posted. Cons are that sometimes after a full day of kindergarten your child may be in need of down time away from friends and appreciate being either allowed to be alone in his room away from the babies too or being the big helper to entertain the babies once home. Get a sense of the time the bus comes now and what time you close to get an idea of how long you would have to entertain the older kids. Unfortunately that is often what happens is that they come home and expect to be the centre of attention so you end up with two separate groups to deal with. Your son alone will be easier to integrate into the existing group than two older kids. At the same time if all the others are over 2 then it won't be as dramatic a shift.

    Personally once my own kids were going to the bus stop alone I stopped doing school age kids. I so do not miss their attitudes, hyperness after school, and appetite for the dab of money I was getting.

    What about adding a one year old now that would be 18 months by September and give you an older group to deal with.

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  6. #4
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    I agree about the drop-off pick-up...I hate going to pick up my son midday as I have been this year (he is in morning preschool at the school he'll be attending next year). Next year he will be taking the school bus, which will drop him quite close, so I don't have to get everyone bundled into the car at least. However, as I will be doing it for him, it won't make a difference if I do it for another. However, Playfelt has raised some good points. I am imagining the chaos of two rambunctious 4 year olds with the 5 little ones ranging from 18 months to 3 years. In good weather it will be fine as we spend most of our day outside, but in winter I'm not sure. And it's true that my son may want to go and have down time in his room...especially since he won't be napping anymore (now he is still napping, so this may be a bit of a hard adjustment). I can't take a one year old right now because I already have three 12 month olds and also I cannot fit another child in the car to pick up my son. September or summer is what I am aiming for. The family I have coming for an interview this weekend has a child who will be 15 months in September...at least she should be walking.

  7. #5
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by playfelt View Post
    .... I so do not miss their attitudes, hyperness after school, and appetite for the dab of money I was getting.....
    I will admit this is me as well - I am actually looking forward to the full day early learning taking over the 4-5 age group entirely because while I love this age group programing wise - worked at a childcare centre that offered 'full day kindergarten' but IN the centre setting so the kids were not exposed to the 'older kids' in the school system and they were AMAZING group of kids ... but turns out I only love them if they have NEVER been to the school system cause once they are integrated into THAT system I so do not like the attitudes and behaviour that they tend to come back to 'daycare' with and try to integrate 'playground strategies' into the daycare
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  8. #6
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    Admittedly; school aged is also not MY favorite.
    Pros: you get a lighter load during the daytime, and most of the time school aged kids don't need as much "hands on" attention
    Cons: even though they aren't around for one snack and lunch, I find that they eat ALMOST as much at afternoon snack as the babies do all day! They also tend to be harder on toys and such. I don't have much patience for the behavious that crop up at that age, either. Whining, tattling, sneaky-ness, etc tends to appear as soon as they enter school.
    The trickiest thing that I found was finding things to do that all the babies and the older kids would enjoy. Going outside was good, but it was tricky to keep the older ones entertained, and keep the babies from eating grass, dirt, etc. LoL

  9. #7
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    Personally I quit doing B/A school after my first year because it was too hard to balance/emtertain the older crowd with young babies/toddlers around.
    The older ones would want to play memory or do a complex puzzle but the little ones would get in the way. The older ones also wanted a lot of my attention and wanted me to interact with them, tell me stuff or want me to join in whatever they were doing.

    I think it is best to either stick to doing babies/toddlers or else cater to before/after school. Mixing the two was very hard.

    I also agree with everyone who said that school age kids eat waaaay more and are often less profit margin. My little crowd already has hearty appetites but they were no match for the afterschool crowd who can seemingly eat you out of house and home. LOL It is almost as though you were feeding them the amount they would eat for dinner except it was only early afternoon.

    I think someday I might switch to doing just B/A school but I wouldn't mix the two again

  10. #8
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    I also DON'T provide before and after school care. I did originally because I wanted my 5 year old to have someone to play with but found that after spending all day with said child my own child wanted NOTHING to do with him here at daycare and ended up resenting the fact that this child was in his home and playing with his toys.

    The behaviours and the mouthing off that comes with the school age drives me nuts. I will be the first to admit that I"m not a 'fan' of that age group and have little to no patience when dealing with attitudes. I would take 100 2 year olds to 1 six year old I had more toys broken in those few weeks with B/A school then I have ever had with 5 little ones on a daily basis. The cost of meals increased like crazy as like one of the other posters said they eat just as much if not more than the little ones combined.

    I also hated having to dress everyone (especially in the winter) for the 5 minutes it took to pick up the school age kids..not to mention that they technically take up a 'space' even if they are only there for an hour or so. For me, its the little ones all the way

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