After School Care: The Pros and Cons of the Various Options

Comparing your childcare options for when kids finish their school day

Once the kids are going to school it can really help bring down the price of childcare that parents have to pay out weekly but there is also after school care to think about.
In an ideal world parents would finish work around the time of their youngsters and be able to care for them themselves however this is often impossible.
Here are a few after school options you can think about before finally deciding on one.
  • Parent step in?- Something to consider if you are in a good enough financial position to do so is can you or your partner take afternoons off to care for the kids yourselves? If your employer agrees it could be a win win and may be more financially viable than paying for childcare depending on your tax and earnings.
  • Family member- Is there a family member around your local area that could collect your children and mind them till later in the day when you are finished work? Before you finalise this arrangement be sure to discuss money and terms as the last thing anyone needs is a conflict between families due to breaking of terms and pay arrangements.
  • Crèche- A lot of crèches will collect your kids from school and bring them back to the playschool and do their homework with them which can be a huge help for busy parents. Consider the location of the school and crèche so that your kids aren’t travelling for ages, and obviously it should be close to your own home. If your kids love mixing this is a really good option because they are socialising and once homework is done they can play freely! If you work late sometimes you need to discuss times the crèche closes at and if there is an extra fee for late collection.
  • Childminder- A local childminder who can collect the kids herself is another viable option and if your kids do better in smaller groups this could certainly be the best for them. Once again factor in the childminders location, be sure to get references from past employers and of course make sure your kids like their minder which is the main thing. If you work unsociable hours childminders can be more flexible than crèches and they don’t close up for the night like crèches have to!
  • Au-pair- An au-pair is a good idea but only if you have the extra room at home and don’t mind someone else living with you for a long period of time. Of course the au-pair will always be there to collect your children and it does give the kids that stability but the decision should be made by the whole family as it will affect everyone who lives in your home.
  • After school clubs- Some schools run after school clubs that start immediately after school and run till the evening and are another option worth thinking about if it is available in your area. It may not be for everyone and you would have to ensure it runs every day and doesn’t get cancelled at the last minute as you and your kids will be relying on this arrangement.
Not that we want to wish the precious years away, but the good news (financally) is in a few years the kids will be in secondary school  and need less after school care, but for now parents have to figure it all out and with these tips above you hopefully will!
Best of luck x
Written by Emma, Irish mummy blogger and staff writer with
Check out her own blog at

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

Read more by Emma
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us