After School Childcare: What Are Your Options?

With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the best after school childcare for your child.

Because childcare is one of the biggest decisions you make as a parent, we wanted to share some of the best tips on picking the best childcare for after school care:

Go with what you know.

If your child has previously been in childcare for a few years, it may make deciding on after school care easier. You may be happy to continue with your current childcare option but in some cases, you may not be able to.

Childminders may prefer to take a child ‘full time’ and creches may have similar rules but if you can and your child is happy, you are probably best to continue as you have done before. 

Consider your child.

Some kids love creche and they like being around loads of kids whereas other kids prefer more personal time.

Before you start considering childcare, take a few minutes to consider what is best for your child. If they have been in creche previously, they may not mind going into after school care there.

If your child has had a childminder, they may like to continue with the person they know and like, if at all possible. Deciding what is best for your child will make your decision a lot easier. 

After School Childcare: What Are Your Options?
Deciding what is best for your child will make your decision a lot easier.

Look at the after school childcare options available.

When it comes to childcare, there are many options: creches, childminders, family members, nannies or au pairs.

They all offer different approaches and they also vary in price – something to consider before you decide.

Creches are ideal for those who have set hours and aren’t at risk of finishing work at unsociable hours, but childminders work well for parents who start early in the day or finish later.

Family members (especially grandparents) offer familiarity, reliable care and probably a cheaper option too however; this doesn’t work for everyone.

Family members who care for your child can become too involved and it depends on the type of relationship you all share.

For au pairs or nannies, it is completely different. Au pairs live with you and nannies can too. For busy families with a few kids, they can be a great option. 

Ask for recommendations from those you trust.

Newbies to childcare may need to get some advice and there is no better advice than that of friends or family in your local community.

Friends and family members usually have used some childcare services and know what worked for them and what didn’t, and they will be totally honest with you too.

This helps with parents who are worried about their child’s care and want to make sure they give their child the best experience for after school care. 

Talk to the school.

Some schools may provide ‘homework clubs’ and if you aren’t working too late in the day, it may give you enough time to get back to collect your child without sending them to after school care. 

Emma Hayes

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

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