Do You Need After School Day Care? Public Schools May Be the Solution

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Do You Need After School Day Care?  Public Schools May Be the Solution
Learn about how your child's public school may be the best source of after school and vacation day care.
Did you know that your child’s public school may be the best source of after school day care?  Whether parents need a little after school support due to work or personal obligations, many public schools may provide much needed support. 
With a rising number of parents in need of child care assistance, a great number of public schools have introduced after school programs, child sitting, and additional activities.  For parents in need of a few extra hours of child care after school, or for parents seeking support during school breaks and holidays, children can enjoy supervised activities and attention at an array of public school child care venues!
After School Child Care
Depending on a child’s school policies and programs, most public schools offer either free or reduced cost child care services.  For example Charlotte Public Schools, located in Michigan, provide support for parents both before and after school.  According to the county, children ranging from 6 weeks to 12 years of age can receive child care services Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 6pm.  While costs of the child care range depending on the child’s age, the time of day, and the duration of service, Charlotte offers support that ranges from $7 to $40 per day. 
In addition to Charlotte Public Schools, Fairfax County Schools, located in Virginia, also provide parents with after school support for kids.  Unlike Charlotte schools, however, Fairfax allows parents to receive child care support with a sliding fee scale.  Essentially, each parent / family is provided with a unique and specialized price option based on the family’s gross household income.  This helps parents of all economic backgrounds to possess the ability to utilize the positive, professional, and caring support of the public school day care programs.  For example, a family with a gross income of under $14,000 can receive day care support for as low as $7 to $10 each day. 
Vacation and Holiday Child Care
In addition to before and after school care, many parents also often seek support for child care during school breaks and holidays.  Charlotte Public Schools, in addition to their regular day care, also offer a spring break day care program for children ranging from kindergarten through the age of 12.  In 2009, for example, the spring break program will run from 6:30am to 6pm and costs only $130 for the full week of support.  While Charlotte, as with all public school vacation care programs, strives to provide parents with affordable and convenient resources, these school-based venues also provide children with interactive and academic activities! 
Many public school child care programs offer activity-specific themes or events during these vacations and breaks.  In examining Charlotte’s spring break day care theme, titled “Wacky Chef Week,” attending children are able to learn more about cooking, baking, and making recipes and food items.  Adding to Charlotte’s spring break event, Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) located in Virginia, also provide vacation-based child care programs.  During both school-year breaks and the summer long sojourn, children are provided with board games, art projects, theater events, literacy activities, and additional service learning venues.  Also, children attending FCCPS summer day care events are even provided with weekly field trips and opportunities to go swimming alongside other outdoor activities!  
After School “Teen Care”
While most teenagers desire more freedom and independence, many parents are concerned about leaving their pre-teens and young teens at home for long hours without supervision.  While middle and high schools do not offer student-centered “teen care,” they do offer alternative programs that can help parents find assurance and peace of mind. 
Nearly all middle and high schools provide kids with sports, clubs, and other after school activities.  As nearly all public schools require that extracurricular venues are supervised by an adult and / or teacher, parents can encourage their teen to enroll in these groups.  When teens participate in extracurricular events, they are able to interact with peers, expand their friendship circle, and improve their academic or athletic skills.  Best of all, parents can feel confident in knowing that their teen is under the care of an adult during the after school hours.

From kindergarten to high school, your child’s public school may provide the affordable, yet reliable child care that busy parents seek.

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