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Old 06-28-2021, 08:51 AM
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Default Is it realistic to do afterschool care only?

Hi everyone! It's been about 9 years since I closed down my family daycare and stopped posting here. Wow! It's amazing to see so many familiar usernames from back then and I'm grateful this forum is still here.



I'm reconsidering reopening again and could really use some honest input.

A new elementary school has opened just around the corner from me, within a very short walking distance, and I'm thinking of opening up for just after school care for up to 6 kids since the school doesn't offer that. They also don't offer before school care, but I don't think I want to do that. I definitely don't want to do infants and toddlers, at least not at first, and would rather focus on 1st through 6th graders so that means I would open from 3pm to 7 or 8.

Is it an unrealistic goal? Do you think it will be hard to fill my spots without offering care for younger siblings? Will it be hard to find kids who *just* need after school and not before school care? What about during school breaks (holidays, days off, etc)? Do I need to make myself available for them? I plan on opening this fall so summer care is far off in the distance and I won't worry about that yet.

Also, I wouldn't be offering any driving so no taking kids to various after school things. I would just walk over, collect my kiddos and they would stay here until someone picks them up. The only time I would drive is to pick them up during bad weather.

I'm curious if anyone else has made this work?

Am I crazy to be excited at the idea of getting back into this business lol? Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:58 AM
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That is how I operated when my own children were infants and toddlers. It can be done. I did not want my own to be "in daycare" so I did not keep kids their ages. I flipped to younger kids when they became school agers.

My ratio was 12 back, then, though ($35 week, 1990's). I am not sure I could make enough with 6. The schools here offer it until 5:30 for $5 a day, so I won't even try anymore.

You will probably need to be able to keep them for school breaks to bring up your profit and can make some extra by offering mild ill care, too.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:12 AM
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Oh, join us at the new forum, too. https://forum.daycare.com/forum
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
That is how I operated when my own children were infants and toddlers. It can be done. I did not want my own to be "in daycare" so I did not keep kids their ages. I flipped to younger kids when they became school agers.

My ratio was 12 back, then, though ($35 week, 1990's). I am not sure I could make enough with 6. The schools here offer it until 5:30 for $5 a day, so I won't even try anymore.

You will probably need to be able to keep them for school breaks to bring up your profit and can make some extra by offering mild ill care, too.
Thanks, Cat herder!

Our local rates for after school care is $75 per week or $325 per month so not too bad if I am only open about 20 hours a week. I'm not sure how I'd price full days or mild sick days? Charge extra per hour for those? Hmm..

Either way I think I can make it work financially, since I'd only be offering a snack and little to no driving (gas prices are going insanely high here!). I still have a lot of my daycare stuff from before stored away so that helps, too.

I think because the school is on a main road with traffic the bus actually drops off at the end of my street which is just one house down, so I may not even need to drive around the corner on bad days.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:47 AM
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For full days I'd charge the daily going rate for part-time care in your area. Here, that would be $35 per day.

Mild ill runs $45 per day because of the extra cleaning and space requirements.

You'd need to follow the local channels and be ready to open with little notice for weather/system closures, too (sometimes mid-day with 30 minutes notice).

It will be no different for you if you already have kids in the school district, as you would already need to be available for your own, then. It was a bit of a shock for me at first. Public schools close on a whim here and for weather that seems to pose no issue at all. It seems completely random at times, here. I had my own kids at the park one day when I got a notice the busses were rolling in 30. Crazy.
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Last edited by Cat Herder; 06-28-2021 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:55 AM
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Oh, you can also charge for school intercepts. Forgot lunch? Bag lunch delivered $10. Have a clothing emergency? Spare clothes from cubby delivered. $10. Forgot it was your turn to bring class snack? Snack delivered Cost + $10.

There really are a lot of ways to make this work.
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Old 06-28-2021, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Oh, you can also charge for school intercepts. Forgot lunch? Bag lunch delivered $10. Have a clothing emergency? Spare clothes from cubby delivered. $10. Forgot it was your turn to bring class snack? Snack delivered Cost + $10.

There really are a lot of ways to make this work.
Oooh, I hadn't even thought of that. You're right, there are a few "add on services" I can offer.

My kids are all grown and moved out now which means I have a nice, roomy home environment to offer with no personal distractions and can be available pretty much all the time unless I'm sick.

We actually have a small homestead here now and I sell fresh eggs, chicks and stuff from the garden so I may be able to sell a few things to the DCP's as well!

Again, thanks so much for your input!
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Old 06-28-2021, 11:44 AM
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You are very welcome.
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