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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 01:14 PM
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Default Before/After School Care

I need to decide if I want to look into before/after school care for school agers or if I want to look at taking on a new baby. I'm so torn. I use to work with school age kids in an after-school setting (in a school) and loved it. I'm not thrilled about taking on a new baby, but I know financially that's the better move. Those of you who have SA, I'm hoping you can help me with a few questions.

1. What do you enjoy about before/after school care?
2. What struggles do you have?
3. What do you do during the summer?
4. How do you handle on non-school days, delays, school closing due to weather?
5. Anything else?

Thanks for the input!
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2010, 01:38 PM
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I will NEVER take SA's again. Too much destruction, not enough discipline/respect and too many "entitled" parents, now. My sisters who are school teachers are thinking of getting out for the same reasons. Check out some of the school teacher discussion boards, it is getting worse by the minute.

10 years ago when "Yes, Mam" was commonly heard I would have said the exact opposite. I loved doing the science experiments and working on big projects together. I live for biology and this was such a joy for me. It really is becoming more like caring for children AND adults everyday... Sorry if that is not helpful.

Maybe go hang out at your local bowling alley/movie theatre for a few hours to see what I am talking about? The difference is palpable from even 3 years ago when I took my own 3 SA's there.... Just last week my DH was kicked in the back of the head by a kid about 9yrs at our movie theatre, when he asked the kid politely to put his feet down off his seat the dad said "we paid the same for our ticket as you so shut up".
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:38 PM
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I have decided no more school age children for me they stress me out too much there more work than a baby for me. The mental work is too much for me
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:40 PM
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Well, i would decide based on the ages of the kids currently in care. If they are younger I'd take a newborn or toddler. If they are Preschool and older, and you can handle the increased energy level after school, I would consider school age. I personally do not like having school agers here with my little kids. they want to do things that the little ones can't, and I don't have a good set up to separate them while supervising both groups.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I will NEVER take SA's again. Too much destruction, not enough discipline/respect and too many "entitled" parents, now. My sisters who are school teachers are thinking of getting out for the same reasons. Check out some of the school teacher discussion boards, it is getting worse by the minute.

10 years ago when "Yes, Mam" was commonly heard I would have said the exact opposite. I loved doing the science experiments and working on big projects together. I live for biology and this was such a joy for me. It really is becoming more like caring for children AND adults everyday... Sorry if that is not helpful.

Maybe go hang out at your local bowling alley/movie theatre for a few hours to see what I am talking about? The difference is palpable from even 3 years ago when I took my own 3 SA's there.... Just last week my DH was kicked in the back of the head by a kid about 9yrs at our movie theatre, when he asked the kid politely to put his feet down off his seat the dad said "we paid the same for our ticket as you so shut up".
What she said.......there is no school this week here and I have my 4 Kindergarteners and one 8 yr SA boy who has 2 younger sibs here. ALL these kids have been here since they were babes and I have had more trouble with the one 8 yr old SA'er than ALL the rest put together! He antagonizes the others, forms clubs and groups everyone can't be in unless they listen to him, he is bossy, rude and has a mouth that needs some soap!! He wasn't always like that.....just started the smart mouth stuff when he started school...I see signs in my kindergartener's already too....so if SA kids are your cup of tea..then I applaud you BIG TIME.....but if you are just looking for some new kids to pay the bills...SA's aren't worth it!!!! IMHO.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:13 PM
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1. What do you enjoy about before/after school care?

I enjoy having school hours free to get things done, and making decent money for what amounts to 15-20 hours per week of work. I don't have to deal with diapers (unless I have younger drop ins), nap time, or tantrums.

2. What struggles do you have?

My biggest struggles are not with the kids, but with the parents (nonpayment, late payments, late pickups, etc.). Sometimes I have trouble with "I'm bored", but honestly after snack time, homework time, and a bit of craft or playtime, there isn't much time left for boredom. The other biggest challenge is that you are pretty much stuck with the kids you have at the beginning of the school year, because once a child is in care, parents generally leave them until the following year. If you have to term, be prepared not to be able to find another family to fill the spot.

3. What do you do during the summer?

I don't keep kids during the summer. I save a portion of my pay every week and build up a "summer fund" to take care of expenses during the 11 weeks off from school. If you don't want to do that, you can always fill in with summer only children.


4. How do you handle on non-school days, delays, school closing due to weather?

I charge more for days when they're here longer than normal. I have the parents pack a lunch, and I plan a couple of activities to keep them occupied, but really on those days we have a lot of outside play or a movie day. Sometimes if the parents are agreeable, I take the kids to a bounce house or park (with permission slips and money for their admission provided by parents, of course).

I usually stay open for these days, and charge whether or not the kids come. However, I don't charge extra if they're not here.


5. Anything else?

I think (and this is JMO) that the people who dislike having SA's around are the ones who have SA's and little ones at the same time. Those two age groups just do not mix. If you can afford to do one or the other exclusively, that's best.

I really enjoy older kids. They entertain themselves more easily and when it comes time to discipline, they understand why what they're doing is wrong. Their school day stories are entertaining and I feel like I can really have meaningful conversations with them. That's not to say that I don't get a challenging child or situation (I've posted about both here before many times), but that's true with any age group.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom View Post
[b].


5. Anything else?

I think (and this is JMO) that the people who dislike having SA's around are the ones who have SA's and little ones at the same time. Those two age groups just do not mix. If you can afford to do one or the other exclusively, that's best.

I really enjoy older kids. They entertain themselves more easily and when it comes time to discipline, they understand why what they're doing is wrong. Their school day stories are entertaining and I feel like I can really have meaningful conversations with them. That's not to say that I don't get a challenging child or situation (I've posted about both here before many times), but that's true with any age group.
After thinking about your response Afterschoolmom, you are absolutely right! I have a mixed age group and that is probably what makes it difficult. I prefer the preschool age kids but if I had to ONLY have SA kids, I could totally see how it would be fun and easy because as a group doing activities and experiences etc. would be ideal......
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I will NEVER take SA's again. Too much destruction, not enough discipline/respect and too many "entitled" parents, now. My sisters who are school teachers are thinking of getting out for the same reasons. Check out some of the school teacher discussion boards, it is getting worse by the minute.

10 years ago when "Yes, Mam" was commonly heard I would have said the exact opposite. I loved doing the science experiments and working on big projects together. I live for biology and this was such a joy for me. It really is becoming more like caring for children AND adults everyday... Sorry if that is not helpful.

Maybe go hang out at your local bowling alley/movie theatre for a few hours to see what I am talking about? The difference is palpable from even 3 years ago when I took my own 3 SA's there.... Just last week my DH was kicked in the back of the head by a kid about 9yrs at our movie theatre, when he asked the kid politely to put his feet down off his seat the dad said "we paid the same for our ticket as you so shut up".
Nan likey the new Catherder

NO school agers
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2010, 02:45 PM
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I used to take on more school agers, than what I do now. I have 2 of them now, and that is plenty! No, they are definately not worth it. I may have to adjust these rates in the near future.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2010, 08:07 PM
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School agers?
NO WAY!
Sassy, sassy, sassy!
No thanks!
Bring on the babies!!!
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:18 AM
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i am always wishy washy about SA.

having them here with the little ones is horrible.

on the other hand, if thats ALL i had was SA then i would probably love it.

i used to work in a center in the SA room, and i loved it. but the minute you mix them with the babies, it changes everything.

the first summer i did in home daycare, i happened to have just SA and it was an awesome summer! we did all kinds of stuff, trips, etc, you just cant do with babies around. this past summer i happened to have two babies, and it changed everything. the SA cant seem to entertain themselves anymore, without some form of electronic device in their face. ( i had one shake a stuffed animal the other day and say "what does this thing do?" lol) and the 2 SA i have now are super bratty and think they are entitled to everything. one actually went under my tree and rustled through presents that were for my family and asked which were for him.

kids are changing, parents are changing, the world is changing. if you ask me, its a train wreck waiting to happen.

to the OP, i would seriously think twice about adding SA to the mix. babies may cry, but they dont talk back
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:19 AM
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I have to agree with live and learn. Give me the little ones.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2010, 05:33 AM
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I have the hardest time with school agers.

All I have right now is school agers and two infants. I would take 5 infants over 3 school agers! On days off I just have school agers as the infants parents have off with the school schedule.

Maybe I'm cynical because we are on 3 days off of school and I ran out of milk so no coffee for me this am. I have also been looking to get back in the work force making what I make now.

1. What do you enjoy about before/after school care?
I enjoy that I don't have them 40 hours a week! I love my break in between to refuel and get my blood pressure down.

2. What struggles do you have?
Summer and days off. They are destructive, loud and rude! My friends can not believe this set of children I have right now. In the past my 3 year olds have had more manners then these school agers. The parents feel entitled to everything. They want the cheapest price they can get but want field trips that you pay for daily. They only need before/after so they are less likely to pay and more likely to have excuses for money issues and stick you with a large bill.

3. What do you do during the summer?
Pray a lot and drink a lot of coffee. It's really all you can do....

I try to plan free field trips on days off. It gets the kids out of the house and less mess and headache but they never say thank you unless you make them. (Which at that point does a thank you really matter??). They complain they are bored or tell me where they would rather be going.

4. How do you handle on non-school days, delays, school closing due to weather?
Same as summer break. For delays and school closings I try to have a stack of crafts from oriental trading as emergency relief.

5. Anything else?
I would love to take more babies or toddlers on!!
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2010, 05:47 AM
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I think for me the biggest issue with SA is that I have five of my own boys who are SA and most days they are enough for me maybe when they all grow up and move out I will enjoy SA once again
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2010, 06:00 AM
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I have a question for those of you with the problem SA's. I'm not trying to start an argument here, but why do you put up with the bad behavior? You wouldn't from the younger children, so why from the older ones?

I've been known to sit all of mine down in the same room with the lights out, and have them keep totally silent and do nothing but look at each other for as long as it takes to get the point across. They think it's funny for a couple of minutes, but then when the boredom sets in... now all I have to do is threaten to do that and they usually straighten up. If they're being rude about where you go on a trip, make them sit out. If they complain about being bored? Older kids can write sentences, just like in school. I've made "I'm bored" an off-limits phrase - it is against my rules to say it! I even made a list of activities that they can choose from, so they know if they need something to do, they just choose an activity from the list.

My kids here all use manners, and we have very few problems now, even from the child that started new this year (that had a LOT of issues in the beginning).

I guess we're all different in our preferences, but I would MUCH rather have 5 SA's than 5 babies! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:38 AM
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My number one reason for no SA kids is they don't need an afternoon nap. I don't do ANY version of ANY activity during nap. I don't provide services to kids who don't need a full afternoon nap.

In my State they have to have an adult with them at all times. They can't go outside and play without having an adult out with them.

By the time they are in school most have had school lunch which where I live is very unhealthy, high fat, high sugar, high salt, processed heat and serve food. Kids who eat like this don't like my home made from scratch food.

By the time they are this age they are very addicted to video games, computer, battery toys etc. My program is toy based and I don't offer TV to the kids except during transition times like when we are getting the group into full winter gear.

Homework... I don't offer any educational assistance... and the pressure to have kids complete their homework is a problem for a lot of providers.

Parent conferencing is much higher with school aged kids because they are able to give their version of events and what they want changed. This can lead to a lot of time with the parents to go thru the events... discuss WHY... and inforce whatever the kid is protesting.

Now that very young elementary kids can cheaply have cell phones there is a direct phone line to the parent in some cases.

School aged kids are rougher on equipment and furniture.

Interpersonal relationships are harder to manage.

For me.. besides the nap... my main thing is that I believe that kids over the age of six need to be OUTSIDE and free playing... riding bikes... skateboards... scooters... playing tag... Doing play from little with as little adult involvement as possible. My State has no problem with them doing it as long as they have an adult outside with them. THAT'S the problem... the money for the adult is more than I can make off of the kids.

My son is ten and here in an hour or so he will gear up in snowpants and be outside most of the day. We live within a minute of the park and his little fool friends will be kicked outside by nine a.m. He'll come back in for hot chocolate and lunch but he WILL be outside almost all day today. I won't be out there watching it.

When I was a kid we weren't allowed to be inside if we could be outside and we NEVER had adults outside playing with us or watching us. We NEVER had adults finding stuff for us to do... doing crafts or activities. We were expected to be kids and find our own play.

Now we have the idea that kids need to be entertained by adults in some way either thru adults offering electronics or "doing stuff" with them. It's pretty rare to find school aged kids that know how to PLAY with stuff like barbies, blocks, action figures, trains, playmobil etc.

My sons current group of little fool friends LOVE coming to my house to play. I have a house FULL of school aged toys and they are so HAPPY to be inside and not out that they all want to be at my house with my huge ORGANIZED toy collection. The reason they love it is because their parents make them play outside unless it is super nasty outside. It's an oddity to them to have organized complete sets of toys and so MUCH to play with.

It's actually an issue here because the parents want them over here too. All of my sons friends but ONE doesnt allow kids in THEIR house but love it when their kid comes to mine. I've had to put the hammer down about the neighborhood school agers being over here during Christmas break because going into the second week they are getting bored with being outside and the parents want them GONE... either outside or at my house.

So today I will fend off four/five requests of my sons friends wanting to come inside and play at my house. My rule is: If your Mom says no kids in the house then I say no kids in the house. When I tell them this they say "Oh my mom doesn't care if I come to YOUR house ... she just doesn't allow kids in OUR house".

Yeah I got that... like I said... If your Mom says no kids in the house it means that she knows better than to have school aged kids in her house.. and she doesn't even DO day care!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:16 AM
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long ago I made a rule.... No friends during daycare hours. Period, unless their parent wanted to pay for care. I no longer offer sa care and life is happier. I used to have some neighbors who told their kids, go down there. Her mom is home. They would be all outside playing and mom would drive up and say,.... I have to run to the store,... Could she stay? I finally got fed up and said, sure let me go grab some forms and I'll only charge you my drop in rate of $15 per hour. She never left her again. Lol. My older kids can have guests. But they are all driving and considered adults
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom View Post
I have a question for those of you with the problem SA's. I'm not trying to start an argument here, but why do you put up with the bad behavior? You wouldn't from the younger children, so why from the older ones?

I've been known to sit all of mine down in the same room with the lights out, and have them keep totally silent and do nothing but look at each other for as long as it takes to get the point across. They think it's funny for a couple of minutes, but then when the boredom sets in... now all I have to do is threaten to do that and they usually straighten up. If they're being rude about where you go on a trip, make them sit out. If they complain about being bored? Older kids can write sentences, just like in school. I've made "I'm bored" an off-limits phrase - it is against my rules to say it! I even made a list of activities that they can choose from, so they know if they need something to do, they just choose an activity from the list.

My kids here all use manners, and we have very few problems now, even from the child that started new this year (that had a LOT of issues in the beginning).

I guess we're all different in our preferences, but I would MUCH rather have 5 SA's than 5 babies! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
for me, its not that i let them behave like that either. its just the added stress of having to deal with the behaviors to begin with. i'd much rather listen to babies cry and 2 yr old have tantrums.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:48 PM
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I don't allow my SA's bad behavior either...we have LOTS of consequences but because they tend to push the boundaries a little more and a little more often than younger kids, I spend a great deal of time having to reinforce those consequences. Which is soooo unfair to the younger kids because the older SA kids know how to follow the rules...but it is in their nature to test....so alot of time goes into correcting their behaviors. I'd rather not spend my day having to remind kids (who do know better) to behave. I also don't appreciate the words/tones that come out of their mouths....they tend to initiate controversy and fights among the herds...they are manipulative and sneaky. I would rather spend my time playing with a child who appreciates me being with them than with a child who is just trying to slip one past me. IMHO I feel that in home childcares dealing with mixed age groups are not an ideal setting for school age kids. They play games that involve kissing each other or are centered on physical hands-on type things, and games like "I liked you yesterday but not today" or "I'm not your friend anymore"....or "you can't be in our club but everyone else can!" Younger kids know no discrimination or bullying behaviors. Atleast in general. As a PP mentioned, SA are soooo rough on stuff! I have toys that ONLY younger kids can play with and have had them last for years. I replace the stuff for SA kids almost yearly. Also, as Nan brought up...I don't really like having to check someone's homework or spelling words or double check that they read for 20 minutes....My own DS and DD are in college so; Been there ;done that.

Plus when I was a kid we played outside....we NEVER wanted to be in the house. Now the SA'ers I have ONLY seem to want to watch TV or play Gameboys...they complain non-stop about having to play outside...like it is a punishment or somehting?!?!?

I give a wholehearted applause to provider's who like or choose to have SA's because I am in this for the younger than 5 crowd so anyone who chooses to pick up the rest....be my guest....it is NOT my cup of tea!!! If it was, I would ONLY take SA and never mix them with the younger ones....I have a few SA'ers now but only because they are in Kindergarten (After K they are not accepted here) I have one exception to the rule....a 8 yr old who has two sibs here and they are full time. Mom pays me like 3x's the going rate because her son is a handful (and she knows it) and I am SUPER firm with him...Once the youngest sib (she's 3.5 now) gets to school though....I'm done with whole family.
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