I was recently speaking with some friends who have young children about the Kindergarten half day/ full day program. My home school will be full day by the time my daughter starts JK in 2013 (she’ll be 4 years old then), but the school day runs from 8:42am- 3:15pm. 3:15pm?!!
My husband has irregular work hours and so I will be responsible for the pickup and drop off. Even if I could somehow instantaneously transport myself to work and back so there’s no commute time, the school day is less than 7 hours. And even if my husband could do the drop-off, I’d have to be at work by 6:30am in order to work an 8 hour day and hopefully make it home in time to do the pick up!
So how do people do it?
Some schools have a third-party daycare in the school for before and after school care but sign up early or you may find yourself on a wait list. My home school’s daycare already has a wait list for the 2012/2013 school year so it’s a good thing my daughter isn’t going in until the next year.
There also seems to be some confusion regarding costs. When I asked what their rates are, the staff person told me to ask the school. After more questions she finally said maybe $19- 25 a day, which would be for 7am- 8:45am and 3pm- 6pm. When I called the school, they told me they only had a range on a survey going out to parents now, but in any case, the rates would be what the daycare sets them at. Rates on the survey are $27- 32/ day, $9- 11 for before school and $18- 21 for after school care. That’s quite a difference.
Using the $19- 32 range given to me for before and after school care, that would be approximately $399- $672 per month (using 21 days/ month). I’m hoping for the $399 price tag
I also called the French immersion school near us to see what they have (we may decide to put my daughter in French immersion but the program doesn’t start until Senior Kindergarten so she’d have to switch schools.. which means making new friends after a year). The school told me they will be going full day in 2014/ 2015 (so far so good). When I called the daycare in the school to find out about before and after school programs, the staff person wouldn’t speak to me and told me to call back next week before 1pm. Again, doesn’t sound very organized (which is not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling about leaving my child there).
Another option is the YMCA which has 125 child care centres offering before and after-school care across the GTA for 2.5 – 12 years (some only go up to 5 years and a few offer child care before 2.5 years). Most start at 7 or 7:30am and close at 6pm. I called one near my home school however they don’t walk or bus from the school. I called 4 more locations nearby and same thing.
FYI, their rates are approximately $21.42 for before and after school care, $12.44 for before school care only and $17.34 for after school care. That’s about $449.82/ month for both before and after care (..but not an option for me). Click here to see if there’s a YMCA near you.
Here’s more info if you haven’t begun to dig in yet and see what you’re in for..
For those schools that are still running half day JK and SK, parents usually get a choice of the morning or afternoon. In my home school the hours would be 8:42am- 11:15am or 12:42pm- 3:15pm. That’s only 2 1/2 hours!
Click here for a list of schools and when they’re turning to full day. Click here to find out if your school has a day care in it. Click here to find out what your home school is if you don’t know it already!
When your child turns 6 (grade 1), if you are lucky, your school will have an After-school Recreation Care( ARC) program (I count only 28 across Toronto) for children aged 6-12 years that are offered by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. They are offered Monday to Friday, from school closing to 6 p.m. Click here to see if your school offers this program. It costs $3.50 per day for the 2011/ 2012 school year. Wow! (Subsidy may be offered for those who qualify).
So far I’m seeing very few options. How is everyone handling the gap between the end of the school day and end of work? What about the drop off in the morning?
Neighbours? Family? Nanny? A before/ after-school program? Alternate work arrangements (work from home or part-time work)?