After-School & Before-School Care
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After-School & Before-School Care
We are trying to figure out what we can afford to pay for
a new house when the kids go to elementary school. My
husband and I both work so I figure we will be paying for
after care, and summer camp. Can anyone give me a general
idea of how much these things cost? Or, where to go to
find out? We will probably be living in Oakland or
Berkeley when the time comes (but could be Alameda, Albany
or Kensington too).
My son has gone to after school care for several years, we pay (about) $5.00
per hour (a a bit more if it's ''extra'' such as when I happen to come late to
pick him up, or when it's for a week of short days such as P/T conference
time). So, for about 10 hours per week (3:00 - 5:00 most days) it's around
$200 - $240 per month. Sometimes we intersperse after school enrichment
programs (martial arts, chess, Spanish...) instead of just aftercare; each has
their own price.
Summer camp cost varies wildly. Adventure Time or some such unstructured,
play-based camp is quite inexpensive at, say $200 per week for full-time
care (9:00 - 5:00 every day), and charges by the hour (fewer scheduled hours
= lower cost). Something like Sarah's Science can be almost double that,
depending on when you register, and if you need to stay after 3:00 pm. A
really all-out camp that offers everything from swimming and boating to
horseback riding, like Roughing It (even picks your kid up in a bus), can cost
almost $1000 per week for full day ($3600 per 4-week session). There are so
many options here it makes your head spin; every year it's something of a
challenge to get all my son's favorites scheduled.
We pay $400-$600/mo for after care during the school year,
and basically preschool level prices during the summer, like
$800-$900 for summer-long care and more if we do some of the
week-by-week camps. We are in Albany. Rumor has it that
prices are going up for the fall...
hope that helps
I'm wondering what is fair compensation for picking up an extra
child after elementary school one day a week and bringing them to
my house (or the park or...) until the child's parent(s) are able
to pick them up when they get home from work, around 5:30 or so.
I'm talking one day a week every week for several months. I did
this for a while last year and it was never really reciprocated.
While it was not terribly inconvenient, I felt a bit taken for
This year, the other family offered to exchange so they would
take both kids one day, and I would take them both another day.
However, my child has tutoring on the day they offered childcare,
so that plan didn't work for us. When asked about taking their
child on the other day (basically continuing what I did last
year), I took a few days to respond, because I felt uneasy about
the one-sidedness of the arrangement. When I did give an anwer, I
said yes and that I would like to be paid something. The response
I got was surprise and then a withdrawal of the request (since I
didn't seem to want to do it).
I would like to know if anyone out there is doing this sort of
thing for free and/or what people think would be fair payment. To
clarify, I did take the kids to Tilden once in a while, but more
typically they just came over to our house, had a snack, did
their home work, and then played.
Ah, the slippery slope of being ''nice.'' I have definitely been
there, so one thing I can say is: don't start off doing the favor
unless it really is no problem at all for you and not likely to
lead to resentment. I can understand why the other parents were
taken aback by your request for money -- you were always so
''nice'' before. Asking for money for something you have done for
free does not seem ''nice.'' But at least now you know that this
kind of arrangement will ultimately feel wrong to you, so you can
avoid it in the future. When my son was playing little league
ball, a very busy (and rather affluent) parent who worked in the
City asked me to pick his son up at his private school when I was
on the way to practice with my son. It was more or less ''on my
way'' (but not really -- and I had to track the child down and
sign him out of his school), and despite the dad's assurances
that we would trade off on this arrangement, it was somehow never
convenient for him to reciprocate. The next ball season I was
''unavailable'' to do this. I suggest you make yourself
unavailable unless there is a very clearly worked out plan on how
services will be reciprocated. But I don't think you can start
charging for something you used to do for free and expect the
other parents to accept it. It would be better to say something
like, ''Well, if it won't work this time for us to work out a
shared arrangement, we'll try it another time.''
no more ms. nice mom
My feeling about the situation is that it seems your friend asked for your help, as
her friend. In my mind, you are already picking up your own child and this is
simply a couple of hours once a week. The whole idea of ''it takes a village to
raise a child'' means vastly different things to different people, but I also believe
in karma -- is this REALLY that much of a hardship? If you wanted payment for
this arrangement, you should have spoken up long ago. Instead, why don't you
come up with a specific way that you might ask your friend to help you in return?
is the kid a brat? If so, speak up and get that issue resolved. In the ''old'' days,
this is simply what friends did for each other; most of us are not fortunate
enough to have family nearby to help, nor do we have the luxury of staying
home all day. I did for a while, and every time I began to feel resentful of the
gaggle of kids I seemed to be hauling around, I reminded myself how lucky our
family was that I could do that, and I really got to know my kids friends. Enjoy
this time as it goes much too quickly!
What Goes Around Comes Around
I work three days a week until 5 pm. I pay another mom
$100/month to pick up my child from school on the three days I
work and drive her 10 mins to her babysitter's house. I pay the
babysitter $200/month for watching my child from 2:45-5 pm
three days a week.
I think it's fair for you to ask for payment for taking care of
someone else's child on a regular basis if there is no
reciprocal arrangement. As a working mom, I do ask SAHMs for
small favors now and then, but I would never expect free
babysitting on a regular basis.
Yikes! It sounds like you are acting out because you
think/believe that they have taken advantage of you. You sound
angry at them, but they are not to blame. You get to decide
what works for you. But what I have found is that just when
you start feeling that you are doing more and giving more, life
will set YOU up with a situation in which YOU will be the one
in need of help. And even if it is not that particular family
who is able to step up, you will be blessed with the generous,
gracious help of another family. What you are doing is
building community, and unless you truly need the money, I
wouldn't put a price on that.
I am a working mom and learned in the past few years (much
later than I should have) to reciprocate back and forth to
coordinate rides to and from sports and stuff. What I have
discovered is how WONDERFUL this arrangement is and how much
good karma/community/friendship is produced! Last year I had
to rely on someone with no hope of reciprocating, but
then....this year our situation changed and I will be the sole
driver week after week for them. I occasionally wonder why I'm
doing the lion's share, and then lo and behold, I am chagrined
to find myself on the receiving end.
Life is not tit for tat... it is much better!
I would like to know how you got into this situation. It seems
like the other kid's friends thought it was a standing playdate
and not a daycare arrangement. People certainly do it both ways.
If I were friends with the other family, and the kids were good
friends, I would do it for free, especially if the playdates
were reciprocated. But otherwise, I guess $5-10 dollars an hour
would be fair.
I would not ask for payment if it were me. That is what friends
do to help each other out. Perhaps if you have a dr appt or
some other situation where you need help she will then help
you. If the kids did not enjoy their time together and it feels
like a chore to you both, that is another story.
Hi, I read the replies you got and didn't think all of them
were fair to you or your situation. I understand how you are
feeling. When my child started school last year, there was a
mom that was hinting around about me taking her kid on a
regular basis after school. There was just no way I was willing
to lock myself into any kind of regular arrangement.
I'm happy to have kids over for playdates but generally with
the expectation that there is occasional reciprocation. I am
always willing to help someone, friend or acquaintance, in
occasional need (running late, doctor's appt, emergency etc).
But, to expect someone to take your child every week without
any form of reciprocation really strikes me as taking
advantage. There are exceptions, of course, when the kids
and/or moms are very close but it certainly doesn't sound like
is/was your situation.
Yes, maybe it does ''take a village'' but it shouldn't always be
the same villagers who are doing the lion's share! Yes, maybe
what comes around, goes around. Yes, paying it forward is a
nice thing to do. I'm in favor of all of that, but it would be
great if others also had the same willingness to help out when
SAHM who is not a doormat
General comments about afterschool
Re aftercare: As the parent of a future kindergartener this fall I
have not been happy with the aftercare choices I have seen. A list of
choices is available from the district. They all seem to have in
common large numbers of kids and a feel like "summer camp" (lining up,
taking roll, counselors yelling to get kids attention, kids coming and
going at different times).
For older kids staying 3 hours this could be ok, for young
kindergartners who I think need small numbers, a routine environment
and less chaos/more attention...well I'm not happy at all with the
choices. Visit them and share your impressions. The worst part of
all is that you don't find out til June or July where your child will
attend, and then (I've been told) not definitely until 1-2 weeks
before school, meaning you may need to scramble for arrange care at
the last minute (although the aftercare people say they expect this
and work with you to accomodate it). Personally, although private
school is expensive, I am of the opinion that it may be worth it for
one more year just to avoid this aftercare mess. (My daughter is in a
private pre-K program so could continue into private kindergarten
there if we choose).
this page was last updated: Feb 4, 2011
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