Working parents: how do you coordinate pick-ups/drop-offs at school?

Hana - posted on 03/19/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Fulltime working parents: how do you coordinate pick-ups/drop-offs at school or at the bus stop and juggle it with your 8-5 jobs? My son will be starting kindergarten in a year and I really want to know what other parents do.



Did you go part-time instead? I would seriously love to do so but as the partner with the stable job (health insurance, etc.) it's not going to be an easy decision. DH has his own start-up company and I feel like a single parent because of his long hours and travel. I know there will be many times when it's just me trying to get DS to school and drop off the baby at day care and the reverse in the afternoon.



I know DH is terrified that without my job we lose our safety net. However, the thought of my son sitting in after-school care while his friends get to go home makes me sad. Perhaps it's not going to be so bad - after all he loves going to his current daycare.



How did you handle it?

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Hana - posted on 03/21/2012

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It's funny, I know many families do this daily but I can't help wondering "how do they do it?". It's reassuring to hear how you made it work.



Also, from your stories I can see that's it's definitely not easy. Talk about juggling! Thanks for sharing!

Heather - posted on 03/20/2012

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When my daughter was in 1st grade, she went to a program right at the school. Called SACC. School Aged Child Care. She also went there for part of second grade. After that, we sent her to our neighbors who had quit her job to stay home. For some extra money, she watched our daughter for us after school.



Our school starts fairly early...the door closes at 7:50. But because we start early, we get out that much earlier. Our kids are dismissed to the buses at 2:30. So even with me only working until 3, we needed something for just 30 minutes. We live only 2 miles away from the school--very rural area--and we are the first stop so she would get home at 2:35. So she couldn't ride the bus...whereas if we lived further out, she could have because I could have made it home...obviously not going to move just for that...



Like Sofia said, after school daycare. Other schools in our area do not have the program at the school...but the buses run the kids to the programs at another location. Both of my girls are in school now. My oldest is old enough to babysit her younger sister. So they do ride the bus home now...they are home for about 30 minutes until I get there...but we also live in a development where other kids get off the bus...the one set of siblings go home two houses from us to their sahm. two other kids' go to their grandparents' houses who live across from us and diagonal from us so they are there if the girls need anything and they watch to make sure they get in the house...and we have certain rules they happily follow while alone...and I always call to make sure they got in.



Now next school year, my oldest will be leaving the elementary school and going to middle...so that leaves my then 2nd grader without her sister to watch her. So we will either go back to the after school program (which now costs 12 dollars a day) whether they are there for 30 minutes or until they close at 5:45. I would pay 12 dollars for 30 minutes of care! Or we will have our neighbor watch her until I get there. Her daughter and mine are in the same class so they play alot after school anyway, either at our house or theirs...esp outside when it is nice! We just haven't decided yet.



Oh yea...our school opens at 7:15 for breakfast so that working parents can get to work if need be. I drop my girls off around 7:40 to be to work by 8 so we haven't had to do that yet...other schools around us have not only after school but before school...starting at (I think) 6 am. And I know 2 daycare centers that run vans from their center to the school in the am and from the school in the pm. The program starts at 6 am until school starts, then from after school until 6 pm. I would see what your district has to offer and look at centers near you to see what programs they offer. Hope this helped!

User - posted on 03/20/2012

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After-school daycare. Either the school bus drops off at the center, or the center has its own van to pick up children. In some cities around here it's more practical to have private home-daycare providers pick up your child after school, then they watch the children at their licensed homes.

Also, many parents switch their shift and work opposite their partner. So there's one always available to drop off or pick up.

It's not an easy thing to juggle by no means. Having an understanding employer also helps. It's not just drop off and pick up that you have to worry about. It's every time the school calls because Johnny needs to be picked up for something or other. Or every time your child has something come up and you need permission from work.



Dont worry, you'll figure something out. We all do.

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Andrea - posted on 10/08/2012

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My kids go to an aftercare program. There is one at our school, but now that my youngest is in Kindergarten, they take a bus to another program which is less costly. Although my husband is occasionally able to pick them up, I always take them to school and most of the time pick them up also.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/07/2012

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I work part time and carpool with another family so I can work 2 days a week. I drive my dayghter's friend home 2 days, and her mom drops off my daughter with the babysitter 2 days.

Hana - posted on 03/24/2012

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After school care is sounding better and better. I will have to look into the options around here. Thanks again for sharing your experiences and suggestions. As long as I know he is well cared for, happy and safe in those few hours before I come home I will feel much better.

Faye - posted on 03/23/2012

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When my kids were little and at the in home daycare, they rode the bus to and from her house.



Once they were old enough to be home alone, they walked to and from school each day. Now that we have moved to the rural area outside of town, my youngest rides the bus most days unless he needs to stay after then he drives.



Our district contracts with the Y for the before/after school care. Now what the price is I have no idea as I did not use.



Some of our churchs have a child care which accepts the elementry kids and they provide the transportation to and from the school.

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Most of the after-school programs around here provide transportation. You don't have to use the school sponsored one--is he interested in a sport? Our Taekwondo school has a program that program picks the kids up from school, then they have a snack, some downtime to play, then homework and taekwondo classes. He loves it.



The Art museum has a cool one too--they do basically the same thing: transport, snack, homework, then they work on art projects and sometimes they have special artists come in to talk to them. One of the bigger gyms here has one too--they do kid dance parties, and swim lessons. There are lots of options if you don't want to do the traditional school after care.



Another option is to see if your employer will let you work from home in the afternoons. I work from home, but I will say, I get very little done when J is here. I try to fit as much as I can in during school hours, then I work a little during his practices and after he goes to bed. It's no longer 8-5, and has a way of intruding on home life, but it works for some.

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