Unfortunately the hours a child attends school do not always tie in with working hours of their parents which means that there is a gap where after school day care needs to be sought. There are different options that are available to make sure any child or children are looked after by one or more adults until they can be picked up or dropped off home.
The three available options are to use family members if they are available, hire a nanny, use school after school clubs if they are available, a child minder or see if there is a pick-up service that is provided by local day care centers which could be an ideal solution if the child at school has siblings who attend a local nursery so that they can all be picked up from the same place at the same time, which is much better for most who just want to get back home as soon as they can if they have been working all day.
Usually with a school or other center there are set activities that children can partake in, depending on each individual provider you could find that they also provide tea to those in their care saving parents the job of doing it and meaning that they can rest assured that children will be fed at a decent time. A nanny could take the little ones back to their own homes and wait there with them meaning that they are being in an environment they are used to and are able to get on with any homework they have without lots of other people running around making noise.
A child-minder will vary on what times they will work until, as will a school or day care center. When working outside of the usual office hours it can be more beneficial to choose someone who can be flexible and is does not need to stick to specific closing times. There may seem a lot that needs consideration when making the choice but with a lot depending on the availability of the chosen provider of childcare the choices can be narrowed down.
Once a choice has been made it is best if possible to keep the same people as younger children will get confused and even become distressed if they are constantly being taken care of by different people. Routine is extremely important to children young and old as they know what to expect with no big surprises unless absolutely necessary.
Some children who already partake in activities after the school day will still be able to partake without having to be taken home and dropped back later or depending on the starting time could go to such activities within the school grounds and go straight on to their childcare provider. This allows them to be free to enjoy the sports, music or club that the school is offering rather than having to miss out because parents have chosen to work.
Many different ages are catered for but the range can vary which in many cases allows siblings of a similar age who attend the same school to be together. Many children look forward to attending as they get more time to play with their friends and get to use materials that may not be available or are restricted at home such as paint and collage.
Parents of older children have in the past let them have a key to the home and allowed them to remain there until their return. Not all will be mature enough to handle the responsibility, especially if they are put in charge of younger siblings. Older kids could resent the younger ones because they are limited to what they can do, another reason why it is not advisable is if an accident occurs or they become ill and cannot get in contact. With paid childcare an adult will be experienced enough to deal with most situations reducing danger that can occur leaving children unattended at home.
An option that is sometimes overlooked is community childcare with advantages such as either a bus or even walking bus that picks up children from their school and takes them to a local church or community center to be occupied. Although most schools will have provisions in place, not all do which is why this could be a handy alternative whether you need to use them full or part time. Those attending get to associate with both peers from their own school but reach out that little bit further by mixing with those who attend others. The skills of communication are then not limited to the children who already know the family or are related.