Where can we send him?
May 29, 2012 10:15 AM Subscribe
What after school options for my three year old son haven't
I thought of?
posted by zizzle to education (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Kid Zizzle was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which is on the autism spectrum. As such, he qualifies for the full-day preschool program at our area public preschool.
The preschool will operate M-Th 8:30 - 2:30 and F 8:30 - 11.
The thing is, my husband and I both work -- my husband is a high school teacher in another school district, and I work half an hour away from where we live. As such, we will need after school care for about two hours M-Th and for most of the day on Friday.
Currently, Kid Zizzle and his little sister commute into the city with me for daycare, but I won't be able to drop my daughter off to daycare in the city and be able to be at work by any semi-reasonable time frame, so we have to move her, too.
Our challenge is that we need to find the after school care for Kid Zizzle before we can commit to any locations with available care for my daughter, and I'm not having any type of luck finding after school care for a three year old.
I have tried all of the following:
*The organization listed on the preschool's website that supplies wrap-around care hours for the preschool kids. It is full for next year. We are on the wait list, but if we don't hear anything soon, we won't be able to put him in it as we have to find a place for my daughter, and we can't do that last minute.
*Traditional after school programs sponsored by organizations like the Y and the Boys and Girls Club --- they only take children the age of 5 and enrolled in kindergarten. My son will only be four in December.
*Private preschools --- they want kids to attend for 2 or more full-days. They will not do part-time days.
*Head Start, which has an extended day. We make too much to qualify.
*Looked into a nanny full-time. At the low end of the pay scale for a nanny in our area, this would cost us $75-$100 more per week than what we currently pay. We absolutely cannot afford this. Our pockets are just not that deep.
*Paying for a babysitter to watch my son for the hours we need while still sending my daughter to a full-day daycare would cost more than hiring a full-time nanny. We cannot afford this.
*We do not live near family, so having family watch him is not an option.
*I called the Parent Liaison at the school my son will be attending, and she could not direct me to any organizations I haven't tried. She did direct me to someone who does grant work related to child care, and that person told me this appears to be a huge gap in services across the state and she couldn't think of anything else, either.
*The in-home daycares I have contacted will not take him for the hours we have. (I did hear from one that said the hours would work great for her, but she has been incredibly elusive in getting back to me, and I can't count on this working out at this point.)
*We do not know of any stay at home moms in a position to look after our son.
*For that matter, all the other families we DO know commute with their kids, too. I know only one family in our area who uses daycare in the town we live in.
*I wrote a letter to both my state representative and the superintendent of my town's school. The chief of staff to my rep has an e-mail out to her her Early Education liaison, but I haven't heard back. The superintendent asked if I had tried an organization called Child Care Circuit, which is basically a place to look up daycare. This website contains no information that isn't on the Massachusetts Early Ed website, so I responded telling him this and asking once again that he seriously look into the lack of after school care for 3 and 4 year olds in my town.
*My husband and I both need to work in order to pay rent and carry health insurance.
My son needs these services. We need him to attend the preschool to get the services he needs, but neither my husband nor I can pick him up by 2:30. While I can drop him off at 8:30 for the start of school, I can only do so if my daughter has a place to go to in our town, and doing so means I won't get to work until 10 as after 8:30 there is no train until 9:30. I can't then take the 1:20 train home in order to pick him up by 2:30. While I can do some of my job remotely, I can't do it remotely that much.
As I said above, my husband is a high school teacher half an hour north of our town. We cannot stagger our hours to pick our son up by 2:30 as my husband can't really be late or leave early.
I am really at a loss about what else to do. I don't know where else to go, what else to consider, what else to try. We are looking into private services, but the preschool really would be best for him to improve his social skills.
I've been working on this since March, and I am so stuck.
I can't believe we are the only parents in this situation, and yet, no one can point me to what other parents are doing. So, what are other parents doing? Where else can I look? What else can I try?
The services my son is entitled are proving more and more unattainable as there just isn't any after school care. We are located in Salem, Mass.