Finding childcare for older kids

Kristen Winiarski

As your kiddo grows up and they become more and more independent, you may be unsure of what kind of supervision they need. Elementary schoolers may seem independent, but they can’t be left by themselves, so finding the proper care is a tough balance.

You might need childcare for a few hours after school until you get home from work or during the occasional night out. Here’s a variety of options to consider when searching for childcare.

Childcare options for older kids

Grandparent or relative

If you have family nearby, ask them if they can spend time with your child for a few hours until you return from work. Your kiddo will love spending quality time with family time and won’t feel like they’re a little kid who needs to be watched at all times. 

Find a local babysitter

Since your kiddo is getting older, it might be nice for them to spend time with someone closer to their age who they look up to. Maybe there’s a high school student or neighborhood teen who you know and trust to spend time with your kiddo after school. Plus, high school generally gets out earlier than elementary school, so high schoolers may have some time after school to babysit. 

After-school programming

Check out after-school programs in your area to see if there’s something your kiddo would enjoy. After-school sports are a great way for your kiddo to blow off some steam, and participating in band or art class can help get their creative juices flowing. 

Alternative ideas

Coordinate with other families

Ask around to see if other families have the same issue with childcare as you. You may be able to combine efforts with other families to find a solution. There are different options here, such as hiring one person to watch the group of kids if they have availability or rotating afternoons between parents. 

Work remotely 

Kids in elementary school are pretty self-sufficient, so they should be able to entertain themselves while you finish up your work for the day. If your job is flexible, you may be able to spend half the day in the office and then work from home in the afternoons.

Work alternative shifts

If your boss is receptive to alternative schedules, you may be able to discuss adjusting your schedule, so you can be at home with your kids. Your new schedule could involve having a break during the hours after your kids get home.

As your child gets older, you may have to be more creative when it comes to finding the right childcare solution. It all comes down to what works best for you, your child, and your family to make sure your children are properly cared for.

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