Stretch Your Dollar: Back to school childcare

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) — Lots of kids are heading back to the classrooms this week. For many families, back to school doesn’t just mean what happens in the classroom. Many families need child care before or after school hours as well.

Back to school means back to the classroom, and for some students it also means back to the programs that come before or after the regular school day.

That time is precious, which is why the Wallingford YMCA‘s Eric Hutchinson recommends you ask key questions before signing your child up for anything.
 
“Definitely ask about consistency of staff. You want to make sure your child is seeing the same staff members everyday so they can develop that level of comfort,” Eric explains.

Ask about staff credentials and training too so you know your child is safe. You may want to know how healthy the snacks and activity level will be.

“So it’s making sure that your child is having a healthy snack each day. Not just eating the junk food they like to eat. Making sure they’re not just cooped up inside all day, but getting outside and running around because they’ve been cooped up in school all day.”
 
And of course, the cost. Childcare is expensive. You may want to find a program who will work with you. Many, like the Y, offer financial assistance when needed. Asking about bundle deals are sometimes available too for families with more than one child.
 
A couple of places to check if you’re looking for a program- you can call a YMCA and find out what non-profits they partner with, check local parenting forums on social media, or you can even contact your child’s school. They’ll be able to tell you what some other students do!

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