Do You Need After-School Care?

Six reasons to enroll your child in after-school care, even if you work at home.

After-school care may be a good child care choice for a work-at-home parent's family, even if one of the reasons to work at home is spending more time with family. After-school care can actually increase family time by providing useful services and helping a parent navigate the complicated schedules of multiple children.

Consider these six reason to enroll your child in after-school care.

  • 01 of 06

    After-school care program provides activities your family needs/wants.

    Kids After School Activity

    Many after-school care programs, both at schools and off-site, offer activities and services that might be useful or enjoyable for your child. Tutoring and homework help come to mind. But other kids’ activities, like karate or dance classes, are often structured as after-school programs. So instead of spending your weekends and evenings shuttling kids to classes, sign them up for an after-school program. Often these programs will provide transportation.

  • 02 of 06

    There’s no bus service, and you have children at different schools.

    Caucasian mother greeting children with backpacks
    JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

    For work-at-home parents whose children’s schools do not have bus service, the work day may come to an end each day with a commute that rivals anything their office counterparts endure. After school care can be especially helpful when you have children at more than one school. Obviously you can’t be in two places at once.

  • 03 of 06

    Siblings choose different after-school activities.

    Music teacher instructing school orchestra
    Elyse Lewin / Getty Images
    When children sign up for different after-school activities on different days, your family's schedule can balloon out of control. Simplify by enrolling one child in an after-school care on the days when another has an after-school activity. This works best if the after-school care program is actually at the school rather than at an off-site location.
  • 04 of 06

    Your workload requires full-time child care.

    Sometimes the 5-6 hours of child care during the school day is simply not enough to complete your workload. Some employers or clients might not mind if you work evenings or weekends to make up for this, but some do. Or maybe you mind. Enrolling the kids in after-school care so that you can keep your weekends and nights focused on the family may be well worth added expense.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Afternoons are your most busy time.

    Young woman driving car
    Tetra Images / Getty Images
    While 5-6 hours of school might be enough time to get your work done, it could be the timing of school doesn’t mesh with your schedule. If you live on the East Coast but work with folks in the West, your afternoons may be full.
  • 06 of 06

    Your schedule is unpredictable.

    Getty/Alan Shortall

    Many after-school programs will allow for “drop-ins,” who attend on a part-time or sporadic basis. These programs often have a registration fee, but parents pay only for the services their child uses (though often at a higher rate than regular attendees). If you often have unexpected circumstance that might delay you or your work becomes especially busy during one season, like tax time, then registering for after-school care in advance may be advised.