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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

How Did After-School Childcare Options Influence Your School Decision?

Updated: May 13

19 Parents Considered These Themes For Their Children’s After-School Childcare

Welcome to our series exploring the Irish education system through our personal journey to find the right school for our son. Based on our conversations with 24 families, each post dives into a different aspect of choosing a primary or secondary school.

Children running in the wet, muddy playground during garden time.
Children running in the wet, muddy playground during garden time.

Q: What after-school childcare does your child go to? How did these options influence your school decision?

19/24 Parents considered these themes for their children’s after-school childcare:

On-Site After-School: 5/19 parents opted for schools with on-site after-school programs. They cited the convenience of not having to arrange additional travel or pickups as a key factor in their decision-making.

  • "Found after-school care at the school, which helped with pickup and drop-off times."

  • "They use Airfield for after-school care, which is great because it offers collection from school."

  • "Kid1 attends Hi5 after-school. We chose it for its on-site location."

  • "The after-school program is in the school, which made the school an even better choice for the family. This setup means no extra travel for after-school care, making the family's daily routine simpler."

One parent noted the limited options for food and activities at the on-site after-care, so it did not satisfy them, although they still chose that after-care.

Extended Hours: 3/19 parents emphasized the importance of after-school care that offers extended hours, which is crucial for working parents who need coverage until they can pick up their children after work. One parent preferred creches that operate year-round, highlighting a need for continuous care beyond the typical school year, because that gives you the flexibility to work during mid-term breaks and summer.

  • “Initially attracted to St. Olaf's because of its connection to Park Academy after-school, we had to adjust when it closed. After-schools linked to crèches are preferable for year-round care.”

  • "Now, their schedule includes an after-school program on Wednesday until 6 pm."

  • "After-school care at the school was a crucial factor to ensure the day is not disrupted."

Influence of Activities and Quality: 4/19 parents were drawn to specific after-school programs because of the quality of care and the variety of activities offered, which they felt would enrich their children's education and social development.

  • "Now, their schedule includes basketball, Irish dancing."

One parent felt that the after-school options felt more like babysitting rather than structured educational or recreational activities.

  • "The options for food and activities are limited, but it was the best available choice."

Logistical Convenience and Family Support: 3/19 parents highlighted logistical convenience. Proximity to home or work, or the availability of family support nearby, influenced their choice of after-school programs.

  • "If necessary, the kid may stay with grandparents in the same area."

  • "The daughter, being 14, doesn't require after-school care. The son, aged 9, participates in an after-school program within his school until 5:30 PM."

  • "Found after-school care at the school, which helped with pickup and drop-off times."

  • "They use Airfield for after-school care, which is great because it offers collection from school."

A parent didn't require after-school care due to the child's involvement in external activities. 

This shows parents can skip after-school care when other educational or extracurricular options are available. Some families chose to manage childcare within their community.

  • "They don't prefer after-school programs and instead have arranged a shared collection and childcare system with a friend."

The 12 Articles in this series


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