After-school child care is beneficial in many ways for parents and students by providing a safe place for students to complete homework and make new friends. When this service is cut off or too full to welcome any new students, it is frustrating to parents (“Head Start closures catch families off guard Oct. 7, News-Press).
Growing up in Burbank, I am grateful for the many programs I was in, but when it was my younger brother’s time to start school, the waiting list for day care was full. It took the school five years to respond to my family. Fortunately, we had other opportunities to rely on, but that is not the case for many families.
It’s scary to know there are kids home alone because there is not a day care they can attend. Being in day care prevents kids from being in the streets or just watching TV. Those three crucial hours from after school to after work can be use in a structured program if the right child-care places are presented.
The ACES program I volunteered at was a great after-school program that managed many age groups. The employees were full of energy, responsible and everything you can ask for in a day-care counselor.
Today, there are many young adults that have experience with younger kids and would be great day-care counselors if more day-care programs opened up in the community. It will be a great help for parents and create more job opportunities.
The wait-list system is great, but should not be as long as it is now. It does not give parents much hope and eventually they will invest their money in another city to fit with their work schedule.
The cost of these day cares — as the Oct. 11 article in the Burbank Leader (“Waiting list is long for child care centers”) pointed out — is outrageous: from $624 to $1,275 a month.
It’s difficult for families to come up with the money for quality day care. Depriving students and parents with this extra care harms more than helps.
Some students that need extra help for homework won’t get any, those who need a quiet place (or a loud place) to be themselves won’t have any, and the children who enjoy the creative ways of developing their minds won’t have this nice venue.