We have had a wonderful summer, but the last two weeks have been a bit of a stretch. The kids are out of routine, they want to see their friends and at the end of it all, their brains now need some exercise! Last week, I was watching T.V one evening and this commercial came on and I could not help but laugh (for a while!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPIIMbG9R4w

It is a funny commercial, but I am not so sure I would call it THE most wonderful time of the year. The past weekend my daughter turned 6. She has a loose tooth with her adult tooth already out behind it! It is exciting - but 6 years!! Wow, where did the time go? She is in grade 1 this year… 6 years old and in grade one… wow… my little precious baby boy, is now starting JK! But the cutest thing is he doesn’t want to go to school… although he is already going to a pre-school part time he still wants to “Stay at home with Mommy forever!!” Aww, he makes my heart melt…. but the commercial makes me laugh…

Back to school to me is a bittersweet time of year. It is a time to reflect on how big the kids are getting and all the things they can do and yet a time to think about their future and all the things they will be able to do! It is exciting but it is also sad. I will be starting to work more since the kids will be at school more… and many of the moms in our neighborhood will also be joining the workforce this year as well. Which brings me to ‘back to school child care’. There is one week left to school, many of the moms I know have made arrangements but others have not. There are plenty of options.

Some are lucky enough to have grandparents near by that will help tend to the kids before and after school. If the grandparents are in good health and are able to do this, it really is the best option. First of all, in today’s society, it is the least expensive way. But more importantly, a grandparents love is never ending. It is warm and bold and what more could a child ask for than a big warm hug and a nice snack waiting for you with a grandma’s warm smile after school?

Another option that may work is an after school program. Many schools, have clubs that kids can join or extra curricular activities that are run in conjunction with the schools. Our local school for example has a karate school that picks kids up after school. So after school they are picked up, they get a snack and then they have their karate lesson. Parents them pick them up from the Karate school and continue on with their evening. This is a great solution, as kids are safe, with an adult, they are keeping active and are not getting into any mischief.

Many parents also choose a before and after care solution. This is usually run by mothers in the neighborhood, that either love kids or are looking for a little bit of income or a bit of both. This is also a great solution if you find the right home. Things to look for in a before and after care home are:

How clean is the home?

What type of snacks are provided?

What activities will be hosted?

What are the mother’s rules?

Will they be going out on short excursions?

How many other kids will be there? What are their ages?

If you opt for this solution, do not be shy to take a tour of the home, ask other parents that have children in her care and at the end of it, use your judgement and talk to your child about how he / she liked it when you pick them up.

Another option is to find a tween or teenager to come home with your child after school. You can ask them to pick them up from school, walk them home, prepare a snack, do some homework with them and perhaps a few board games until you are home. You can find these types of sitters by asking the counselors at schools, asking friends and family, at church, online sitting services.

Which ever option you choose, try an call your child after school. Take out 5 minutes and have a small chat, see how their day was and make sure they are happy and safe.

The MyBabysitter.com Team wishes everyone a happy and safe 2009/2010 school year!

Author's Bio: 

Raheema Rehmtulla is a mother of two wonderful kids. She owns and operates MyBabysitter.com, an on-line meeting place for parents and babysitters. She also works with her husband for PurePages Inc.