Author Topic: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?  (Read 6711 times)

Nick_Miller

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We have two daughters, 10.75 (entering fifth grade) and 6.75 (entering second).

Our childcare costs during the year are about $600 per month (total) for pre and post-school care through a YMCA program run at our daughters' school, so it's very convenient.

Costs will remain the same through the 2016/2017 school year, but then when fall 2017 rolls around, our oldest will be in middle school, on a different schedule, etc. She will be almost 12 years old, and she's very mature and organized for her age already.

We obviously have a lot of time to think about it, but we're considering letting her take the bus in 6th grade and walk home to an empty home. She would have a cell phone and would be expected to call/text either my wife or myself every afternoon. We'd save about $300 per month.

It's a hard call though, because we're used to her "being taken care of," and it would mean she'd probably be alone at the home from about 3pm to 5pm most weekdays.

When do other folks decide to cut the after-school care costs?

(*our state does not have any law about how old kiddos must be before being left alone)


Captain FIRE

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 08:05:01 AM »
Are you expecting the older child to watch the younger?  Or are you just asking at what age the older can be alone (by herself).  Things I'd consider: State law, age of child, maturity of child, available neighbors if there is a problem, how quickly you (or a close relative) could reach her if there is a problem, if there are others with her or not and the ages of them, safety of neighborhood/walk from bus, length of time they'd be home alone and child's wishes (not a good idea to leave her alone if she doesn't want to be).

It looks like the state recommended/mandated ages range from 6-14 (Illinois is the 14, although it is for an "unreasonable" length of time with many factors to consider), with most either 10 or 12.  In my opinion, she'd be fine, assuming you did some "test drives" first, but I'm not yet a parent.  At 12 I was babysitting others.  I find it amazing that these days, 12 year olds are so insulated that they aren't considered old enough to be alone by themselves. 

DeskJockey2028

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 08:10:05 AM »
My now 13.5 year old (then 12.5 year old) was a certified babysitter, so when she was 12 and a half, we let her and her then 9 year old sister stay home alone after school for a bit.

Now that they're both a year older, we're comfortable leaving them home for an evening and my youngest (now 10) has 15-20 minutes at home alone after she's done with school and before the oldest makes it home.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 08:19:48 AM »
Are you expecting the older child to watch the younger?  Or are you just asking at what age the older can be alone (by herself).  Things I'd consider: State law, age of child, maturity of child, available neighbors if there is a problem, how quickly you (or a close relative) could reach her if there is a problem, if there are others with her or not and the ages of them, safety of neighborhood/walk from bus, length of time they'd be home alone and child's wishes (not a good idea to leave her alone if she doesn't want to be).

It looks like the state recommended/mandated ages range from 6-14 (Illinois is the 14, although it is for an "unreasonable" length of time with many factors to consider), with most either 10 or 12.  In my opinion, she'd be fine, assuming you did some "test drives" first, but I'm not yet a parent.  At 12 I was babysitting others.  I find it amazing that these days, 12 year olds are so insulated that they aren't considered old enough to be alone by themselves.

No, the oldest would be by herself. We would keep the younger daughter in her regular pre/post school on-site program probably through all of her elementary school years.

And it's funny you mention the state laws - I researched the same thing.

Our neighbors suck...it's not that they are unsafe (I don't think), but they are mostly older people. My mom lives 5 minutes away but she still works. The walk would probably only be 100 yards (from the front of our subdivision). It would take either my wife or I about 20 minutes to get home from work in case of an emergency.

Kitsune

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 08:22:53 AM »
Serious question: is your 12-year-old a child in need of being taken care of for the 2 or so hours before you get home?

In some cases, yes (I'm thinking of one 12-year-old who liked setting things on fire or hanging out on the roof... Hells no are you gonna be left alone. But frankly, most 12-year-olds would likely welcome an hour or two alone, and aren't at risk of doing much that's epically stupid) But in most cases, at 16, you're putting them behind the wheel of a ton of steel going astounding speeds. At 17-18, a lot of people move out of their parents home. So... Think of it as a progression to that eventuality growing nearer and nearer.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 08:36:56 AM »
Serious question: is your 12-year-old a child in need of being taken care of for the 2 or so hours before you get home?

In some cases, yes (I'm thinking of one 12-year-old who liked setting things on fire or hanging out on the roof... Hells no are you gonna be left alone. But frankly, most 12-year-olds would likely welcome an hour or two alone, and aren't at risk of doing much that's epically stupid) But in most cases, at 16, you're putting them behind the wheel of a ton of steel going astounding speeds. At 17-18, a lot of people move out of their parents home. So... Think of it as a progression to that eventuality growing nearer and nearer.

Logically, I know she will almost certainly be fine. I guess I just hear about "the couple hours after school before parents get home" as a possible danger zone for "experimental" activity with middle school kids. My daughter is very smart and responsible. We talk about "adult things" and decision-making-processes all the time, so I think we're prepping her well for life, and I know I can't look over her shoulder all the time, but still as a doting father, I worry.

I also don't want to feel like we're putting savings about our child's welfare or safety, but again I think it is a pretty safe situation. And we might be able to just funnel that $300 per month into her college fund, which, over a seven-year period, would certainly boost it.

I'm just glad there haven't been any, "You are a horrible father for even thinking this!" comments.

sis

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 08:41:21 AM »
She'll be fine by herself.  If she's mature there's really no need to worry.  From the time I was 10 I was home with all of my siblings for a couple of hours before my mom got home from work.  My older brother was a somewhat immature 12 year old, and my younger siblings were 8, 6 and 6 (twins).  By the time my mom got home from work we'd all have our homework completed, the house cleaned, and dinner started.  Since those were the expectations, we didn't have too much time to get in trouble.  Usually the structure would be homework as soon as we got home, then we could go out and play with our friends until 5pm when we'd do "5 o'clock cleanup" and start dinner.  My mom usually walked in the door around 5:30 or 5:45 depending on traffic. Kids will meet the expectations thrust upon them.  Dinner was usually easy stuff like a pre-made lasagna to bake, pasta, tacos, etc.

We lived in a close knit community and had two adults in the neighborhood that we could call for help if necessary (they were nurses and usually at least one of them was around).  We also knew that we could go to our babysitters (older teens) who lived in the neighborhood if we needed help.  I think that in the years of this babysitting arrangement we needed help exactly once - when a pot fell off of the pot rack in hit my little sister in the head.  She needed stitches but it wasn't a big deal.

Bonus benefits:  as an adult I know how to cook way better than most of my peers, I'm comfortable taking care of young children, and I always felt confident that I could handle things.  If you show your daughter appropriate expectations she will meet them and also gain a sense of confidence that kids who are constantly helicopter parented never develop.

sis

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 08:43:28 AM »
Serious question: is your 12-year-old a child in need of being taken care of for the 2 or so hours before you get home?

In some cases, yes (I'm thinking of one 12-year-old who liked setting things on fire or hanging out on the roof... Hells no are you gonna be left alone. But frankly, most 12-year-olds would likely welcome an hour or two alone, and aren't at risk of doing much that's epically stupid) But in most cases, at 16, you're putting them behind the wheel of a ton of steel going astounding speeds. At 17-18, a lot of people move out of their parents home. So... Think of it as a progression to that eventuality growing nearer and nearer.

Logically, I know she will almost certainly be fine. I guess I just hear about "the couple hours after school before parents get home" as a possible danger zone for "experimental" activity with middle school kids. My daughter is very smart and responsible. We talk about "adult things" and decision-making-processes all the time, so I think we're prepping her well for life, and I know I can't look over her shoulder all the time, but still as a doting father, I worry.

I also don't want to feel like we're putting savings about our child's welfare or safety, but again I think it is a pretty safe situation. And we might be able to just funnel that $300 per month into her college fund, which, over a seven-year period, would certainly boost it.

I'm just glad there haven't been any, "You are a horrible father for even thinking this!" comments.

I'd go as far as to suggest that you pull the younger one out too.  You can save $600 per month that way and your daughter can learn some responsibility.  You might be able to do something like pay her $50 per week to care for her younger sibling.  She'll get spending money and since she'll have responsibilities she'll be much less likely to engage in middle school experimentation.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 08:54:49 AM »
Serious question: is your 12-year-old a child in need of being taken care of for the 2 or so hours before you get home?

In some cases, yes (I'm thinking of one 12-year-old who liked setting things on fire or hanging out on the roof... Hells no are you gonna be left alone. But frankly, most 12-year-olds would likely welcome an hour or two alone, and aren't at risk of doing much that's epically stupid) But in most cases, at 16, you're putting them behind the wheel of a ton of steel going astounding speeds. At 17-18, a lot of people move out of their parents home. So... Think of it as a progression to that eventuality growing nearer and nearer.

Logically, I know she will almost certainly be fine. I guess I just hear about "the couple hours after school before parents get home" as a possible danger zone for "experimental" activity with middle school kids. My daughter is very smart and responsible. We talk about "adult things" and decision-making-processes all the time, so I think we're prepping her well for life, and I know I can't look over her shoulder all the time, but still as a doting father, I worry.

I also don't want to feel like we're putting savings about our child's welfare or safety, but again I think it is a pretty safe situation. And we might be able to just funnel that $300 per month into her college fund, which, over a seven-year period, would certainly boost it.

I'm just glad there haven't been any, "You are a horrible father for even thinking this!" comments.

I'd go as far as to suggest that you pull the younger one out too.  You can save $600 per month that way and your daughter can learn some responsibility.  You might be able to do something like pay her $50 per week to care for her younger sibling.  She'll get spending money and since she'll have responsibilities she'll be much less likely to engage in middle school experimentation.

I'm more cautious on this end.  I'd see how year one goes with older child home alone, and if well, then offer the arrangement above (and the younger would be almost 8 then).  Incidentally, my parents would do this when they left us alone - my older sister was paid a (small) babysitting wage to watch us, and my brother and I were paid much smaller amounts to "be good" for her/help her.  e.g. I think my brother got a quarter and I got a dollar, while my sister maybe $5.  This way we apparently had incentives not to be brats.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 09:27:49 AM »
Serious question: is your 12-year-old a child in need of being taken care of for the 2 or so hours before you get home?

In some cases, yes (I'm thinking of one 12-year-old who liked setting things on fire or hanging out on the roof... Hells no are you gonna be left alone. But frankly, most 12-year-olds would likely welcome an hour or two alone, and aren't at risk of doing much that's epically stupid) But in most cases, at 16, you're putting them behind the wheel of a ton of steel going astounding speeds. At 17-18, a lot of people move out of their parents home. So... Think of it as a progression to that eventuality growing nearer and nearer.

Logically, I know she will almost certainly be fine. I guess I just hear about "the couple hours after school before parents get home" as a possible danger zone for "experimental" activity with middle school kids. My daughter is very smart and responsible. We talk about "adult things" and decision-making-processes all the time, so I think we're prepping her well for life, and I know I can't look over her shoulder all the time, but still as a doting father, I worry.

I also don't want to feel like we're putting savings about our child's welfare or safety, but again I think it is a pretty safe situation. And we might be able to just funnel that $300 per month into her college fund, which, over a seven-year period, would certainly boost it.

I'm just glad there haven't been any, "You are a horrible father for even thinking this!" comments.

I'd go as far as to suggest that you pull the younger one out too.  You can save $600 per month that way and your daughter can learn some responsibility.  You might be able to do something like pay her $50 per week to care for her younger sibling.  She'll get spending money and since she'll have responsibilities she'll be much less likely to engage in middle school experimentation.

I'm more cautious on this end.  I'd see how year one goes with older child home alone, and if well, then offer the arrangement above (and the younger would be almost 8 then).  Incidentally, my parents would do this when they left us alone - my older sister was paid a (small) babysitting wage to watch us, and my brother and I were paid much smaller amounts to "be good" for her/help her.  e.g. I think my brother got a quarter and I got a dollar, while my sister maybe $5.  This way we apparently had incentives not to be brats.

Actually, if we gave our oldest daughter a year-long "test run," then that would take place during the 2017/2018 school year.

The next year, if it worked out, we could maybe cut the after-school care for my youngest. That would be the 2018/2019 school year, and my youngest would be almost 9 (8.75) and going into 4th grade. That actually seems doable, especially since: 1) my youngest daughter is equally wonderful and smart, just younger, and 2) my younger daughter would be taking the bus and probably wouldn't get home until about 4:30pm, so the window of our oldest having to "babysit" would probably just be about 30-60 minutes tops.

golden1

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2016, 09:48:19 AM »
We pulled both our kids out of after school care in 6th grade.  There is an option to keep them in that year, but almost no one does it, and if I had, my older kid would have been one of just a few kids.  It is a bit of a leap of faith, but they were ready at that age.  They get home at 2, usually make a snack, relax for an hour and start their homework.  I am usually home by 4:30-5.   

zhelud

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2016, 10:43:20 AM »
Not only was I babysitting younger kids after school staring at age 12, but when I was out babysitting, my 9-year old sister would be home alone after school.
Don't let strangers in, don't tell people you are home alone, don't use the stove, leave a note if you are going over to a friend's house- those were the only rules we needed. 

notactiveanymore

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 10:54:20 AM »
Sounds like your daughter is in great shape to stay at home at 12.

I wanted to bring up the fact that she might also have more school-related extra-curriculars in middle school as well. So she might even be at school for an extra couple hours 2-3 days a week. Usually schools have activity bus options and she might have to walk a little bit further, but it would also cut down on some of that empty time when a kid might otherwise be susceptible.

I'd encourage her to take advantage of any after school groups she has an interest in and then just trust her with the free time on other days.

bogart

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 10:58:36 AM »
Have you talked to your daughter about how she'd feel about this?  Would she be bored/lonely/unhappy being alone for several hours most afternoons?  How would you (and she, and her friends and their parents) feel about her bringing a friend home for company from time to time, etc.?  Talking with her about what she'd like seems like a relevant starting point, given that you're considering this (i.e. if for whatever reason it were out of the question, no point bringing it up, but since it's within the possibilities).

galliver

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 11:38:05 AM »
My mom stayed home but through most of middle school (11-13, 7th&8th grade) I would go home with an only-child girl friend once a week. We'd eat Marie Callender's,  watch Disney channel, play with her puppy or play computer games, talk, sometimes do homework.

At home, I was occasionally babysitting my sisters (5&8 years younger) for several hours at that point. Mostly, we just got too much screentime.

I think your daughter will be just fine.

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DeltaBond

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2016, 11:48:38 AM »
I vote no, and its not about maturity, its about safety.  And the safety of it depends on where you live, what kinds of friends she has, how she'll be getting home.  I walk by the missing children bulletin board on my way to the office, and every face on that board is a young teen.  All it takes is one bad day.  I'd find another way to save money, another way to give her personal time, another way to reward her maturity.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2016, 12:07:01 PM »
I vote no, and its not about maturity, its about safety.  And the safety of it depends on where you live, what kinds of friends she has, how she'll be getting home.  I walk by the missing children bulletin board on my way to the office, and every face on that board is a young teen.  All it takes is one bad day.  I'd find another way to save money, another way to give her personal time, another way to reward her maturity.

If you don't think an 11 year old, walking just 100 yards, is safe, when do you think she would be safe?  I'm particularly curious because as noted by another poster, at 16 in many states, she can be driving a several ton vehicle on her own, and at 18, off on her own at college or working.  How do you think you get someone from unsafe at 11 to handling this responsibility at 16-18?  Presumably the goal is to provide an increasing level of responsibility over time.  Most of us here see 11 as a reasonable time to start this journey.  Would you not send your child off to college at 18, but keep them at home for a gap year or as a day student, to gain "extra" time?

 I found this a really interesting read: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/  While I think we likely need more supervision than in "yesteryore", today's bubble world postpones learning independence and responsibility for children to older ages, which has actually lead to a shift in worker characteristics as adult.  (That part I might have read elsewhere than the above article, which I encourage you to read in full.)

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2016, 02:40:11 PM »
My kids are 10, 8 and 4. We leave the 10 year old and the 8 year old home alone together for short periods of time as long as we'll be in the general area -- so, grocery runs, picking up or dropping off their little brother, for mom and dad to get a cup of coffee, etc. They LOVE it and have been very responsible about it. We've done practice drills with emergencies and emergency numbers and they've demonstrated they know what to do. I would totally be comfortable leaving them home for 2 hours after school at 12 and 10, possible with their 6 year old brother.

But then,

a) We're expat parents, and so aren't steeped in the culture of worst-first parental thinking that is so common in the US. Kids who are 12 here frequently take cabs alone to lessons or ride the subway by themselves to do errands, so we're actually behind the curve compared with locals.

b) I know that in a legit emergency they have great people to call on. We have a couple of at-home parents in the neighborhood who the kids could run to in an emergency and there is a roving patrol unit that comes by periodically to check up on all our houses. There are guards forty feet out the front door. If something terrible happens, the first responders are U.S. Marines and my close friend the trauma doc.

c) I know exactly what they're going to get up to the moment we go out that door -- the middle one is going to raid the cookie jar and play Mario Maker, the big one is going to grab his dad's computer logon and play Minecraft until we come through the door. The chances of accidental emergencies other than cookie-overdoses are fairly small. 

Still... I think if you want to raise responsible adults, you've got to start giving them responsibility early in their childhood. But I also think Free Range Parenting is a great concept, so perhaps I'm just standing up to be the Worst Mama In The World so ya'll don't have to. :)

Cassie

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2016, 02:46:11 PM »
I had 3 boys and when they turned 12 we left them home alone. However, I never had the older one take care of the younger ones. IMO this leads to conflict, resentment, etc. As each child became 12 they were allowed to watch themselves.

waltworks

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2016, 02:50:12 PM »
Wow, things got crazy since I was a kid in the 80s. I recall quite clearly doing stuff like riding the bus home and spending hours and hours on my own in the house with nobody else home when I was all of 7 or 8. I had instructions on what not to do (operate car/stove/power tools, eat all the ice cream) and where I could go if I left a note (park, friend's house, etc). Pretty simple.

Around here, 12 year olds commonly get hired as *babysitters* for small kids. Your daughter can't even take care of herself?

Unless you live somewhere super unsafe or your kid is really, really unpredictable/wild/bad, WTF? The older one is WAY old enough, and even the younger one is probably fine even without the older one around.

-W
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 03:09:30 PM by waltworks »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2016, 02:58:57 PM »
Two things.  My mom was a teacher and home when I got home until about age 15.  All those things you are worried about your kid experimenting with, I was still exposed to and either did or said no to during that time frame.  Some of those bad things I did right in my room, with the door open, with my mom home, but she didn't know because we were quiet and she was busy watching TV.  Other things I did at school, DURING school, during a study period, whatever.  Having a SAHM didn't stop those things.

The presence of my younger brother in the house alone with me decreased the chance of me doing any of those bad experimental things.  My brother was 7 years younger than me and would totally tattle on me.  After him walking in on me and my boyfriend "wrestling once" (phew, he believed that) we were on much better behavior when we were "baby sitting" than we were when we were home with my mom home or home alone just the two of us.


ltt

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2016, 03:37:47 PM »
What are the laws in your state?  In our state, children can stay alone at age 12.  From the sounds of it, your daughter is very mature.  However, she needs to be very aware of her surroundings and you need to be very aware of the surroundings also.  Are there any of her friends who live in the same area where they could walk home together?  Is there a trusted neighbor who she can go to if she needs help in any way?

I will add.....you need to be careful about her riding the bus also.  I don't think in this day and age I would allow my kid to ride a school bus to/from school.



spicykissa

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2016, 03:46:30 PM »
I distinctly remember being home alone with a 1-year old, a 5-year old, my 9-year old brother, and my 12-year-old twin cousins for ~2 hours daily when I was 13 (and I was definitely not paid for it). It was fine--we all had fun playing with the baby. There was some kind of therapy appointment that you couldn't bring a baby to that made this necessary, I think.

Suffice to say, I think it will be fine. Kids can do way more than we give them credit for!

sis

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2016, 03:47:23 PM »
What are the laws in your state?  In our state, children can stay alone at age 12.  From the sounds of it, your daughter is very mature.  However, she needs to be very aware of her surroundings and you need to be very aware of the surroundings also.  Are there any of her friends who live in the same area where they could walk home together?  Is there a trusted neighbor who she can go to if she needs help in any way?

I will add.....you need to be careful about her riding the bus also.  I don't think in this day and age I would allow my kid to ride a school bus to/from school.

If they are in the United States, she almost certainly rides a school district run bus.  Even if she is on mass public transit, she's probably fine.  I see middle school students taking mass transit in NYC on their own all the time.  Kids can handle as much responsibility as they are given. I really don't think it is easy to just snatch a 12 year old.

ltt

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2016, 04:42:44 PM »
What are the laws in your state?  In our state, children can stay alone at age 12.  From the sounds of it, your daughter is very mature.  However, she needs to be very aware of her surroundings and you need to be very aware of the surroundings also.  Are there any of her friends who live in the same area where they could walk home together?  Is there a trusted neighbor who she can go to if she needs help in any way?

I will add.....you need to be careful about her riding the bus also.  I don't think in this day and age I would allow my kid to ride a school bus to/from school.

If they are in the United States, she almost certainly rides a school district run bus.  Even if she is on mass public transit, she's probably fine.  I see middle school students taking mass transit in NYC on their own all the time.  Kids can handle as much responsibility as they are given. I really don't think it is easy to just snatch a 12 year old.

Our school district doesn't provide bussing for all the kids.  It's easier for the school to pay out funds to the parents to have the parents transport their children.  I'm talking about bad behaviors of others (i.e., kids) on the school bus and in neighborhoods.

randymarsh

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2016, 05:13:46 PM »
I was alone after school from age ~9/10. Sometimes my older sibling was with me but not always. This wasn't in the 80s either, more like 2002. I would check the law though, as giving anyone under the age of 18 any independence seems to be turning into a crime these days.

After getting my license, I moved to my dad's house full-time and was "alone" all day every 2 or 3 days as he worked 24 hour shifts.

waltworks

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2016, 06:04:47 PM »
You'd think a crowd that values financial independence would value other forms too, especially for their own kids. I'm pretty shocked by these responses overall.

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Dee18

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2016, 06:13:44 PM »
I did not let my daughter be home alone at 12, but it was not because I was concerned about her safety.  I was home alone after school beginning when I was 12 and I found it quite lonely.  I was very responsible and a regular babysitter myself, but those years from 12-14 can be pretty emotional.  When my daughter was that age I enrolled her in a very inexpensive after school program at a church just a few blocks from her school.  I was fortunate that most days my job allowed me to pick her up after school, or she had Girl Scouts or math team, but when I could not pick her up she could go to the church and choose sports, crafts or homework time.  The next year she switched to a private school where all students were welcome to stay until 5:00 and most did....playing outside, meeting with teachers, participating in organized sports or doing homework in the library.  I realize we were exceptionally lucky, but I would only have my middle school child home after school if she had others to interact with.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 02:28:49 PM by Dee18 »

cchrissyy

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2016, 06:20:59 PM »
They're both old enough to go home and hang out safely a few hours until a parent arrives, and honestly you could have been saving this money for a few years already.

A typical 12 year old can *get paid* to supervise other kids, you don't need to pay somebody to supervise them!   
 
(I am assuming mental and physical health. Of course some people do need extra help or supervision in their everyday life, whatever their age.)


Kitsune

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2016, 07:12:21 PM »
I did not let my daughter be home alone at 12, but it was not because I was concerned about her safety.  I was home alone after school beginning when I was 12 and I found it quite lonely.  I was very responsible and a regular babysitter myself, but those years from 12-24 can be pretty emotional.  When my daughter was that age I enrolled her in a very inexpensive after school program at a church just a few blocks from her school.  I was fortunate that most days my job allowed to pick her up after school, or she had Girl Scouts or math team, but when I could not pick her up she could go to the church and choose sports, crafts or homework time.  The next year she switched to a private school where all students were welcome to stay until 5:00 and most did....playing outside, meeting with teachers, participating in organized sports or doing homework in the library.  I realize we were exceptionally lucky, but I would only have my middle school child home after school if she had others to interact with.

I think that depends strongly on the child in question - at that age (and now), needing to interact with people after a full day of interacting with people would have qualified as a genuine nightmare. I NEEDED the no-people time to recharge.


SimplyMarvie

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Re: Childcare costs - at what age do you eliminate after-school care?
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2016, 12:17:16 PM »

If they are in the United States, she almost certainly rides a school district run bus.  Even if she is on mass public transit, she's probably fine.  I see middle school students taking mass transit in NYC on their own all the time.  Kids can handle as much responsibility as they are given. I really don't think it is easy to just snatch a 12 year old.

Kindergarteners in Japan ride public transit home from school alone. We are, globally speaking, WAY behind the curve on this one.

(My son doesn't ride public transit alone or take cabs alone because he's a stubborn wee cuss who refuses to learn the local language and couldn't ask for help or directions if he got lost. Which is entirely his own damn fault.)

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!