School Aged Care
The Benefits of Sharing Care After School
Some parents redesign work so they can share in their children’s care when they are young. Others wait until their children become school age. Either way, there are many benefits when parents work as a team and share in the care of their children.
Parents work as a team to redesign work to accommodate the new 9 to 3 school schedule. These changes could include:
o Flex work hours or work a compressed work week
o Work from home when children are home
o Move from night shift to an early morning shift
o Shift from a salaried position to independent consultant/coach
o Once adopted this schedule can work for the rest of the time your children are in school
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Parents enjoy spending time after school with their children to get different things done:
o Parents can plan an after school adventure instead of waiting for the weekend
o After school can be a time to schedule appointments and do errands. One father noted, “They didn’t like to go to Home Depot, so I’d make a deal to go someplace fun afterwards.”
o Parents notice the time spent transporting kids to extracurricular activities is a great way to get to know their friends. Car pools also build an extra layer of support for families.
o Most importantly, parents learn something simple like tossing a football becomes meaningful, especially when a child says afterwards, “I really loved doing that with you.”
By making the most of each parent’s flexibility at work, families can also make arrangements for planned and unplanned changes in the school schedule:
o In some families both parents can flex their work for school closings, in others, only one parent can
o In every case, families can create a wider support network of friends, family, and care-givers to help out as needed
Setting up Shared Care for school age children and creating a network of support will also pay big dividends when families balance work and family during the summer months or when children become “too old” for child care. Want some help getting started? Sign up for our Work Family Coaching Calls – over a series of three calls we help you envision both your work and family goals and create a road map to help you achieve them. Learn more on the “Get Help” section of our website.