After school childcare options in El Cerrito

My 6 year old son was waitlisted at Harding's after school program. Are there any after school childcare options others have tried to do that was affordable and sustainable in El Cerrito? Should I just hire a sitter? Any advice is appreciated. This was very disappointing news since I registered him the first day we were allowed to in the Spring but apparently I didn't complete the form correctly and was put on the waiting list as a result. Panicking and could use some suggestions as I am a working mom. What have other families done? Do I even have a chance of getting into aftercare after the school year begins or is it unlikely?

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Hi there,

I'm in Albany and will also need aftercare for my 6 year old son. Maybe you could join in a nanny share? I'll probably have to do this...I work from home, so my son can stay with me in the afternoons but it's hard for me to be productive with him here and he ends up with too much screen time. 

Hope you figure it out,


My son attends Mira Vista and goes to aftercare at Little Tree.  We are happy with them.  They offer extras (for extra $)  like art, piano, etc.  They pick the kids up afterschool and walk or drive them to Little Tree which is just across from Tassajara park on Barrett.  The transportation fee is not included in the tuition.

Not sure if they still are accepting registrations, butt we have our daughter enrolled in Little Tree International School on Barrett. It's not cheap for 5 days a week (about $630 for four weeks from 2-6pm), but that's certainly cheaper than hiring a babysitter). 

I'd recommend looking at Little Tree Montessori on Barrett Avenue. They have an aftercare program that my kids have gone to in the past and we really liked it. The costs are surprisingly similar to that of EC Recreation's, although it is a little higher since they will pick-up your child from their respective school and bring them the Little Tree campus. They also have additional afterschool enrichment programs on site (e.g., Spanish, Chinese, piano, art, etc.) that you can look into for your child. More information is here: Afterschool Program | Little Tree Montessori International School El Cerrito. Hope that can help.

Check out Little Tree Montessori. We have been there for preschool and will do after school care this year. They also do pick ups at many of the local schools. 

I don’t have any guidance to offer but wanted to let you know I had the exact same experience!!! I submitted my form within 20 minutes of it being available, only to find out much later we were waitlisted due to an error in the paperwork. It’s very frustrating that there is no effort made to reach out to parents to alert them. We had to find a sitter option because I couldn’t risk not having reliable care. This was a completely frustrating experience. I’m sorry you are going through it but it’s a bit reassuring in a way to know that it wasn’t just me. 

You could look into transported aftercare (they pick up the kids in a van)- for example at El Cerrito Martial Arts, which picks up in front of Harding. I know there are few others, but that's the one I've seen.

My kid has gone to el cerrito martial arts when we didn’t get into the school afterschool program.  We have had the same problem with the afterschool programs not having enough staffing and being on the waitlist. One year, we were on the waitlist for almost the entire year and then offered 2 days in the afterschool program. It has also been very difficult to find a sitter as the hours are so few and most people want at least 20 hrs. 

You could also look at home daycares in your neighborhood to ask if they would take a 6 year old after school. You may have to do the drop off but if you find somewhere local it could be better than nothing. I always find calling daycares the most effective.

Got the same issue here in Albany for my 6 year old daughter. Everything is filled up. YMCA turned their program to ELOP only. Not sure if they will open it up to paid families.
El Cerrito Martial Arts apparently has spots and picks up from Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington and Berkeley. Kinda pricey, but it is better than excessive screen time.