Afterschool in Berkeley - waitlisted galore, seeking alternatives
Our kiddo (4.5yo, TK) did not get into the after school program at Emerson. We are waitlisted, and have since gamely joined other waitlists (city of berkeley @Willard and @San Pablo Park, BUSD @Malcolm X and @John Muir, JCC, and soon to include John Muir's Kids in motion), which may or may not pan out.
We can't bet on a place opening up, so I think we have to plan for alternative care.
General setup: I'm thinking it's 3-4 kids in the same situation, looked after by 1-2 college students (maybe grad student(s), or someone pursuing a teaching credential), from 1:30p-4:30p on school days.
Transportation: Our house could host, but we're not walkable from the school. We could outfit a car with 3 low profile booster seats and have the person watching them pick them up in that, but I would also be interested in the possibility of the kiddos bussing on existing busses that serve the after school programs from Emerson to a closer location (John Muir for us, or maybe Willard for another family). But maybe they wouldn't let kids not enrolled in the formal after school programs go on those busses?
Location: the kiddos and their minder(s) could go regularly to smaller parks (e.g., bateman) or to parks where there is a formal program, but I assume they'd need a regular home base at one of the children's homes, particularly during the winter/rainy season. I suppose this would be a situation where we'd have to put some boundaries in place to give the kids enough room and space to do their thing while allowing any WFH parents to actually work from home.
I assume if/when one of the families gets a place in a formal after school program they would drop from the 'aftershare'.
Lots of the related guidance I can find here on BPN pertains to which programs to apply to, and where to waitlist, but I'm looking to learn from parents who have experienced this (ridiculous) situation before and coordinated an alternative.