After School Care in Alameda

Parent Q&A

  • I will soon have a foster daughter (9) starting at Love Elementary.  I am looking to enroll her in an after school program.  Seeking as the school year has already started, most programs are full and I will likely have to work with whatever has openings.

    That said, I am wondering what folks know about the different programs including:

    LEAPS

    Woodstock Child Development Center

    Girls Inc

    Academic All Stars

    USA Kung Fu After School

    RAP (Recreation Afterschool Program)

    Yu Ying Learning Center

    Thank you in advance!

    Best,

    WP

    My daughter is 7 and she goes to USA Kung fu aftercare. She generally likes it. It's not a big group of kids; most of them take classes at the studio. My daughter like Ms. Hong, the Mandarin Chinese teacher, as well as Sam, the owner of the studio.

    The schedule matches AUSD and the program runs to 6 everyday. Pickup from school is included in the fee. We like that because other places charge extra. It's also one of the few places that had openings. All the programs at my child's school (Otis) seem to be full already or they don't go on for as long.

    Congratulations on this new member of your family! I hope that everything is going smoothly as possible. My son is at Edison, and he goes to "Alameda Island Kids" which is Girls inc.'s afterschool program on site. It has worked well for us - we were happy he didn't have to travel anywhere for the program, and he gets to run around as well as play with legos and other games. It isn't very structured, so sometimes it feels a little too loud and overwhelming, but the teachers are all nice, and it is relatively affordable. I think that it might not be a good fit for a quiet kid who needs a more controlled environment or gets overstimulated easily. For us, our son couldn't really handle more programmed activities - I believe USA Kung Fu's program involves significant academic work which would be too much for him after school- so it works well for us. The RAP program is also affordable, but from what I have seen the counselors are all quite young students and I wasn't totally impressed with the level of supervision in big open parks. It might be OK for a 9 year old but I was nervous my kiddo would wander off and they wouldn't notice! I don't know about the other programs you mentioned. Good luck!

    Hi, another Alameda parent here.  My son did both the AEF (Alameda Educational Foundation)/Girls Inc offerings at his school and the Park Department after school programs.  Both offered good variety of things to do.  AEF offered more enrichment-type classes like sewing or carpentry.  He enjoyed those a great deal, but they tended to end early before most people would be home from a typical job and commute.  I had a mother's helper to pick him up and sit with him until I got home.  The Park and Rec program went longer and was more unstructured.  They sort of hung out at the park/park building and played.  Sometimes there might be some crafts or games, but mostly free form. 

    The advantage for me is both were close to our home and school (Park was next to school) and they were familiar environments for my son and we didn't need to arrange rides or pick ups.  

    Reply or PM me if you have more specific questions.

Archived Q&A and Reviews



After-school options for kindergarteners?

Jan 2009

Hi all. I'm looking forward to September when my son will be starting Kindergarten. I know this is a bit soon but I'm trying to find out how people handle after-school care in Alameda. My son will be at Henry Haight where there is only one after-school program. Since kindergartnerners only have school a few hours a day in Kindergarten I want to fill up the rest of the day with quality care of some kind or another. He's been in Montessori for a year and a half where the classroom is in session from 8:30 to 3:30. I'd hate to get out of that habit now. I'm open to all opinions and advice, or recommendations. Thanks. Leslie


We did not have a good experience with the YMCA aftercare program at Haight last fall. The care is held in a dark, musty portable and even in lovely weather the kids were mostly kept inside. Whenever I picked my son up I noticed he was relieved to leave. I witnessed a situation where some of the older kids (who are picked up from their classes about an hour after the kindergarteners are) were swearing at, and actually bullying, a couple of the kinders. My calls to the Y and to the school principal went unreturned. After trying to find alternate afterschool care and not succeeding, I switched my son to Otis Elementary. Their afterschool program is run by Girls Inc., and my son enjoys it so much it's hard to pry him away sometimes! It's a shame-- there were many things I liked about Haight, including my son's teacher there, who was excellent-- but as a working mom, I felt like I had no alternative. former Haight-school Mom


My son has been in the Henry Haight Y-Kids afterschool program ever since he started in the fall of 2005. It is not actually true that there is only one afterschool program at Henry Haight: there is Y-Kids and there is LEAPS. I encourage you to talk to both and get a feel for it. I don't know much about LEAPS, but several parents are very happy with it. They do seem to do quite a bit of outside time.

However, Haight Y-Kids has a new site directory this fall, and in contrast to the previous reply, these kids are spending *much* more time outside than before. Honestly, I'm relieved. The new director is breathing new life into the program. It feels like there is much more direction than before, and she puts a lot of thought and energy into the activities the kids do, including fostering a real community where the big kids look out for the little ones. I'm really pleased with it.

As for LEAPS, as I said, I don't know a lot about it, but it seems to be closed quite a bit more than Y-Kids. I need ongoing, full-time care for my kid, so LEAPS is just not an option. Both have scholarship options for low-income families. I'm happy to answer any questions you'd like to ask directly. Jennie


Girls Inc or RAP after school care in Alameda

April 2005

I'd like to know if anyone has experience with the Girls Inc or RAP (by Alameda Park & Recreation) after school programs in Alameda (Paden school)? Which one is better in staff/ student ratio, quality of care, choices of activities, helping in homework......? Thanks! Julia


My son attends k-garden at Otis school in Alameda. Since ARPD's RAP program does not accept k-garden kids, I enrolled him in Girls Inc's afterschool program. He loves it. The three teacher/caregivers are wonderful and my son does a wide range of activites there (he's there more than the regular classroom!) there is lots of playing, crafts galore, quiet reading time, outdoor play, etc. It's been great and a relief for two working parents. It averages about $510 month for just after school care and you can add on am care. Next year the cost will go down for us because my son will be in first grade and will need less time.

Although I respect ARPD staff and my son attends their winter & spring break camps and will attend their WOW program this summer...I have chosen to enroll my son in Girls Inc again next year. The top reason is that the RAP program for Otis school involves walking the kids up to Lincoln Park which is a stretch. Another is that the teachers at Girls Inc are more mature and are steady throughout the year. Another is that RAP ends at 530pm and Girls Inc ends at 6pm. You can visit both organizations to ask questions and see what it's like. anon