After School Care in Alameda

Archived Responses: 

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