Figuring out your before-and-after options for childcare and enrichment can be a confusing and frustrating process. Here are the options we know about. If your family knows of other resources, please let us know!
Scholarships are available! If you or someone you know has a hard time affording these childcare and enrichment options, we may be able to help.
Our long term goal is to offer more morning enrichment classes, and hopefully an on-site child-care option.
First, you have to know the difference between enrichment and childcare:
- Enrichment is focussed on teaching certain skills and activities, for example, soccer, origami, dance, crafting, strategy games, etc. While the enrichment teachers are responsible for caring for your child, typically the focus is on teaching each subject. Each class typically lasts for an hour, and will fall on a particular day of the week. For example, you can sign up for soccer on Mondays from 3:35-4:35, but you would have to make other arrangements for other days of the week. If you wanted coverage for every single school day for the whole afternoon, you would have to sign up for 11 separate classes! Typically, these classes are available on school days only, and do not provide care on holidays or vacations.
- Childcare (before and after school programs) is focussed on providing a safe and fun child-care option for your child. Typically it is more economical than a full lineup of enrichment classes. While they do sometimes do “projects” focussing on one topic or another, it isn’t their main purpose. Typically the programs run all afternoon, 5 days a week, so you don’t have to sign up for multiple time slots as you do with enrichment classes. Typically they do provide care, even on days school is out, or there is early dismissal.
- Morning Enrichment at Lowell
Currently the Lowell PTA coordinates two morning enrichment classes that are available on-site at Lowell. They are Spanish (sign up form for Spanish), and Martial Arts (sign up form for Martial Arts).
- Lowell After School Enrichment by Miller Community Center
Miller provides a variety of after-school enrichment classes right at Lowell on topics such as soccer, origami, dance, crafting, strategy games, martial arts, chemistry, etc. To sign up for classes you need an account. The easiest way to get an account is to go to Miller Community Center in person, or to call (206) 684-4753. Once you have an account, you can sign up for individual classes using SPARC, their online registration page. If you have any trouble, or need help, please contact the program administrator Tiffany Flye at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (206) 849-9181.
- Teach Enrichment!
If you have a skill or passion that you would like to share with Lowell’s children, you can teach an enrichment class at Lowell! This program is offered by Miller Community Center. They help you with the paperwork, advertise the program, do background checks, then offer your class alongside all the other Miller enrichment classes! And you get paid! Contact Tiffany Flye at email@example.com or call her at (206) 849-9181 for more details.
- Kids Club
Kids club offers before school and after school care. They operate from the Stevens Elementary campus. Teachers walk children to Lowell in the mornings, and walk them from Lowell to Stevens after school. There often have a waitlist for the program, but parents have found that the waitlist does move, and once you are enrolled you get priority. Several of our PTA members have had good experiences with Kids Club. To enroll visit their website, or call (206) 523-6351 for more information.
- YMCA at Bailey Gatzert
The YMCA at Bailey Gatzert offers after school care. They operate from Bailey Gatzert. Seattle Schools Transportation department has in the past cooperated with parents who want their children bussed to Bailey Gatzert in the afternoons. A staff member meets the children at the bus and checks them into the program. Transportation has to be arranged directly between a parent and Seattle Schools Transportation. The YMCA at Baily Gatzert often has a waitlist, but it does move. To enroll call (206) 900-7209. To arrange bussing, call Transporation at (206) 252-0900.