Before & After-School Care
Changing School Start Times
The Task Force recognizes that any change to school start times will most likely result in a shift of the need for before or after-school care for our preK-elementary school (and perhaps early middle school) students. Overall, after speaking with child care directors across the county, the Task Force learned that, operating with a business mentality, these centers, including the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, will adjust their 'before and after care' program schedules to meet the needs of Anne Arundel County families, regardless of school starting times.
Overview of Before and After-School Care in Anne Arundel County
In 2013, there were approximately 89,585 children in Anne Arundel County under the age of 12. Of these children, approximately 80.2% had mothers in the Work Force, leading to the potential and probable need for child care, according to the Maryland Child Care Resource Network . To meet this demand, there are more than 1,000 regulated, private early childhood programs across the county in addition to those before and aftercare programs offered by Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks.
In Anne Arundel County:
- Private child care center hours vary from center to center, based on the start time of the elementary schools within the proximity of each child care center.
- Most centers try to provide space for students for a minimum of one hour before and after the school day to accommodate parents' work schedules; many begin offering care as early as 6:00 AM and extend after-school care as late as 6:00 PM.
- Because many centers provide transportation to and from elementary school, the schools they can adequately service depend upon the tiered start times for all schools in the area.
- Child care centers frequently have access to only one small bus when providing transport for students from their center to school each morning and from school back to the child care center for after care services. A child care center's capacity to serve families is often constrained by the number of seats available on their privately owned or leased bus(es).
- Child care centers offering transportation to and from school can only service multiple elementary or middle schools if each school begins at a different time. The child care center buses can only drop off students one school at a time.
In addition to these privately funded daycare providers and centers, the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks offers School Age Child Care (SACC) at 34 elementary schools across the county. Each year, SACC serves approximately 2,000 students with before and/or after-school care. Currently, the before school program operates from 7:00 AM until the start of the school day and the after-school program operates from the end of the school day until 6:00 PM every day that school is in session for students.
For more resources and information about trends in child care across the state click here.