I have often wondered why the school day begins and ends when it does. In my district, elementary schools begin at 8:20 AM and end at 3:16 PM.

Children cannot be dropped off early or stay late. With the typical workday being 8 to 5, how do working parents cope?

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Do Daycares Pick Children Up From School?

Quick Answer:

There are daycare providers that specialize in before- and after-school care. These daycare centers may provide a bus that can pick up and/or drop off your kids. Schools are happy to release children to a daycare provider as long as they have written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

I realize how lucky my family was that my job allowed me to work from home. I have never had to worry about picking up or dropping off my kids because my work schedule is flexible.

However, I have heard many horror stories from frustrated parents who simply cannot leave work early every day to pick up their young children. That is where an after-school daycare comes in handy.

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Daycare Transportation

Not every daycare has a means of transportation. Those that specialize in after-school care often have a van or bus that is used to pick children up and take them back to the facility. This is so common, in fact, that there are specific guidelines in place for safely transporting children to and from daycare.

In-home daycare providers might pick children up from school as well. These individuals would function similarly to any parent or guardian. They simply drive to the school and pick the children up to take back to their homes.

Related: Should I Switch Preschools?

Managing Transportation With Schools

young children on a school bus

At the beginning of each school year, your school will ask you to complete documentation stating how your children will be picked up at the end of the day.

This information is held in the administrative office. Individual or homeroom teachers may request the information as well. This ensures your children are released to the appropriate caregivers.

You should relay contact information for all individuals that are allowed to pick up your children from school. This should include any parent or guardian, grandparents, trusted emergency contacts, and specific individuals from a daycare.

If the child is picked up in a clearly labeled daycare van, that should be sufficient for pick-up purposes.

Side Note
This is a good time to mention, for your child’s safety their school or child care center should know clearly who can or cannot pick up your kid.

This is an issue that is often overlooked and is especially important in situations of divorce/separation or with a custodial parent.

If there’s a parent (mom or dad) or relative (grand-father, aunt or uncle, etc.) who shouldn’t be in contact with your child, it’s probably best you make that clear to the school and the child care facility at the very beginning.

School Bus to Daycare Center

Will a school allow buses to take children to daycare rather than their home? This depends. When I was young, our buses basically dropped us wherever we asked. Over the years, that has been proven to be a choice that isn’t exactly wise.

However, you might be able to work out regular busing to a daycare facility with the school if that daycare is on a standard bus route and isn’t against school policy.

I live in an area that has stringent guidelines for school buses. Students may not ride the bus if they live within one mile of the school, nor can they ride a bus to any place other than the home of their primary legal guardian.

That said, they can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Even if a child’s school has strict rules like this, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Looking for Quality Daycare?

Find an affordable and qualified daycare center that fits your needs.

Childcare-to-School Drop-Off

On the opposite end of the spectrum is morning drop-off. As stated earlier, my daughter’s school starts at 8:20 and does not allow children to be dropped off more than 10 minutes early. If you need to be at work by 8 AM, you’re going to be in a bind. The only way around this is to have someone else drop your children off at school.

There are before-school daycare providers who will make sure kids have healthy breakfasts, are ready for school, and dropped off before the first bell. You usually pay a premium for this type of service, but it’s preferable to losing a job due to repeatedly showing up late after dropping kids at school.

If Your Daycare Doesn’t Offer Transportation

Don’t let that stop you, find one that does. Throughout a child’s elementary school years, they will need an adult to take care of them after school.

It might be smart to look into a daycare that offers afternoon transportation. Start looking for a daycare that does.

Is this something you have considered? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Frequently Asked Question

You could designate just about anyone to be able to pick up your kids. You just need to make sure you’ve notified the school and filled out any forms that’s needed.

You can hire an after-school nanny or enroll your child in a daycare center that has an after-school program. In both situations they should be able to pick up your child from school.

You should expect to pay around $20-$30 hour. This can vary significantly based on experience and responsibilities. For example you should expect to pay more for someone who’s going to help them with homework, cook, clean etc.

Check and see what your court order says. If you’re not sure, or it’s not clear to you seek out an attorney to make sure you have the correct information.

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