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I think the elephant in the room with education is that education can't fix what is broken in broken families.   Children's educational success is HUGELY dependent on their home life.   No amount

Speaking as a parent of a kid working in an afterschool program funded by grants that come and go, being paid peanuts to help kids with homework and actually teach several kids to read, I don't think

The push for going to full day K instead of half day was supposed to provide time for enrichment too. But it ended up being used for pushing more and more developmentally inappropriate academics young

1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I am curious as to what others did after school when they were children. 

I delivered newspapers with my siblings from when I was roughly 5 yrs old to 16 yrs old.

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44 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

 


So yes and no.  The factory only does swing shifts, which helps no one, at least until you get some good seniority.  State DOT workers work when they tell you to work.  The hospital nurses here work 12s, and a lot work strange hours like 3pm-3am.  Once you have enough seniority you can bid on better shifts, like 7a-7p, but most of the women with young or school age kids don’t yet have that seniority.  I work 24 hour shifts, and when I am up all night it’s hard to get home, shower, and get enough sleep before the kids get home from school.  And then there are teacher conference days, early release drills, and a lot of half days.  One of our local school districts has gone to four regular days and one half day a week.  It is a very poor district and I suspect it’s money saving, but it puts a large burden on the working poor. I can guarantee the kids are not receiving any enrichment by sitting home watching TV by themselves that extra afternoon a week.


My point is that not everyone has white collar jobs where things like telecommuting are possible.  I strongly support federally funded, high quality after school care. I don’t support this bill, because I like the afternoons with my kids, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the need.

And that kind of goes to my point - we need to deal with the issue from the jobs / community side and not additional school / govt side. Providing more job flexibility is a huge step, I think bc it shifts the mindset to the actual "family" friendly lifestyle. Not just that has to do with kids, but marriages, taking care of elderly parents, helping neighbors, etc etc etc

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

The government is, in many cases, the only game in town.

 

1 hour ago, Medicmom2.0 said:


I think people who live in well populated areas just have no idea how few resources there are in small and rural areas.

Once again, presumptions about what my background may or may not be.  I spent 4 years living in a small and rural (ish) area.  I know exactly how little there is in those locations.  I know exactly how small and rural those sorts of locations are, and in fact, I have often said the *same* thing about how people who have spent their whole lives living in urban and suburban areas don't really understand how a rural area works.  

1 hour ago, Medicmom2.0 said:


So what are the solutions? In my rural community, the school is it. There is no community center, rec center, day care center(there is one eight miles out of town though), or YMCA/YWCA.  Catholic charities, years ago, ran an after school program in the school gym.  It was an incredibly unorganized program and funding was too low to even give the kids snacks. I worked with it as an Americorp volunteer and was horrified.  The kids were stuck in the gym for three hours, not fed, and had no organized activities.  While well intentioned, there was just no money to hire people with any background in childhood development or education, nor money to provide activities such as art or board games. Eventually the grant, such as it was, was gone and the program closed. And yes, parents were charged, but no one can pay the amount it would cost to pay workers good wages and provide the food, activities, liability insurance, etc.  The after school program now is run by the school with a small federal grant and is much better. It’s just full, because they only have money for 80 kids, and have a waiting list of over 250 kids. There are only about 1200 kids K-12 in the whole school.

People here rely on friends and neighbors, paying them a small amount. The kids might eat a snack and do homework, and then generally watch TV till a parent gets there.  Everyone in my community is looking for a solution. One parent approached a local church about starting an after school program and got the same response—even if parents pay, which would be necessary, you couldn’t provide anything more than bare bones with what parents here would be able to pay.  While not an issue for me personally, this is a big problem in my community. 

Quite honestly, that's exactly how I expect this proposal to go.  I mean, school goes like that for so many kids NOW, I can't expect daycare within the school setting to really go any different.  

 

In the location I was in, the whole district had about 1500 kids, so similar sized.  Their program was run by a local secular charity, I can't remember the name of it.  Snacks were provided through the schools food backpack program, and basically, the kids ran around outside for 3 hours and if it was too cold an rainy, they ran around the gym for 3 hours.  

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20 hours ago, Frances said:

Nope, never had a Spring Break except the Friday before and sometimes the Monday after Easter. My college didn’t have a Spring Break either. I didn’t have one until I went to grad school. Never had a fall break or any random days off during the year. If we had too many snow days, we went a few extra days at the end of the year. Depending how Christmas and New Year’s fell, I would say we normally had two days off for Thanksgiving, 5-7 for Christmas/New Years, and one or two for Easter. But our summer break was quite long with July 4th being about the half way mark and classes starting after Labor Day.

Yup. This was basically my public school year in the two ISDs in Texas I attended: one a major large district and one that was at the time much smaller. 

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5 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 

Public boarding schools have been around a long time. In Arkansas, there's a public boarding school (high school) specifically for math, science, arts and technology. It's an all-state draw and has been in existence for almost 20 years. The goal was to keep more talent in-sate but it really serves as a farm system for top tier colleges nationwide.

 

The proposal in Buffalo wasn't to create a pipeline for STEM colleges or other "elite" schools.  The proposal was for poor and at-risk kids to be sent to a public boarding school, which would provide them with education and life skills. 

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1 hour ago, MissLemon said:

 

The proposal in Buffalo wasn't to create a pipeline for STEM colleges or other "elite" schools.  The proposal was for poor and at-risk kids to be sent to a public boarding school, which would provide them with education and life skills. 


That is, I think, the same model as the DC school mentioned up thread.

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9 hours ago, Medicmom2.0 said:


I’m not picking on anyone, but it feels like this whole conversation is coming from a place of privilege.  Granted, I suspect this board is mostly made up of one income families.  However, my community, and probably most communities, are not.

Job sharing costs a family money.   Flexible hours or telework is the domain of white collar jobs.  My community is made of factory workers who work in the salt mine, nurses, police officers, professional firefighters, county and state highway workers who fix the roads in the summer and drive the snowplows in the winter.  All of these jobs pay decently for our area, but none so much that a family can be a one income earner.  Telework is clearly not an option for these kind of jobs. They’re shift work and the hours will never be flexible. I know some nurses who jobshare, but now they’re losing 50% of their income.

We are at a point where I could be a stay at home mom, but we would not be able to save for retirement or college if I did so. We are fortunate that we can work opposite shifts, but that does nothing good for our marriage.  I am able to work mostly weekends, so we don’t need after school care.  But I can see the need, in my town alone. We don’t have rec programs—the state no longer gives that grant.  Or a Y. We have the school, and a very poorly funded after school program.  

And not just economic privilege. It also seems that many of the posters believe all kids have a loving, stable, functional home life. For some kids, more time away from home in an environment that supports and nurtures them, whether it’s a program like the one under discussion or something else, might be exactly what they need.

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10 hours ago, SKL said:

Just a general comment - it doesn't really need to be enrichment.  My kids' school has aftercare from 3-6 (and also before-care).  The kids have access to the cafeteria, the gym (when sports aren't practicing), and the playground.  The program has a cabinet full of donated used games, puzzles, legos, and office supplies (discarded paper etc).  The main thing the kids do is interact with each other, which is the best thing for them really.  They can do homework, read, play, chat, be on their iphones, have a snack (brought from home or purchased at $.25), or just veg.  The only cost is the nominal part-time pay for two adults to make sure nobody gets killed.

By contrast, when I was a kid (and I think I had a pretty good childhood), I walked home from school and did whatever I felt like doing - watch TV, make a snack, read a book, go to the playground, homework, music practice, hobbies.  Really not much different, except that we didn't have direct adult supervision for a while.

I think the biggest difference might be for kids who are introverts, like me. Even with just a regular school day, it was often tough to find enough alone time. I stayed up late reading many nights partly due to a love of reading and partly just to get some alone time. While you can in theory do that in the after school setting you describe, I think it’s more difficult.

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8 hours ago, SereneHome said:

And that kind of goes to my point - we need to deal with the issue from the jobs / community side and not additional school / govt side. Providing more job flexibility is a huge step, I think bc it shifts the mindset to the actual "family" friendly lifestyle. Not just that has to do with kids, but marriages, taking care of elderly parents, helping neighbors, etc etc etc

But there’s only so much flexibility available in certain jobs. My brother, for example, has a sales job where he drives around a fairly large, rural area. And he can only make sales calls during the day when businesses are open. And half days don’t make sense when he’s already driving so far just to start working. So I’m not clear how his job or many others could actually be made more flexible. Or my husband works at a hospital. Sure, there’s some choice of shifts, especially as you gain seniority. But for people unlike him who are commuting an hour or more each way to work, it doesn’t make sense to work less than eight hours or even less than ten or twelve per shift. And you can’t telecommute if you are providing hands-on care. Or factories where each job depends on all of the other jobs. 

On the other hand, my professional job is extremely flexible and family friendly and lots of people telecommute at least part-time. But I also work with people who don’t take advantage of the flexibility or telecommuting at all and have their children in full-time daycare or after school care once they reach school age. Even though they make different choices than I do, I assume they have good reasons for doing so.

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I also tend to thing programs like these are really a band-aid solution, and have consequences beyong the imediate help they give to families (assuming they are actually well run.)

There is a lot of practicality IMO to having some before and after school care available at low cost, in a school designed for that kind of use or in a nearby place.

But the underlying problem has been the pushing of people into being largely two income families.  And whatever anyone would like, it's not just a private choice with personal repercussions, if there are many two income families it affects the functioning of the overall economy.  So at some level we have to ask the question, what do we want to be normative, families requiring two full incomes to get by, or one, or one and a half, or something else?  While there will always be exceptions and demographic differences society can encourage the model we want to make most common.

The fact is that as soon as very cheap childcare is available for extended hours it becomes difficult for parents to say no to working more, particularly working class families.  It also becomes much easier for employers to become less flexible and more demanding of employees.  This changes the face of communities.

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46 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

I also tend to thing programs like these are really a band-aid solution, and have consequences beyong the imediate help they give to families (assuming they are actually well run.)

There is a lot of practicality IMO to having some before and after school care available at low cost, in a school designed for that kind of use or in a nearby place.

But the underlying problem has been the pushing of people into being largely two income families.  And whatever anyone would like, it's not just a private choice with personal repercussions, if there are many two income families it affects the functioning of the overall economy.  So at some level we have to ask the question, what do we want to be normative, families requiring two full incomes to get by, or one, or one and a half, or something else?  While there will always be exceptions and demographic differences society can encourage the model we want to make most common.

The fact is that as soon as very cheap childcare is available for extended hours it becomes difficult for parents to say no to working more, particularly working class families.  It also becomes much easier for employers to become less flexible and more demanding of employees.  This changes the face of communities.

Personally, I find it interesting that some of the same people that seem to desire a two parent with one income and one SAHM model as the norm are the same ones opposed to universal healthcare. In the rural Midwest area where I grew up, the number one reason for moms going to work is to get healthcare coverage for their family. The vast majority of them work in hospitals or clinics in either lower level administrative or healthcare support roles, although some are nurses. While the traffic is minimal, some of the commutes are still long due to distance, so the time away from home is much longer than the eight hours at work. The next most common area to work is the schools, although of course that is better aligned with the schedule of their children.

On the other hand, I think there are simply lots of couples where both parents want to work. Now they may desire fewer hours or more flexibility, but I also think this is quite common, especially for people who have invested lots of time and money in higher education. Fortunately, professional jobs often are the most flexible and often provide an income level that allows help with the balancing act by outsourcing some services.

 

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10 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

I loved being a latchkey kid and either going home and being alone, riding my bike alone, or rollerblading alone. Being stuck at my elementary school until 6 would have been absolutely terrible, and I didn't even come from a stable and healthy home. 

I also liked being without direct supervision, or as I would call it "a parent being up my a$$" after school.  😛  My folks were good parents, but I really liked being totally free!  Also an introvert, I liked being able to choose whether I wanted to be alone or with other kids.

FTR we weren't home alone that long ... 1.5 to 2 hours ... which is really not an issue safety-wise for kids old enough to follow basic rules and dial 911.  It also helped us get traditional cooked meals and various other benefits of being in the home/neighborhood vs. at some child holding facility.

Sad that this really isn't a viable option any more, thanks to people who think they care more about my kids than I do ....

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We were very lower middle class growing up, but lived in a safe, rural town. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I entered middle school in 5th grade. My younger sister and I were then latchkey children in (for her, part of elementary school), middle school, and high school. It was great! We would take walks, ride bikes, draw,  crochet, write stories, watch TV, prep dinner, walk the dog, help the neighbor with barn chores, do our homework, nap, hang out with friends, and recover from the stress that was school. By high school we were even tending the wood stove for heat in winter. Being on our own made us competent and confident. If we'd had to do stay in school for hours until our parents got off work, it would have been torture. I am sure it would have been in the loud cafeteria or gym and we would have been forced to  play team type things and do what adults told us every minute. My sister and I needed our downtime. We thrived with responsibility for the management of our own time. Freshman year of high school when I went to a horrible public school, being made to stay extra hours with the bullies that tormented me daily might have made me suicidal. How could that have been better for me than learning to manage a home and practicing the arts and exercising on my own? I am not against after school activities being available. I know everyone's home circumstances are different. However, I am vehamently against them being mandatory. 

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Y’all were some tame latchkey kids.  I was bullied and didn’t want to spend any more time at school than necessary, but then we went home and sampled the liquor cabinet, got vulgar words spewed at us by neighbor kids, got held down and groped by a boy next door (who was younger than me), egged a house (okay, it was my own house, but it had been foreclosed on), burned a couch on the lawn and triggered the cops (that was my brother), and put baby powder in rolling papers and pretended we were “smoking crack” (that was totally me).  Plus all the other inappropriate behavior and, um, experimentation that went on.

I did watch enough Weather Channel to want to be a meteorologist for a while.

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On 11/7/2019 at 3:10 PM, maize said:

I think extended school days could be a decent option when parents aren't available IF teacher to student ratios were such that the teachers could provide individual attention--say, a one to twelve ratio, and if lots of physical activity, arts, and a decent amount of self directed time were included.

I attended schools in France that went until 5:00 PM (normal there) and it was a very, very long day. Not ideal by any means.

DD’s school day in France is  830 to 430 but this includes something like 2 hours for lunch/ recess etc. we head straight to playground for an hour of playtime after (brrr). . Many kids stay for afterschool until 6. Wednesdays are off school. 
you all say “nanny state” like it’s a bad thing. I’ve no problems with the nanny if the nanny is a good one 😉 I do hate having to supplement math bc it’s November of third grade and it’s still place value. 🙄

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15 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

DD’s school day in France is  830 to 430 but this includes something like 2 hours for lunch/ recess etc. we head straight to playground for an hour of playtime after (brrr). . Many kids stay for afterschool until 6. Wednesdays are off school. 
you all say “nanny state” like it’s a bad thing. I’ve no problems with the nanny if the nanny is a good one 😉 I do hate having to supplement math bc it’s November of third grade and it’s still place value. 🙄

The school I went to was a public school but super academic, they only gave us one hour for lunch and only a half day off on Wednesdays.

School was 9:00-5:00.

It was miserable for me mostly because of bullying.

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19 hours ago, Frances said:

Personally, I find it interesting that some of the same people that seem to desire a two parent with one income and one SAHM model as the norm are the same ones opposed to universal healthcare. In the rural Midwest area where I grew up, the number one reason for moms going to work is to get healthcare coverage for their family. The vast majority of them work in hospitals or clinics in either lower level administrative or healthcare support roles, although some are nurses. While the traffic is minimal, some of the commutes are still long due to distance, so the time away from home is much longer than the eight hours at work. The next most common area to work is the schools, although of course that is better aligned with the schedule of their children.

On the other hand, I think there are simply lots of couples where both parents want to work. Now they may desire fewer hours or more flexibility, but I also think this is quite common, especially for people who have invested lots of time and money in higher education. Fortunately, professional jobs often are the most flexible and often provide an income level that allows help with the balancing act by outsourcing some services.

 

 

I can't speak for people who want one income families and who oppose universal healthcare, but I suppose they would say they would want healthcare to be arranged to accommodate a society with many one income families.  I imagine they probably have unrelated reasons for opposing universal healthcare.

Two income professional families with higher education are generally better off financially through having two incomes, even with paying for care. It's no different than a job of that kind where it makes financial sense to hire a cleaner while you work rather than doing the cleaning yourself, because you will make a lot more than you will pay the cleaner.  The ability of a family like that to have two incomes and pay for childcare is actually a class advantage, it makes the difference in incomes even more pronounced.  That will be true whether or not two or one income families are more usual.

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5 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Uh... why would you do that?  Seriously, what is the thought process that leads to that sort of behavior.  It would have never, ever occurred to me.  The worst I did was break into the cooking chocolate chips and eat some.  And read some saucy fanfiction when I was a bit older.

I admit I don’t get why some kids do bad, crazy, destructive crap.  It would have never even crossed my mind, and the consequences my mom would deal out if I actually decided to try anything on that scale would not have been worth experiencing for the... whatever emotional satisfaction ones gains from it.... would be.

We didn’t have neighborhood kids, it was a private drive with only old people around.  But even when I was in high school and started hanging out with my (also latchkey) friend we just tended to watch Rocky Horror or anime or bike around. Neither of us would have done anything against the rules or against any laws, never destroyed someone else’s property (we were the kids knocking on doors letting the neighbors know that other kids were stealing their pomegranates), etc.

Oh, I could write a book on the "why".  And still have enough material for a sequel.

If you've seen the (quite disturbing) movie "Kids", it's the closest I've ever seen to what kind of atmosphere I'm talking about.  Just take out the HIV plot and change the setting from NYC to a Midwest lower middle class subdivision.

And my mom still doesn't know about any of this stuff.  Even after she got home and was sitting right there in the living room, stuff just went on without her ever knowing.  It took a special combination of anxiety, television, and naivety for that to happen.

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Well my siblings and I did get up to some bad ideas when we were home, but not as bad as the kids we knew whose moms were SAHMs. 

My theory is that having the opportunity to screw up on the little things makes one a little bit smarter about the bigger dumb ideas that come along later.

I remember a sort of breakthrough moment when I was 12yo and suddenly became a prude for life.  Before that, I did some five-finger discounts and a few other relatively mild stupid stuff.  No lasting harm done.  My siblings also had their dumb moments, but all relatively mild stuff.

I can say for sure that the school setting does not prevent kids from getting dumb ideas and carrying them out.  Like one kid's porn addiction that was possible thanks to the school's chromebooks.

At least if my kids do something stupid at home, I am more likely to catch them at it.

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51 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

I find it very strange that your environment was similar to "Kids" because people I knew laughed at how unrealistic it was for most teens. Even the troubled kids didn't do that, but they just joined gangs or such things. 

However, this extended day is supposed to be for elementary school kids. If they are off doing those things in their free time we have way more things to be concerned about. 

Well yeah, it’s still a movie, I meant more the way the kids interacted with and treated each other.  (ETA:  And the lack of parents/parenting going on.) Very, very much not Disney Channel.

And I’m thinking back on the 5th to 7th grade years.  But there were certainly younger kids around, siblings and such.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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Our county essentially has this. It’s called School Age Child Care or SACC. It can be before school, starting at 7 am and/or after school until 6:15 pm. It is also available on holidays and in the summer. I know they have some classes and sports opportunities and things like drama performances. It has a cost to people who participate, it’s a sliding scale based on income. It’s definitely cheaper than other child care options. It’s very popular and there is a waitlist at most schools. 

Obviously, we’ve chosen (and been able to choose) a different educational path and a different lifestyle. I agree that developmentally I worry about young kids being in school for up to 11 hrs a day. On the other hand, I can imagine circumstances where it would be a comfort for me to know my young kids are in a safe place and to have a cheaper good option available for childcare. 

I’ve been at a conference the last few days about mental health and one thing that has been repeatedly said is “we can’t fix poverty” (we, in this case, being pediatricians). What was meant by that is that so often when we, as pediatricians, are faced with really tough familial situations it feels hopeless. And it’s true as an individual doctor, I can’t fix poverty. Instead, we can focus on the needs of that particular child a that time. We treat the anxiety and depression while acknowledging that it isn’t enough in a broken situation. We can also advocate for systemic changes that would benefit families while we treat the particular child, but the systemic issues are going to take longer to fix. The proposal by Harris is a little different since she’s running for and office and should be looking to also fix the bigger systemic problems...but the reality is that those will take longer to fix and while working on larger economic policy issues, it might make sense to offer a more viable solution for childcare to families in need right now. 

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

However, this extended day is supposed to be for elementary school kids. If they are off doing those things in their free time we have way more things to be concerned about. 

 

Growing up where neighborhood gangs were the norm and elementary school kids whose parents are gang members also partake in gang activities. The boys and girls clubs as well as the YMCA helps keeps these safe and from gang activities.

The school buses here usually drop kids off at the Teen Center/Youth Activity Center as one of the drop off stops. The kids get to do some activities for free. It would be nice to fund and extend that to elementary school kids. 

My school day was 7:15am to 1pm from 1st to 10th grade, then 7:30am to 4:30pm for 11th/12th grade. I rather kids get to go to the city’s activity center and have fun in a variety of activities with kids from other schools than to have them in the same school building with same peers for 10hrs.

Edited by Arcadia
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I used to pay over $600 a month for two kids’ aftercare in elementary school. Lots of parents can’t afford that. In some towns libraries allow kids (usually older kids) to come afterschool and get help with homework. 

I don’t have an opinion on this issue, but afterschool care and costs are real issues. I was lucky enough to be able to walk away financially, but not everybody is that lucky.

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I've been mulling this over the past few days to see if I am in fact being privileged. I don't *think* I am.

I recognize the hard realities of working parents trying to figure out childcare. I live in a very rural area where there are no other options except paying someone to babysit your kids in their home. And in fact for most of my 20 years as a SAHM I've been one of those babysitters and been told more than once that me being available as a safe place to send their kids is an answer to prayer.

I realize that me being a SAHM with one income seems like a luxury to many who are not in the same position. Maybe it is, now that DH has worked his butt off for 20 years at 65+ hours a week and moved up the ladder and makes a good income. But it wasn't always that way. There were many, many years where living on one income was a huge financial sacrifice, but we did it anyway and lived on a shoestring and robbed Peter to pay Paul because that was the vision of the life we wanted to build with me at home with the kids. Other people have a different vision of the life they want to build, and that's ok. Variety is good! But IME, being a SAHM is not a luxury, it's a choice with consequences, just like any other.

And all of the above has very little to do with the fact that I am deeply disturbed at the thought of it becoming normalized for children to spend 10+ hours a day in an institutional setting provided by the government.

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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

I've been mulling this over the past few days to see if I am in fact being privileged. I don't *think* I am.

I recognize the hard realities of working parents trying to figure out childcare. I live in a very rural area where there are no other options except paying someone to babysit your kids in their home. And in fact for most of my 20 years as a SAHM I've been one of those babysitters and been told more than once that me being available as a safe place to send their kids is an answer to prayer.

I realize that me being a SAHM with one income seems like a luxury to many who are not in the same position. Maybe it is, now that DH has worked his butt off for 20 years at 65+ hours a week and moved up the ladder and makes a good income. But it wasn't always that way. There were many, many years where living on one income was a huge financial sacrifice, but we did it anyway and lived on a shoestring and robbed Peter to pay Paul because that was the vision of the life we wanted to build with me at home with the kids. Other people have a different vision of the life they want to build, and that's ok. Variety is good! But IME, being a SAHM is not a luxury, it's a choice with consequences, just like any other.

And all of the above has very little to do with the fact that I am deeply disturbed at the thought of it becoming normalized for children to spend 10+ hours a day in an institutional setting provided by the government.

Being a SAHM is not a luxury, but being able to choose to be a SAHM is still a privilege.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I choose to be a WAHM, which is also a privilege.

I think the point is that just because you were able to make this work and still meet your family's needs, that does not mean we all can.  Some people really cannot do both.

Edited by SKL
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On 11/9/2019 at 10:04 PM, Roadrunner said:

I used to pay over $600 a month for two kids’ aftercare in elementary school. Lots of parents can’t afford that. In some towns libraries allow kids (usually older kids) to come afterschool and get help with homework.

I don’t have an opinion on this issue, but afterschool care and costs are real issues. I was lucky enough to be able to walk away financially, but not everybody is that lucky.

We have that too.  The kids who are old enough to walk to the library can go there for free homework help, some free classes, group study, or just to read or veg.  Of course this requires that the kids know how to be have in a library - a standard that is looser nowadays, but still not completely without limits.

I am not sure of the minimum age for this.  Personally, when I was a kid I got my library card about age 5 and was able to walk there from school or home whenever I wanted.  Of course they could kick me out into the street if I didn't act right.  I have left my kids in libraries for short time periods around age 9 or 10, and nobody said anything about it.  They could also go to any neighborhood playground or park.  This assumes the school will allow them to leave school "alone" based on a note or call from the parent.  My kids' school has let them do this since 5th grade.  (I did not try earlier than that.)

If a universal school-based program is introduced by the government, experience tells me that existing options such as free library after-school help / classes and therefore library use will dwindle.  Another example of mixed results.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Being a SAHM is not a luxury, but being able to choose to be a SAHM is still a privilege.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I choose to be a WAHM, which is also a privilege.

I think the point is that just because you were able to make this work and still meet your family's needs, that does not mean we all can.  Some people really cannot do both.

I understand that, I really do. I know not everyone can be - or wants to be - or needs to be - a SAHM.

But it's a big leap from "not everyone can be a SAHM" to "it's a great option to put kids in a school setting for 10+ hours a day" and I don't think it's speaking from privilege to point that out. 

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22 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I understand that, I really do. I know not everyone can be - or wants to be - or needs to be - a SAHM.

But it's a big leap from "not everyone can be a SAHM" to "it's a great option to put kids in a school setting for 10+ hours a day" and I don't think it's speaking from privilege to point that out. 

I feel we all have a different view on the benefits and costs of kids being away from parents.  Maybe part of that is our own internal bias / need to know that whatever we are doing ourselves is right.  Sometimes we take it past "this is right for my family right now" into "this has to be better for other families."  I think that's often a mistake.

There have been plenty of days when my kids were away from me more than 10 straight hours between school/camp, aftercare, and activities - even though I am sitting at home!  Sometimes they are better off doing that.  Sometimes they are better off coming home.  We are glad to have the option.

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The fact that a person is currently a SAHM doesn't mean they have no understanding at all of the challenges of finding care for their kids while working.....regardless of why a parent needs care for their kids.  I absolutely appreciate the difficulties of finding care, whether the area a person is located in is a rural area or a suburban area.  I understand it can be difficult to afford.

I still don't think government provided daycare through the school setting is the way to go.  I think the government will be terrible at it, I think the government will be terrible at managing the financial aspect of it, I think there could be a series of unintended consequences, I don't think it's the government's job, and I think it's a bad use of taxpayer dollars.  And I don't need to be currently struggling to find or afford care for my kids to think all of those things.  

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I have lived urban for over 20 years.  Our school system has before and after care in place.  And like I said earlier, it's available from 6:30 am to 6 pm.  It is not free, but it is sliding scale.  And it honestly works great for some families.  I know kids who used this program that are now launched to college as young adults.  And they're great kids from engaged families.  

I absolutely think the school system has HUGE issues.  But this particular program has been huge and important for many families here.  Like most things when it comes to parenting, there is no one size fits all.      If you have the ability to rob Peter to pay Paul and still clothe, feed, and house your family you really are doing better than some.  Family homeless shelters are a thing that exist here that are always at capacity.  Our church takes a round hosting homeless families every  winter.

There are plenty of studies that say that investments in education pay off in general.  I'm not saying just throw money at a problem or that should look the same in every  community.  Some communities have found benefits in providing programs like this over having kids be latchkey or having parents making challenging decisions.  It would be great if every child could be dropped off at a school door when school starts and picked up with a nutritious snack by a parent, but that unfortunately is not realistic for some families.  There is data that these programs are worthwhile in some communities.  The US is never going to be a country where you will be forced to raise or school your kid in ONE way.  I guess I am in favor or making things easier for parents when and where we can.  

http://www.sedl.org/pubs/sedl-letter/v20n02/afterschool_findings.html

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3 hours ago, SKL said:

We have that too.  The kids who are old enough to walk to the library can go there for free homework help, some free classes, group study, or just to read or veg.  Of course this requires that the kids know how to be have in a library - a standard that is looser nowadays, but still not completely without limits.

I am not sure of the minimum age for this.  Personally, when I was a kid I got my library card about age 5 and was able to walk there from school or home whenever I wanted.  Of course they could kick me out into the street if I didn't act right.  I have left my kids in libraries for short time periods around age 9 or 10, and nobody said anything about it.  They could also go to any neighborhood playground or park.  This assumes the school will allow them to leave school "alone" based on a note or call from the parent.  My kids' school has let them do this since 5th grade.  (I did not try earlier than that.)

If a universal school-based program is introduced by the government, experience tells me that existing options such as free library after-school help / classes and therefore library use will dwindle.  Another example of mixed results.

I don’t think there will ever be a universal school-based program introduced by the government. People are far to into local control for their schools to ever go for such a thing. Plus there would never be the money there. As it is, for example, Headstart only serves a fraction of eligible children.

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:11 PM, Arctic Mama said:

Uh... why would you do that?  Seriously, what is the thought process that leads to that sort of behavior.  It would have never, ever occurred to me.  The worst I did was break into the cooking chocolate chips and eat some.  And read some saucy fanfiction when I was a bit older.

I admit I don’t get why some kids do bad, crazy, destructive crap.  It would have never even crossed my mind, and the consequences my mom would deal out if I actually decided to try anything on that scale would not have been worth experiencing for the... whatever emotional satisfaction ones gains from it.... would be.

We didn’t have neighborhood kids, it was a private drive with only old people around.  But even when I was in high school and started hanging out with my (also latchkey) friend we just tended to watch Rocky Horror or anime or bike around. Neither of us would have done anything against the rules or against any laws, never destroyed someone else’s property (we were the kids knocking on doors letting the neighbors know that other kids were stealing their pomegranates), etc.

 Same here and and we lived in a high crime neighborhood. We hung out at home or in some kid’s open garage around the corner. I understand that the fear of criminality is what drives this impulse tho.

 

1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

 

A "funded" program through government schools will be the death knell for all of those other options, too. I can't wait for the CA government to raise our taxes yet again with a promise of this program and to turn around and spend it on something else. 

 

What makes you think that? Even head start is grant funded, mostly operated by community action agencies but also by education service districts. It is limited by available funding, not capacity. Any/all service providers can ramp up if adequate funding is available.

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2 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I don't believe that "easier" is always *BETTER* .  Whether that's for individuals, parents, families or our society in general. 

 

What does that mean, in the context of this discussion? Do you think it's preferable for working families to have to struggle to afford before and afterschool childcare, or for children to be in a latchkey situation for years of their childhood, or for families to remain in poverty because they can't afford for both parents to work...? I'm not assuming what you meant; I'm outlining some of the alternatives to an extended school day (and the situation that we currently have). I'm not assuming, I'm asking: For *whom* should *what* be harder instead of easier?

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10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I don't believe that "easier" is always *BETTER* .  Whether that's for individuals, parents, families or our society in general. 


Do you think you should decide what ‘better’ is for another family? Is this about objectively being ‘better’ or just different from what you’d choose to do?

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3 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

What does that mean, in the context of this discussion? Do you think it's preferable for working families to have to struggle to afford before and afterschool childcare, or for children to be in a latchkey situation for years of their childhood, or for families to remain in poverty because they can't afford for both parents to work...? I'm not assuming what you meant; I'm outlining some of the alternatives to an extended school day (and the situation that we currently have). I'm not assuming, I'm asking: For *whom* should *what* be harder instead of easier?

It's not really about what *SHOULD* be harder.  It's more or less about what is the net benefit.  Are kids, overall, going to benefit from the concept of such a problem.  Will society benefit overall from such a problem.  Are there things that could be negatives that we aren't thinking about.  And is this really how taxpayer dollars spent from a beneficial standpoint.  

Just because something is *easier* for X or Y or Z....that doesn't mean that it's *better* for A or B or C.  And I think it's been shown that in a whole lot of cases, just because something is *easier* that doesn't automatically mean it's *better.*

 

It sucks for a "working family" (and really, what does that even mean....are most families in the US living off of some royal allowance or something?  Most families in the US have at least one, and probably two WORKING parents.....so doesn't that mean most families are "working families?) to have to struggle to pay for childcare.  I have struggled to pay for child care.  I have struggled to simply ARRANGE child care within the times needed to say NOTHING of paying for it.  Does this proposal do ANYTHING to handle those people who work overnights?  When DH was laid off, I worked 5:30pm, to 5am at an Amazon warehouse. PLUS full time at CVS, and many nights stocking on truck nights which fell on the nights I wasn't at the Amazon warehouse.  Has anyone ever tried to find OVERNIGHT care for kids?  If you think afterschool care is difficult to find and pay for, try looking for overnight care for 3 kids when you are working OT during Christmas and your spouse has to stay overnight out of state for an interview. 

 

Childcare isn't some new struggle for people. It is literally a struggle as old as time.  Making this struggle "easier" is a great idea......but that doesn't mean that *THIS* idea of requiring schools to be open and available 10+ hours a day, with government funding and all the rules that come with that, and requiring that schools be open year round, 10+hours a day, while also requiring a whole second staff because teachers aren't required to cover more than they already.....................that's simply not the solution I see as being better.

 

 

Someone mentioned vouchers....perhaps that's a better solution.  Or, perhaps instead of government handling the before and after school care, the government simply refines and/or offers better grants to the groups/charities/companies that provide those things.  Maybe it means that laws regarding kids being on their own are better refined (ie more clear age definitions, or maybe we stop placing parents who let their kids play outside run afowl of the law...or maybe it's something else.)  Basically, I am not opposed to helping people.  I am all for helping people in a way that make things better for all.  I simply don't believe that government run daycare through the school setting is the way that will be good for that.  

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15 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


Do you think you should decide what ‘better’ is for another family? Is this about objectively being ‘better’ or just different from what you’d choose to do?

Considering that I am a voter in this society, and a taxpayer in this country, yes, I do believe that my opinion actually matters when it comes to the laws that are proposed in this country.  Even if that opinion differs from yours or someone elses.

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5 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Considering that I am a voter in this society, and a taxpayer in this country, yes, I do believe that my opinion actually matters when it comes to the laws that are proposed in this country.  Even if that opinion differs from yours or someone elses.


Those other families are taxpayers too and what they want/need is equally important. That’s not what I asked tho. I asked what evidence you have to demonstrate that your preferred model is better.

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@happysmileylady, obviously, everyone understands the meaning of your phrase about easier not necessarily being better, so there was no need to explain your verbiage. But thank you for outlining some of our opinions on the topic at hand.

On one hand, childcare has always been a struggle. On the other hand, anyone who thinks that today's scenario is the same as for any other generation, is not paying attention. Tax structures, college costs (including parental student loans), health care, inflation, wage stagnation, all of these are moved goalposts. It's a different world, requiring different solutions.

"Working families" - I don't really believe you need this spelled out, but just in case, I will explain that I am using that expression within the context of this discussion, to differentiate between families that have all parents working full-time (with an understanding that there are sole breadwinner, single parents as well as two-income, two-parents-working families) and families that have a parent who can provide childcare at home and/or have a relative who will do it for discounted or free. 

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4 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


Those other families are taxpayers too and what they want/need is equally important. That’s not what I asked tho. I asked what evidence you have to demonstrate that your preferred model is better.

What preferred model?  I didn't present one.  

What I DID say was

Quote

 I think the government will be terrible at it, I think the government will be terrible at managing the financial aspect of it, I think there could be a series of unintended consequences, I don't think it's the government's job, and I think it's a bad use of taxpayer dollars

Why do I think the government will be terrible at it...........because I think the government mucks up most things that they attempt to provide.  

Why do I think the governement will be terrible at the financial aspect....because I find that most government programs are terribly run from a financial standpoint and terribly bogged down in so much bureaucracy and paperwork.

What unintended consequences....well that could be anything.  One of the funny things about "unintended consequences" is that they are often unknown before they happen.

 

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Just now, happysmileylady said:

What preferred model?  I didn't present one.  

What I DID say was

Why do I think the government will be terrible at it...........because I think the government mucks up most things that they attempt to provide.  

Why do I think the governement will be terrible at the financial aspect....because I find that most government programs are terribly run from a financial standpoint and terribly bogged down in so much bureaucracy and paperwork.

What unintended consequences....well that could be anything.  One of the funny things about "unintended consequences" is that they are often unknown before they happen.

 

You’re ‘preferred’ model is obv. either non-governmental or non-existent. I’m asking what evidence you have to support the idea that this is better.

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

You’re ‘preferred’ model is obv. either non-governmental or non-existent. I’m asking what evidence you have to support the idea that this is better.

I think the government mucks up most things they attempt to provide.  I find most government programs to be terribly run from a financial standpoint and to be terribly bogged down with way too much bureaucracy and paperwork.  

But.....that is all why I think THIS particular proposal is a bad idea.  

That doesn't mean I am completely opposed to every single governmental idea, nor doesn't mean that I prefer help be non-existent.  

I am totally and completely willing to examine individual proposals for what they offer and to form an opinion based of various an assorted proposals offered.  The fact that I don't think this one works does not mean I will automatically be against some other proposal that may or may not offer some federal assistance or involvement.  It certainly doesn't have to be all or nothing.  

I don't have to come up with my own proposal or idea to have a valid opinion on a proposal or idea that someone else has presented.  

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I think the government mucks up most things they attempt to provide.  I find most government programs to be terribly run from a financial standpoint and to be terribly bogged down with way too much bureaucracy and paperwork.  

But.....that is all why I think THIS particular proposal is a bad idea.  

That doesn't mean I am completely opposed to every single governmental idea, nor doesn't mean that I prefer help be non-existent.  

I am totally and completely willing to examine individual proposals for what they offer and to form an opinion based of various an assorted proposals offered.  The fact that I don't think this one works does not mean I will automatically be against some other proposal that may or may not offer some federal assistance or involvement.  It certainly doesn't have to be all or nothing.  

I don't have to come up with my own proposal or idea to have a valid opinion on a proposal or idea that someone else has presented.  

 I didn’t ask you to come up with your own idea. I don’t think that’s necessary at all. I asked you to to provide some evidence for why this this idea was objectively bad or worse than the status quo (for un- and under-supervised kids). It sounds like you do not have any reason to believe that this program would be different from the National school lunch program or Head Start, both of which have historically low numbers for fraud, waste and abuse—both of which are heavily audited and government funded. I’m asking you to step away from ideology and look at what we know works/serves communities and families in need. Is there room for improvement, always. Is doing nothing  ‘better’? I’ve found no evidence of such but welcome new information. The needs are evident.

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Well, I think it's a good idea to have a discussion about what would be better in general, though without the threat of government mandates or financial strings.

I think it's a combination of things that each family can adapt to their situation.  Low-cost, no-frills after-school supervision.  Letting more kids go home and look after themselves without fear of governmental interference.  Better access to enrichment options, e.g., bus drop-off at programs off school premises.  Better connections among people in the neighborhood who could help each other out.  More relaxed rules for school-aged home child care.  Possible supports for extended family care.  More accessible tax deductions for child care.  Probably a hundred other ideas, most of which can and should co-exist.

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8 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

 I didn’t ask you to come up with your own idea. I don’t think that’s necessary at all. I asked you to to provide some evidence for why this this idea was objectively bad or worse than the status quo (for un- and under-supervised kids). It sounds like you do not have any reason to believe that this program would be different from the National school lunch program or Head Start, both of which have historically low numbers for fraud, waste and abuse—both of which are heavily audited and government funded. I’m asking you to step away from ideology and look at what we know works/serves communities and families in need. Is there room for improvement, always. Is doing nothing  ‘better’? I’ve found no evidence of such but welcome new information. The needs are evident.

 No, that's not what you said.

28 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

asked what evidence you have to demonstrate that your preferred model is better.

Which you then elaborated on with

26 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

You’re ‘preferred’ model is obv. either non-governmental or non-existent.

 

 

This proposal has school buildings staying open more than  hours per day, year round.  It has very few guidelines on how the program should be run or how the money should be granted, and I don't think it has any guidelines on where the money comes from.  Schools in low income areas already STRUGGLE to even teach kids how to read, and STRUGGLE to even keep kids warm enough, cool enough or safe enough.  They struggle to provide books for teachers to teach with.  And now, we are supposed to expect that some new federal program meant to provide daycare to kids in those same areas, is supposed to be a great use of taxpayer money and a benefit to kids, this program is somehow going to be better run than the already struggling school system there?  It's supposed to help kids more than what is already NOT helping them in those places?  And this is supposed to happen WITHOUT requiring more from teachers, AND it doesn't really outline where all that money is supposed to come from.    No.......I am not ok with any of that.  And I don't have to demonstrate that my preferred model is better in order to think this proposal is a bad idea.  

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13 minutes ago, SKL said:

Well, I think it's a good idea to have a discussion about what would be better in general, though without the threat of government mandates or financial strings.

I think it's a combination of things that each family can adapt to their situation.  Low-cost, no-frills after-school supervision.  Letting more kids go home and look after themselves without fear of governmental interference.  Better access to enrichment options, e.g., bus drop-off at programs off school premises.  Better connections among people in the neighborhood who could help each other out.  More relaxed rules for school-aged home child care.  Possible supports for extended family care.  More accessible tax deductions for child care.  Probably a hundred other ideas, most of which can and should co-exist.

Yes to all of this.  I have no problem discussing any of this.   Things like better defining ages that kids are allowed to stay at home. I am totally interested in the idea of school buses dropping kids off at their local dance or gymnastics or martial arts lessons.

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On 11/8/2019 at 5:23 PM, Frances said:

I think the biggest difference might be for kids who are introverts, like me. Even with just a regular school day, it was often tough to find enough alone time. I stayed up late reading many nights partly due to a love of reading and partly just to get some alone time. While you can in theory do that in the after school setting you describe, I think it’s more difficult.

 

 

This was me. I don't know how much of it was I was an introvert and how much of it was I was an outcast with no friends. Sitting alone at home is less humiliating than sitting in a crowded school alone. I also have difficulty concentrating with noise so I wouldn't even be able to read. It would be like extending torture that many more hours.

 

I have a son though that would be super happy to have kids to play tag with for hours after school. He would love it.

I also know that there are kids out there where every minute away from home is a good thing and it has nothing to do with money.

 

I don't know what I think of this bill. I believe some families could use help but normalizing kids being gone from home so long is sad. I also would rather see families not stretched so thin and part of that would be fixing the health care system and providing a reasonably affordable public university education. 

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6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 No, that's not what you said.

Which you then elaborated on with

 

 

This proposal has school buildings staying open more than  hours per day, year round.  It has very few guidelines on how the program should be run or how the money should be granted, and I don't think it has any guidelines on where the money comes from.  Schools in low income areas already STRUGGLE to even teach kids how to read, and STRUGGLE to even keep kids warm enough, cool enough or safe enough.  They struggle to provide books for teachers to teach with.  And now, we are supposed to expect that some new federal program meant to provide daycare to kids in those same areas, is supposed to be a great use of taxpayer money and a benefit to kids, this program is somehow going to be better run than the already struggling school system there?  It's supposed to help kids more than what is already NOT helping them in those places?  And this is supposed to happen WITHOUT requiring more from teachers, AND it doesn't really outline where all that money is supposed to come from.    No.......I am not ok with any of that.  And I don't have to demonstrate that my preferred model is better in order to think this proposal is a bad idea.  


This is a loosely outlined proposal, not a law and not regulations (which follow the passage of a law). The things you just outlined are all part of the legislative and rule-making process, not part of any initial proposal. It’s ok tho. I know we disagree that it’s enough to be against things that meet objective needs without providing some alternative or solution that also meets those needs. You said that something else was better so I was simply following up to find out what that was. It’s ok to have no alternative.

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5 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes to all of this.  I have no problem discussing any of this.   Things like better defining ages that kids are allowed to stay at home. I am totally interested in the idea of school buses dropping kids off at their local dance or gymnastics or tai kwan do lessons.  


All of which cost money.

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