As school is nearing the end of the first two weeks of the new school year things are becoming less frantic and the teachers and children are settling into the school year. The school busses are running pretty smooth. Miami-Dade has had none of the horrible confusion with the school busses that Broward County encountered.
Traffic is of course significantly worse and parents commuting to and from work are spending more time in the car. This is where before and after care is extremely important for the smaller children that are in need of adult supervision. Children attending elementary school should never be unsupervised.
Unfortunately the before and after care hours for public school children are limited putting many struggling families in a difficult position. The care is not free either and the economic situation for most families is already strapped. The school policies are clear children may not be left unsupervised before school hours. There is no supervision in or outside the school until school starts. Yet the sad truth is that parents are leaving their children alone in school yards and outside school well before schools opens and this is a heartbreaking situation as many of them are very young and not ready to be left alone. Miami-Dade County is always ready to cut funding for the ones that need it the most.
Children are the ones put in a position that no child should be in. This is another shame situation in Miami-Dade County for failing to provide adequate and affordable child care to all families. In addition the state of Florida is also at fault for not providing clear laws on the subject. Yet in middle school aftercare programs end giving the assumption is that it is completely fine for middle school children to be left alone since there is no care available for them through the public school system. The only law that deals directly with standards for unsupervised children is leaving them alone in a motor vehicle. This statue provides clear and concise instructions as to what is legal and not. This is a clear lack of protection for younger children and the potential consequences could be devastating small children should not spend time alone in public whether it be school or any other place.