This year, the process has been formalized, and Bogus is director of the parochial school's new after-school day-care program. Blessed Sacrament is one of several Catholic schools that provide the after-class care as a service to working parents whose children attend the school.

The school itself has been in operation for 21/2 years, providing classes for ages pre-kindergarten through third grade. Each year, as the school's enrollment grows, a grade is added to the program. Day care is a new addition, but has been so successful that public schools in the area have expressed interest in such a program.

"This works so well for parents who have to work," Bogus said. "The day-care program begins at 2:45, when school classes let out and lasts until 6 p.m. If the students get out of school early, then day care starts early. And it's available every school day."

The price tag on the sense of security that parents can purchase is a reasonable $1.80 an hour per child. That money covers the cost of arts and crafts supplies, snacks for the children and other expenses.

"Because the insurance is already paid for the school, our costs are kept low," Bogus said.

"This is a wonderful answer to the latchkey problem, and next year we hope to have before-school day care, as well."

The after-school program typically has 18 students, but could accommodate up to 40, she said. On days when more students stay, or there are a number of younger students, Bogus said some of the teachers stay to help out.

When the youngsters enter the day-care program, Bogus said, "They are greeted by a wonderful person who really cares about them and makes them feel secure.

"The first thing we do is get them started on any homework they have and we provide tutelage if it's needed. Sometimes the third graders help the younger kids with their reading. "Then we wash up and have a snack. We have movie days, craft days and plenty of puzzles and games and books. They can take off their shoes and relax.

"This lets kids be kids in a good environment and the parents know they don't have to worry about them," Bogus said.

"It's hard on children to leave school and go home to an empty house, or to go from one school to another day school for a few hours until their parents get home. Here, they know everything about where they are and it's a wonderful thing."

During the last session, the Utah State Legislature passed a bill that encourages public schools to consider using the existing facilities to offer day-care services during non-school hours.

According to sponsors of the legislation, such an endeavor would make day care easily accessible and affordable because the facility is there, waiting to be used.

Programs like the Blessed Sacrament School's day care are leading the way in what Bogus believes will be a common practice.

"I'd love to see public schools do this type of thing," she said. "It makes so much sense and I think it's really needed."