After-school child care is just as important as the school day and taking the time to find the right program will ensure your child has a positive and dynamic experience. After-school child care is more than just monitoring your children, and the program you choose should be an environment to have fun, be active, and give them any additional academic support they need. Here are some specific things to look for when looking for the right after-school program for your child.
After a long day of learning and studying at school, physical activity is important to give children a chance to release their energy. Gymnasiums and playgrounds are frequent activity spots and give kids a wide-open space for fun-filled running, climbing, and a chance to socialize with other children. Aside from free-time, children may be offered the option to do a hands-on project with the caretakers. Look for a space that provides a variety of opportunities for your child to meet their physical and social needs.
After-school snacks can help fill in the gap between lunch and dinner time. Some after-school programs provide snacks for children. Often, parents donate snacks for the group to share each day, such as boxed crackers, a fruity treat, or non-perishable packaged foods. If the program does not provide a snack to your child, consider packing them something that does not have to be kept cold throughout the day. Look for a program that is cognizant of providing healthy foods to your child and that takes food allergies seriously.
Older children typically have homework to complete after school. You may find it advantageous to encourage your child to complete some homework during after-school child care so that you can enjoy some free-time together in the evening. It is important to make sure the caretakers can provide a quiet area for the children to focus on completing their homework. Caretakers should also be available to assist children with any questions or help they may need with completing their assignments. Look for programs that require their caretakers to have experience and certifications working with and educating children.
After-school child care can make a big difference in your child's day. A good program will provide an active, nurturing, and positive learning environment for your child. Find out more about after-school child care programs in your area to see which one is right for your family.