In most states around the country, children in the K-12 system leave school at around 3 or 4 pm on weekdays. Because many parents work full-time and they get home much later, children tend to go unsupervised between the hours of 3 and 6 pm. Your child may be home alone, in the care of a sibling or with a babysitter during those hours. However, leaving your child unsupervised often results in wasted time that kids could otherwise be engaging in productive activities.
After-school programs are special programs designed to keep your child busy after attending school. They involve a mix of activities, help with homework, and care from experienced and professional staff.
If you're on the fence about after-school programs at a child care centre, here are 4 reasons why you should consider one.
1. Assistance with school work from qualified caregivers
After school programs are centres where children are encouraged to keep learning. There's always some time set aside for reading, doing homework and assistance with challenging learning material.
The qualified caregivers at these centres provide children with the assistance they need to better understand what they learnt at school. And because this environment is a less formal and more comfortable one for children, they can better understand school material and go to class the next day better prepared to tackle new content.
2. Keep your child busy with productive activities
After-school programs offer more than just help with homework. They also provide many different activities for your child to engage in. From sports to fun group projects that encourage thinking and reasoning, your child will remain physically and mentally active until they come back home in the afternoon.
Keeping your child busy and active while you're not at home is one of the best ways of encouraging healthy growth from a young age.
3. Role models to inspire children as they attend school
Some after-school programs also invite older children or adults to speak to and encourage children. They may share their interesting stories to motivate your child or to inspire creativity. And because most of these mentors are closely selected by the after school program staff, your child is sure to learn within a safe and motivational environment.
4. Snacks and treats to keep your child healthy
After a long day at school, most kids are understandably hungry. After-school programs have a wide selection of treats and snacks to keep your child energised until dinnertime.
If you normally get home late and you're concerned about what your child will eat in the meantime, these programs provide healthy snack options such as fruits, salads, energy bars and much more.