Every day, more than 10.2 million American children attend an after school care program. The programs provide academic and social support that can contribute to improved academic performance. The nurturing care that children receive at after school centers provide important emotional support, which benefits your child’s overall wellbeing.
Many households have parents who work long hours and are unable to provide the necessary after school care that their children need. Research has shown that participate in after school programs can decrease substance abuse and violence amongst children and young people.
The programs achieve this by keeping children engaged, active and supported.
But which after school care is right for your child? Here we share three tips to help you choose an excellent after school care program for your child.
After school care programs support childhood development
What Is After School Care?
Choosing the right after school care for your child is as important as choosing the right school to start their educational journey. The average child will spend more than 14,000 waking hours at school by the time they turn 18, which is often more than they will spend at home.
After school care is not just a place your child goes to pass the time until you finish work. A holistic after school program will create a homely environment that is dedicated to your child’s physical, emotional, social and personal well-being. At after care, your child will receive a meal, homework assistance and have scheduled play time.
How Do I Choose The Right After School Care For My Child?
A good after school program should support your child’s early childhood development and help them achieve their unique developmental goals. The program you choose should have:
1. A Structured After School Program
Children learn best through structured play. A consistent routine helps children feel more confident and secure, allowing them to focus on the task at hand.
High quality child care programs understand the importance of routine in early childhood development. A balanced after school program should have a combination of play time that stimulates cognitive and motor-skills development, as well as time for homework assistance. Your child should also receive a balanced meal or snack as they won’t be able to learn on an empty stomach.
2. Qualified Staff
The staff at the after school care learning center will be interacting with your child on a daily basis. They should be loving, responsive and qualified to provide the necessary support your child needs to thrive.
The teachers are responsible for creating a healthy environment that your child can feel safe to participate in. Qualified teachers will not only be able to provide excellent academic support, but they will also be trained to provide the emotional support your child needs.
To build a strong and healthy relationship with your child, the early learning facility must have a low teacher to child ratio. A lower ratio ensures that your child will receive greater attention and hands-on care.
3. Safe Facilities
You took care to create a safe environment for your child at home. The after care program you choose should do the same. The after school care facility should be safe and have appropriate emergency procedures in place.
The indoor and and outdoor play facilities should be hazard free, safe and age appropriate for the children using the facility. The learning facility must also have appropriate emergency procedures in place and staff that are qualified to administer infant and child first aid.
A safe learning facility is one that encourages good habits and implements measures to ensure your child’s safety. Good habits include a safe learning facility, and habits such as washing hands before eating.
Why Choose After School Care At Providence Children’s Academy?
At Providence Children’s Academy, we understand the importance of quality after school care. Our trained staff are experienced in early childhood development and can provide balanced care that will help your child reach their developmental goals.
Our licensed facility and program is designed with your child in mind and incorporates STEM based principles to create an educationally sound and safe learning environment. Contact Providence Children’s Academy today to find out more about our facility and how we can support your child’s learning journey.
For more helpful parenting tips like this, check out our blog and follow Providence Children’s Academy on Facebook!