School age child care programs are programs that kindergarten children and older can attend before school, after school, and during the summer and holiday breaks. Often, parents who have work schedules or family situations that make it difficult for an adult or guardian to supervise their child after the school day use school age child care to provide their child with a safe environment in which to spend their after school time.
Benefits of School Age Childcare Programs
Research has shown that quality school age childcare programs can provide children with a variety of developmental
and intellectual benefits including improved academic performance, task persistence, improved work habits and study skills, and improved feelings and attitudes. These benefits are so comprehensive that federal, state and local initiatives are increasing the funding and support for school age child care programs. Approximately 6.5 million children participate in a school age after school program, and an additional 15.3 would attend if there were programs available.
The demand for school age childcare programs is increasing for two reasons. The first reason has to do with the fact that many parents are working hours that extend many hours beyond the length of the typical school day. For these parents, before and after school child care ensures that their children are supervised and safe while they are at work. The second reason has to with the many benefits of school age programs.
No matter what your reasons, below are some things to look for when choosing a quality child care program.
Not Just Daycare
A quality after school or school age childcare program of any type should be more than just a supervised day care. School age programs should be designed to complement and enrich the learning that takes place at school. Before choosing a school age program, ask the program director about age appropriate learning activities they offer.
While it is important that school age childcare offers learning activities and time to do homework, you don’t want your child to burn out on learning. That is why it is important that the school age program allows an appropriate level of autonomy and play time to the children. Research has shown that exercise and play are vital to child development. Before choosing a childcare program, ask the director about the amount of time that the kids are allowed to be kids.
Make sure that the school age childcare activities are varied and won’t risk your child becoming bored and tired. Ask about how the childcare staff come up with new, fun an exciting daily activities for your child.
Any school age childcare setting, no matter what the ages it caters to, should be devoted to the safety of the children. Make sure the child care facility is designed for safety and maintains a low child to caregiver ratio.
School Age Childcare Programs at ABC Academy Jackson
At ABC Academy Jackson, we provide high quality before and after school age childcare programs as well as programs during the holiday and seasonal breaks. Come check all three of our locations and program offerings and contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!