It is common knowledge that early learning is important. Parents go to great lengths to find a school that will meet their child’s educational needs, but what about what after school care programs? After school programs are more than just a place for your child to go when their school day ends. They are places of learning that have programs designed to give children academic, physical, and emotional support. Below we take a look at the benefits of after school programs and consider what makes a great program.
The Benefits of After School Programs
After school care programs benefit children, parents, and communities. They provide structured and safe learning spaces which can lead to improved:
1. Academic Performance
Research has shown that 40% of students who attend after school programs see significant improvement in their math and reading grades. Many after school programs provide homework assistance which encourages learners to stay up to date with their schoolwork while also encouraging learning beyond the classroom.
2. Social Skills
After school programs can make learning fun. They are social environments that encourage children to spend time, play, and learn together. A safe environment can teach children important communication skills. As children learn to communicate with their peers, their confidence can improve too. This encourages leadership and independence in a space where they feel a sense of belonging and safety.
Children learn through play and stimulation. When children are bored, they can engage in activity that is not beneficial to their well-being. Some after school programs have creative outcomes that encourage children to express their emotions in a healthy way. Being stimulated creatively can help children let go of the stresses of the day, improve their social skills, and can lead to improved positive behavior.
How To Find A High Quality After School Care Program
When looking for an after school program it is important to consider the facility holistically. Parents should consider accreditations, academic programs, and the physical facility. Good after school programs are:
The first sign of a good after care facility is licensing. Before a childcare facility opens its doors, it must be licensed. The Department of Children and Families is responsible for ensuring that all registered facilities meet departmental standards for health and safety. Before a facility is granted a license, the department considers its food and nutrition plans, emergency preparedness protocols, and lighting, air-conditioning, and heating systems. A licensed facility is more likely to have the necessary support and infrastructure to serve your child’s learning needs.
2. Schedule Orientated
A schedule or program sets out what your child will be doing while they are at the facility. Routines are an essential part of early childhood development. A care facility that does not have a schedule or program could be a red flag as it is a sign the facility does not fully understand your child’s developmental needs. A good schedule promotes cognitive, emotional, and physical development. It should make provisions for play and homework that is specific to your child’s age and developmental needs.
A good after school provider should promote healthy values and have a safe facility. Your child will be spending a great deal of time at the facility and it should have values that will encourage them to live in a healthy and balanced way. The physical environment should be safe too. The indoor and outdoor playing areas should be hazard free and the school should have a low teacher to student ratio. The lower ratio will ensure that your child gets the attention they need to be safe and feel cared for.
Parkland’s Academy After School Care Program
Finding a good school provider can be challenging. Parkland’s Academy has designed a program and facility that prioritizes your child’s development. Our licensed facility and trained staff are ready to welcome your child and to help them achieve their developmental goals. Contact us today at 954-688-5877 to find out more about our facility and programs.