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The benefits of a good before and after school program can’t be overstated. Children who participate in such programs enjoy more success in school, and are less vulnerable to negative influences. Parents of these children are also less stressed and have fewer unplanned absences from work.

A Safe Place

It’s never easy to spend time away from your children, but knowing that they’re safe and comfortable makes it easier. When choosing a before and after school program, here are 5 things to consider:

1) Transportation & Proximity

Reliable transportation is often the deciding factor when looking for a before and after-school program.  Working parents rarely have the opportunity to leave work and shuttle their kids around. This is especially true if the location is not convenient or close.  A long commute or unreliable transportation can make an after-school program impossible.

2) Recommendations

Talk to teachers and other parents to get recommendations for a good before and after-school program. You may also want to check online reviews, which can sometimes raise questions you didn’t think to ask. This can also help you find a program with peers your child already knows, which can alleviate some of their anxiety.

3) Site Visit

Visiting the facility and meeting with staff is a great way to get a feel for the program.  It also allows your child to be introduced to teachers and peers. This is the best way to gauge the environment and find out what the schedule is truly like. 

4) Supervision

It’s important to find out the teacher-student supervision ratio.  Although children between the ages of 5 and 11 are gaining independence, they still need structure and oversight.  It’s okay to ask a lot of questions, such as what kind of teacher experience the staff has, and how long they’ve been teaching.

5) Schedule

What kind of things will your child be doing in before and after school? Is there time for both unstructured, creative play and homework help? Knowing these details can give you insight into what your child will be doing.

Choosing the Right Before and After School Care

Before and after school care should include activities designed to complement and enhance the academic program. Student skills should be cultivated and additional experiences should bolster self-confidence. Although it’s never easy to be away from your child, choosing the right before and after school program can give you peace of mind.

To find out how before and after school care can benefit you and your child, Contact Us.