Children benefit from school age programs in Olney, MD, because they provide a safe, positive, and engaging environment. Providing a safe, positive, and engaging environment is not only good for a child’s well-being but also needed for their development. Creating this kind of environment in an after school program allows children to explore their interests, express themselves, and build enduring relationships with supportive peers and caring adults.
Let’s examine the main tactics that may be used to foster a welcoming and secure after school environment.
If you want a positive and engaging after school program, you have to work towards creating the right type of environment. The environment is not just about the space; it’s also about the people in it. Make sure the actual area is welcoming and comfortable for everyone. Use warm colors, easy furniture, and the right amount of light to make a place feel cozy and welcome.
Create a clear set of rules and standards that encourage respect, kindness, and group participation. Share these rules with staff, players, and their parents or guardians so everyone knows what is expected of them. Staff members should be taught to greet people warmly and help people get along. Encourage staff to use the children’s names, listen to them carefully, and make them feel valued and honored.
Put in the effort to develop relationships with the kids. Be careful to hire and train staff members who are up to the challenge of the responsibilities of running an after school program for child care in Olney, MD. They must be able to interact successfully with children with a wide range of personalities, backgrounds, and ages. All children are unique and should be treated as such. The atmosphere of an after-school program must be welcoming to all children, not a select few.
Positive relationships are the key to making an afterschool space that is welcoming and open to everyone. Team-building tasks and joint games can help kids get along well with their peers. Encourage members to get along and work as a team. Encourage mentoring by putting together older and younger players. This can make people feel like they have a sense of duty, guidance, and support.
Staff members should be taught to listen to and help the children when needed. Encourage the staff to offer emotional support, give people helpful comments, and help them deal with problems. Recognize and praise each person’s accomplishments and efforts to help them feel good about themselves and what they’ve done. Highlight the academic, artistic, or personal achievements of the kids to improve their sense of self-worth and drive.
By letting students help plan and lead activities that are part of the after school program in Olney, MD, they will feel like they are a part of the program. Letting them voice their opinions and give their input also helps them learn to be responsible and choose activities relevant to their interests.
Focus on what kids do well. Children who attend groups after school want to feel at ease and interested. Focus on building children up instead of pointing out their flaws. Children will want to come back to your program if you regularly support them and help them feel good about something they did that day.
Keep plans open and put the kids first. Try to plan tasks and ways to learn that students will enjoy. Give them choices and make sure your program meets their wants. Listen to what kids say about their involvement and the program when their parents pick them up. This will tell you a lot about whether they’ll stay in the program and what they’ll say to their friends about it.
You should set up your program so children can choose how to spend their time each day. Most school days are very organized, and kids need some time, especially after school, to relax and do what they want.
After school is a great time and place to get children interested in learning about their hobbies. It also helps them build self-confidence as they try new skills that may not be covered in the normal school curriculum. Make sure that the things you offer are fun and interesting, no matter what they are meant to teach. Activities don’t have to be structured either; sometimes, just allowing for free play at an Olney child care center is just what kids need to unwind after a day at school.
For the children’s well-being, it is important to ensure they are mentally and physically safe. Set up clear rules for how to handle disagreements and bullying, and make sure that people feel safe and supported when they report problems. Train your staff to handle disagreements quickly and properly, and make sure they know that bullying is not okay. Staff members should be taught how to solve conflicts and calm them down. Give them the tools and skills they need to deal with disagreements in a calm and helpful way.
Set up safety measures like first-aid tools, plans for what to do in an emergency, and regular safety drills. Make sure that everyone on staff knows how to give first aid, and that information about who to call in an emergency is easy to find. Give people a way to talk about problems or ask for help in a private way, like a tip box or a marked staff member. Encourage people to talk to each other and promise them that their worries will be taken carefully and dealt with in the right way.
A safe and welcoming place for kids and teens to go after school is important for their health and growth. By using the tactics and best practices described in this blog post, after-school programs can help people feel like they belong, promote diversity and inclusion, and ensure that everyone is emotionally and physically safe. Remember that young people can thrive, grow, and reach their full potential when they are in a helpful setting.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.