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The ABCs of After-School Childcare: What Parents Need to Know

School-aged children and teens spend 80% of their awake time outside of school, and 1 in 5 young people in the U.S. are alone after school. High-quality after-school activities help young people grow in a good way and give them a safe place to explore their potential.

Our after-school programs offer more than just child care in Brookeville, MD. They give kids a place to learn that helps them, their families, and the whole community in many ways. After-school programs can help kids and teens improve their social, emotional, cognitive, and academic skills. They can also help cut down on dangerous behavior, improve their physical health, and give them a safe, helpful place to be.

Here are some important things to look for and know about after-school childcare.

After-School Childcare

Look at the Program’s Objective and Purpose

If a parent only wants a safe place for their child to stay until they get home from work, the goal of a program may not matter. But most people think that after-school programs should allow kids to learn about things that interest them, try new things, and learn skills like working together and communicating.

A good first step is if a program’s description says that it offers help with homework, coaching, academic enrichment activities, or chances to do community service. Some schools don’t have clear goals, or they are very general.

As a parent, you want to know what your objectives are for an after school program in Brookeville, MD. You must know what you hope to get out of the program so you can choose the right one for your family. If your objectives don’t align with what the program offers, you will not be satisfied with the care they provide your child.

Are They Offering Scheduled Activities

Most parents are looking for a Brookeville child care center that offers scheduled activities for their children. This is because having scheduled activities allows parents and children to know what is happening each day. Knowing what to expect throughout the day creates a stable and secure environment for children. Knowing what to expect each day helps relieve any anxiety or worry that children might be feeling because they aren’t wondering what will happen next.

After-School Childcare Staff

Do They Have Qualified Staff

Parents should ask what kind of training and qualifications staff members have to do their jobs. Some examples of qualifications are a child development assistant certification, a certification in positive youth development, or a certification from the Maryland State Department of Education. These qualifications show a different level of expertise.

Are They Flexible

When choosing a program, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that kids need both planned activities and free time when they can do what they want and with who they want. Most school days are very structured, and kids need time to unwind and do things that interest them, especially after school. Spending time doing unplanned things will help kids focus on the things you have planned for them.

Safety Must Be a Priority

Children feel safer and are less likely to be left alone with friends after school when they participate in after-school activities, which increases adult supervision. Adult supervision during after-school hours supports healthy teenage growth by encouraging personal safety and reducing dangerous behaviors like smoking or drug abuse. It also fosters an environment where children may learn and grow.

Consider the Environment of the Program

When you get to the early childhood education center, write down your first thoughts. Does the early learning center look bright, happy, and friendly? Do the teachers and other staff members seem to really enjoy working with the kids? Finding an after-school program with a friendly and caring environment is important. Every day, your child should be excited to attend their after-school program. If they are not, you might need to rethink your choice.

They should also be in a place that helps them feel good about themselves, encourages freedom, and helps them learn how to take care of themselves. You might want to tour the building with them before you sign your child up for an after-school program. This lets you determine if the school might benefit your child.

After-School Childcare

It Must be Fun

Your child already dedicates seven to eight hours of the day to learning by the time school is over. After-school programs should include a little homework assistance, as well as recreational activities. Does the program you’re considering include games or crafts? Are the pupils having fun while you tour the program? Are they grinning and laughing? More than ever, research demonstrates that kids deserve enjoyable, stress-free vacations.

Breaks are crucial for learning and might improve your child’s conduct. According to research, it can lessen disruptive conduct, which is less stressful for both the kid and the instructor. In addition to reducing stress, it boosts brain activity.

Final Thoughts

For your child, you definitely want the best of everything, including after school care. As you might have discovered, finding the best choice isn’t always easy to do because there are so many different things to know and consider. Instead of hiring a babysitter if your child requires supervision after school, you should definitely enroll them in school age programs in Brookeville, MD.

After a long day of school, your kid will benefit from engaging in exciting activities, making new friends, and improving critical academic skills in the after-school programs of a top-notch institution. In a lot of ways, evaluating an after-school program at an early learning center is similar to reviewing your child’s school.

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