After School Care Programs: Why They Are Crucial for Child Development

When a school day comes to a close, it’s important for your child to have somewhere safe and engaging to be until they are able to come home. This is where after school care programs come into play. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, high-quality after school care programs are critical to a child’s development and success, both academically and personally:

Research consistently demonstrates that high-quality afterschool programs have a positive impact on students’ educational outcomesschool attendance and social and emotional learning. Recognizing the diverse needs of children and youth across different age groups, quality afterschool programs cater to their academic, psychological and physical activity requirements. Regular participation in these programs has been linked to lower dropout rates and a narrowing of achievement gaps, particularly among low-income students. Additionally, for older youth, afterschool programs can contribute to a reduction in risky behaviors and the development of college and career-readiness skills.”

As you can see, quality after school care programs play a critical role in your child’s development. Let’s take a closer look at three of the reasons why.

1. Quality after school care programs can strengthen your child’s academic weaknesses.

If your child is struggling in a subject such as reading or math, after school care programs can be a great opportunity for your child to receive the extra help they need in that subject. A tutor can invest some time after school with your child, providing them with one-on-one help with their homework or coaching them in subjects that aren’t their strong suit. By using this window of time wisely, after school care programs may help your child sharpen their academics, complete their homework more quickly, and have an easier time in the classroom.

2. Quality after school care programs can give your child an opportunity to be creative and socialize.

There are more benefits to after school care than academics, however. Social skills are incredibly important for child development, and after school care programs can offer children opportunities to grow these skills outside the classroom. Shy or quiet children may especially benefit from an after school care program because it gives them extra time to socialize and make friends with their peers.

“By taking the initiative to enroll your child in afterschool programs, parents can play an active role in supporting their child’s development outside of school. When doing so, it is important to keep two things in mind: what your child needs and what they enjoy. The former encompasses areas like tutoring or skill-building activities to fill in gaps in knowledge, whereas the latter focuses on expanding their creativity and social skills. Striking a balance between the two can help craft a well-rounded afterschool experience for your child.”

-Kaylan Kha, afterschool.org, “5 Reasons Why Afterschool Programs Are Important For Your Child”

3. Quality after school care programs give your child something constructive to do with their afternoons.

For older children, quality after school care programs provide something constructive to do in the hour or two after school instead of spending time on screens. Technology isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t healthy for kids to spend hours upon hours after school sitting in front of a screen. By putting your child in a positive, nurturing environment after school, you can encourage them to learn a new skill, get a jump start on their homework, or connect with friends instead of goofing off on their phone, vegging on TV, or mindlessly playing a video game.

We would love to show you what quality after school care looks like. Schedule a tour of our facilities today!