Many parents have to work during the day and can’t pick up their children right after the school bell rings. For a lot of families, the best option is signing their children up for a before and after school care program. But what if you have flexible working hours or even work from home? Should you enroll your child in an aftercare program even if it is not a necessity?
If there are options available, this is definitely something you should at least consider. An after school care program is a place where your children can complete their homework and get help from educated professionals. It is also a place which provides many different activities that positively impact your child’s physical and mental development, especially during the K-12 years. Here are some reasons why you should enroll your child in an after school care program.
Even if you have the ability for one or more family members to pick your child up right after school, you might still consider enrolling them for a before and after school care program. One of the greatest benefits of after school programs is that they help your children complete school-related assignments and can make them feel more self-assured and confident. This, in turn, can lead to better efforts in their regular coursework. Numerous studies show that students enrolled in these programs tend to see positive results towards their mental and physical development. The extra good news for you is that you’ll have a lot more time available for your own obligations.
Many before and after school care programs offer activities and services that your child might find exciting. Besides tutoring and homework, these programs typically offer other activities such as dance, art, chess, legos, and karate. So, instead of being stuck at home (with a certain magnetic pull towards video games) or having to drive them to various classes in the evenings, you can simply sign them up for an aftercare program already at your school.
Many schools do not offer bus service, which requires parents to make their own transportation arrangements. This can make off-site after school programs difficult to attend, especially if a parent has two or more children that do not attend the same school. Sometimes community centers, libraries, and other venues offer transportation services and this can be incredibly helpful. Not only will your child get to engage in fun outdoor and indoor activities for kids, but you also won’t have to deal with commuting them on a daily basis. Programs offered directly after school in your school’s facilities eliminate the problem of off-site transportation but are not always available.
If you have an unpredictable schedule you may be relieved to hear that a lot of aftercare programs allow part-time or flexible attendance. In these cases, parents typically have to pay a one-time registration fee. After this, they pay only for their child on an as-needed basis. This makes planning and logistics more difficult for the provider, so most programs charge higher rates for this type of service. Any reputable childcare service will require you to have filled out a set of safety forms in order to allow your child to attend, so being preregistered for drop-ins in an after school daycare programs is advised in case you may have to deal with an unexpected circumstances or if your work tends becomes consuming during a particular season.
Raising children costs money, and judging by the amount of time they demand of you, this concept is still very abstract for them. Even if you work from home, sometimes those five or six hours children spend in school is not enough for you to keep up with your full workload. You can always catch up by working during the weekend or in the evenings, but this also cuts into your valuable quality time. In these cases, enrolling your child in an after school program is an option to both keep your kids entertained and free up quality work and family time. Both you and your kids will get your work done, then be able to spend the night and the weekends with your family.
Many parents for whom before and after school care program is not a necessity don’t even consider enrolling their child in an after school program. Even if you have no pressing deadlines or obligations, or don’t see the reason for the additional expense, after school programs can provide valuable educational and recreational experiences for your child.
There are hundreds of resources online, but a good one that we recommend is Understood.org. Here is a good (and short) article about the benefits of after school programs.