Kids after school care is a programme or arrangement aimed at taking care of your children when normal school tuition has ended. This is a common arrangement in almost all childcare facilities, and early learning centres given that most parents work between 9 am and 5 pm, and will not be back early enough to pick their children from school. Considering this, many parents prefer to have their kids go to an after school care programme for a few hours in order to help them put their free time into better use.
What happens at Kids after School Care Centres?
After school care programmes vary depending on the institution. Some childcare centres such as Mountain Creek offer extended hours til 7 pm within the main centre for children aged 15 months to 5 years. These centres are purpose-driven, and they provide a platform for kids to hone skills learnt during normal school tuition. They also act as homework centres where children can complete their assignments and participate in engaging activities such as sports, games, arts, music and drama. Conversely, some after school care facilities work separately from the school and offer these programmes exclusively
Benefits of Kids after School Care Programs
Arranging for your child to join a kids after school care programme is a brilliant idea, especially if you have a hectic schedule. A good programme may help turn the seemingly meaningless hours after school into productive learning time. This will help your kids to learn and develop faster than their peers will, in nearly all aspects. Below are a few reasons why after school programmes are an excellent choice for your toddler.
– Structured academic support
Many children often have trouble completing their assignments on time once they get back home after school. The reason for this is that they do not have anyone to supervise and make sure that they complete their homework. This often leads to friction and squabbles in the evenings when parents get back from work. However, this does not have to be the case. Most after school care facilities offer supervised academic support that entails helping kids complete their homework.
– Improve social skills
An ideal after school care programme can help your child improve their social skills and learn to respect others. Essentially, these programmes encourage kids of different backgrounds and abilities to appreciate each other, make new friends, learn how to work together and have fun together.
– Makes learning fun and exciting
Another benefit of taking your child to after school care is that they can learn without pressure. Most of these programmes provide extra classes in subjects such as science and computers without having to put the kids through tests. Instead, the programmes include fun activities that encourage students to work in groups. This is particularly important for kids who have learning and attention problems, given that it may help them develop an interest in subjects deemed to be problematic.
– Provide mentorship
Most kids after school care programmes serve children of all ages, and they revolve around a wide range of focus areas including academic support, sports, recreation and mentoring. Kids can enjoy from mentorship programmes that seek to identify and harness their skills from a tender age. This can help your child exploit their full potential in their area of interest
– Create a sense of belonging
Kids after school care is an all-inclusive program that brings together children from different places and diverse backgrounds. Essentially, children will get an opportunity to make new friends and meet different people other than those they see at school every day. This means that they do not have to deal with the same social issues daily. In addition, kids who feel out of place are slowly integrated into the group hence fostering a feeling of belonging.
– Prevent risky behaviour
Older kids are more likely to develop risky habits if left unattended after school. When kids are idle after school, they are more likely to wander and engage in risky behaviour or even become victims of crime. However, by keeping your kids busy in an afterschool care environment, the chances of developing bad habits or becoming victims of crime reduce significantly. In any case, various studies indicate that after school care programmes can result in fewer behavioural problems and better grades.
– Support talent building
After school care programmes normally entail various activities that may help spot your child’s true abilities. With options like sport, drama and music, caregivers can be able to discover a child’s talent at a tender age. With proper supervision, it would just be a matter of time before your child turns out to become the next superstar.
– Help build confidence
The stakes are not as high in an afterschool programme compared to a conventional school setting. Besides, afterschool programmes encourage children to explore their interests and exploit their talents with more freedom. Considering this, children may be willing to try new things and take risks without worrying about failure. This, in turn, builds their confidence and self-esteem.
– Provide safety and supervision
As with any childcare facility, an afterschool program aims at keeping your kids safe in a secure environment until you come back from work. In effect, you can go about your business without worrying about the safety of your kids. Moreover, most of these facilities provide nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day, keeping your child healthy and happy.
– Valuable feedback to parents
It is your duty as a parent to monitor the progress of your child. However, this might not be possible due to your busy work schedule. This is understandable, but it does not take away the fact that you are a parent. This is where the importance of kids after school carecomes into play. Essentially, a care centre provides valuable feedback to parents ensuring that you are up to date with the progress of your child.
Choosing the Right Kids after School Care
With so many options out there, choosing the right kids after school care program is a huge challenge for any parent. In any case, you want to make sure that you select a program that is going to be fun for your kids. Here are a few important factors that you need to consider:
The ideal environment for afterschool care is one that promotes a positive emotional climate. In addition, the physical environment should be spotlessly clean and conducive for learning, given that children are often susceptible to all manner of diseases that come due to improper hygiene.
– Staff to child ratio
When searching for a facility that offers afterschool care, always go for the one with the lowest staff to child ration. Preferably, the ratio of supervisors to children should be 1 to 7 according to the ACECQA guidelines. This will ensure that your kids receive personalised care and attention.
– Staff training
The staff providing afterschool care programs should have formal education and professional competence to work with kids and school-age children. This will ensure that they help your child reach their potential. Moreover, they will be able to handle any emergencies appropriately. Considering this, it is imperative that you research on the proficiency and qualifications of the supervisors and educators. The educators must also have the necessary certifications recognised by the relevant agencies like the ACECQA.
– Programmes’ structural balance
A good kids after school care centre should offer personalized programs that match the needs of your child. With this in mind, it is imperative to consider the programme’s structural balance before enrolling your child. A well-structured program will ensure that your child makes the most of their free time.
– Safety measures
Safety is paramount in any childcare facility. In essence, you should inspect what safety measures the institution has put in place to protect children from harm. Moreover, staff members should have proper training in managing student behaviours such as bullying, and be prepared for emergencies.
You should also check whether an after-school programme meets various licensing requirements. This will help you select a compliant centre. After all, licensing bodies normally check factors such as child to staff ratio, staff training, building cleanliness and sign out requirements before issuing a license. With proper licensing, you can rest assured that you are enrolling your child in a compliant after-school program.
Enrol Your Child for After School Care
Afterschool care programmes are the perfect way to keep your child safe and engaged after going through the rigours of academics. Unfortunately, finding the ideal facility offering such a programme is often a challenge for many parents. If you are searching for a friendly facility that offers afterschool care programmes, look no further than Mountain Creek.
We are an ACECQA-certified Early Childhood Centre that provides exceptional aftercare programmes to children aged 15 months to 5 years. All our trainers and supervisors are highly experienced and competent, besides being friendly to children. We promise to help your child make better use of their free time through our highly incisive after school care programs. Call us today for more information about our kids after school care services.