BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE
AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITY RELATED TOPICS
HOW TO START AN AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
HOW TO START AN AFTER SCHOOL CARE PROGRAM
RESOURCES FOR AFTER SCHOOL CARE
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM LINKS
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The mission of Before and After School
Child Care is to provide students with:
ĽAn inclusive child care program that
is safe and nurturing in a comfortable
ĽA cultural enriching program that promotes
the physical, intellectual, emotional and
social development of each child.
ĽA program that meets the highest quality
of child care standards.
Before & After School Child Care
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An after-school activity is any organized program which invites youth
to participate outside of the traditional school day. Some programs
are run by a primary or secondary school and some by externally funded
non-profit or commercial organizations. These after-school youth programs
can occur inside a school building or elsewhere in the community, for
instance at a community center, library, park, etc. These activities are
a cornerstone of concerted cultivation, giving children experience with
leadership and dealing with adults. Such children are believed by
proponents to be more successful in later life, while others consider too
many activities to indicate overparenting.
There is a myriad of organized after-school activities for children
including, for example:
Sports such as soccer, baseball, scooter racing, hockey, swimming
Performing arts such as dance, drama, ballet, choir, and band
Creative arts such as painting, drawing, crafts
Cramming schools for literacy, mathematics, etc.
Scouting, Girl Guides, Boys and Girls Club of America, Boys' Brigade,
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Boys & Girls Clubs of America
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If you're a teacher in an underserved school, you might realize a great
need for after-school programs. Whether for children who are going to
otherwise be stuck at home watching television in comfortable suburbia
or for children who might fall into a high risk category with temptations
for bad behavior, creating a program that continues to teach and assist
students after the bell rings might be just the thing your community truly
1. Identify the need for the school or community. It's going to be hard to
get anybody to listen to your plan if you don't have a clear grasp on a true
need for it. You need to address who is likely to enroll in such a program,
why it is needed and who exactly needs it. You may even gather signatures of
parents if many have spoken about the issue. Talk about it at conferences or
class meetings. If many people see the need for it, you are serving the
community by starting the program.
2. When you are starting out, you might want to start out the program on a
broad basis. However, you might want it to be specialized. Perhaps you want
to offer an after-school program of dance for kids with all levels of interest
in the field. Perhaps you want to show children how to put feelings into art.
It's best to start a general program that can address all the different needs
of students, but it all depends on your situation. If many kids in the school
are interested in sports, you might want to have the program on the playing
field. You need to address how it is going to be specialized, if at all.
3. Translate your ideas to how you will take action. Think about the adult-to-child
ratio that should be appropriate for the program. Consider how many areas of the
program will be offered--loud, medium volume and quiet study areas. Plan how you will
offer the chance to play and learn new games and sports, chores or responsibilities
that can help the children contribute to and appreciate the program. Also work out
ways to tie in the daily school lessons and age study level to the play and work of
the program, if tutoring opportunities will exist and how it can help children learn
more effective and kind social interactions.
4. To get money and workers for your program you will need to develop a program plan
and budget. This budget can resemble a traditional business plan, with an explanation
of who will benefit from the program and how exactly those children will benefit. It
should explain the need in the community, and it should give a solution to how that
need will be met by your program.
5. Get approval for the program from your school. If a school approves such a program,
it usually will set aside a certain amount of the school budget for the program. If you
are truly passionate about the program but the school doesn't have the budget for it,
suggest other funding methods, such as fund-raising by students themselves and finding
private donors for the worthwhile cause.
6. Let parents and students know about the program and the school's approval and support.
If the school itself cannot be used for the program, think about hosting the after-school
program elsewhere, such as at a nearby community center or park.
Tips & Warnings
Consider opening a small business for children if you have greater ambitions than can be
met through the program. If you want to teach dance to all grade levels, for example, you
just might have enough of a niche and need in the community to host your own business for
Don't employ individuals or accept volunteers to work with children who haven't passed a
thorough background check.
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After-school programs have become essential in providing kids with positive
behaviors. With after-school care programs, children learn how to study and
increase their grades, how to stay in school, how to stay off drugs and how
to resist peer pressure. Kids get positive reinforcements and help just
where they need it. You can be influential in starting an after-school care
program for your community.
Things You'll Need
1. Inquire about licensing. You'll need to contact the department that oversees
the licensing of such programs in your area. You'll want to know what requirements
you need to meet prior to launching your program. Your town or city hall clerk will
be able to direct you to the appropriate licensing agency in your area.
2. Begin by finding volunteers. Some volunteers may just be to help with the planning
stages and program advice. Other volunteers may be able to offer their expertise to
help teach and watch the children. Gather your group of volunteers together to
brainstorm ideas and to find out what talent is available to help you.
3. Find a location for your program. For this step, you must ask your community businesses
for help. You will want a location, but you are also going to need many items donated to
make the program work. You could find sponsors from local businesses who might be able to
contribute basketballs, tables, chairs, crayons, markers, paper, craft kits and anything
else you may need. You will be surprised by the generosity of the business community and
when each business chips in one thing you will eventually have all you need.
4. Get training from the After School Alliance. You can call 1-612-802-9270 and you will
be introduced to resources that will provide you with plenty of training and assistance
to start up your program. They may be able to tell you about aspects of starting a program
you hadn't even thought of.
5. Hold a meeting. Make sure you include everyone who wants to participate giving each
person a time to talk, share ideas and go home with an assignment. If you act like the
head honcho and like you are the boss of the whole program people aren't going to want
to come back and help you. Remember you are doing this for the children.
6 .Design your program. Are you going to have different stations (reading station, music
station, craft station)? Are you going to provide outdoor activities (basketball, soccer,
tag, kickball, playground equipment)? Are you going to split the kids up by age and grade
level? What ages of children are you going to accept? This all needs to be included in
your design as well as the times the program is going to be open.
7. Make sure to incorporate food. There are actually federal grants you can apply for that
would cover the costs of snacks. Many of the children may not have much food at home, so
you want to provide them with something nourishing and filling. Food should be offered each
day the program is open. You may have a local bakery that can donate day old doughnuts and
pastries. Ask around.
Tips & Warnings
Contact your local school board to see if you can use some of their space for the program.
Most schools will agree if it doesn't conflict with their own activities.
Contact your local government agency and see if you need a permit or license to start and
after-school care program. You can also apply for nonprofit status.
How to Start an After School Care Program
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More than 80 percent of students live in a home where adult family members
work outside the home, according to the National Association of Child Care
Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). Families where adult family
members work when school dismisses may find they need to locate resources
for after-school care. The kinds of options available in a community may
vary according to size and composition of the area.
Some churches offer after-school programs that may or may not be connected
to regular day care programs. Most church programs do not require church
involvement to enroll students, but they may give preference and discounts
to church members. Church members may operate the program and provide ideas
for the activities. Teachers may assist students with homework, allow students
to engage in supervised play and organize other activities. The program also
may offer transportation from the school to the church. The programs may
enforce a set of behaviors similar to those required during Sunday school and
other church activities, such as no magic books, no dancing or no violent video
games. Program administrators may remove students who don't adhere to the rules.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YMCA and Big Brothers and Sisters programs
may offer enrichment after-school programs. These programs may utilize volunteers
and paid staff to aid students with homework and extracurricular activities. Some
programs offer a sliding fee scale to families in need. The programs may send
registration forms and information home through students and may pick students up
at school and transport them to the after-school program site.
Some community organizations and volunteer groups may provide after-school care
on the school campus. This option reduces the expense because no transportation
costs or liability are incurred. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and school
administration may work with these programs, opening the cafeteria, gymnasium and
a few classrooms for the program. Some teachers may offer to help with tutoring
and homework help.
Local day care programs may offer limited after-school care and provide transportation
from the school to the day care. The day care may give preference to students who have
enrolled siblings. Parents may find this option convenient because all of the children
are in one location. The day care may even offer to transport students from the day care
to the school in the mornings for parents who must be at work before the school open.
Parents of school-age students and independent day care providers may offer after-school
care. For parents providing after-school care, the option may offer additional income and
companionship for the kids in their family.
Latch Key Kids
According to NACCRRA, 34 percent of school-age students have no supervision between the
end of the school day and when parents get home after work. After-school programs may not
have room to accept children or parents may not be able to afford care. Parents may have
students check in during that period or have a neighbor watch out for the kids. Some school
districts have homework hotline numbers that latch key kids can use until parents get home.
Resources for After-School Care
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After School Alliance
After School Child Care Options for Single Parent Families
The After-School Corporation
After School Programs
Center for Afterschool Education
Child Care Resources: Information for Parents: School Aged Care
Do You Need After-School Care?
Do You Need After School Day Care?
Find Youth Info
How to Start an After School Program
How to Start an After-School Program
How to Start a Youth Development Program
National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)
National Institute on Out-of-School Time
Way 2 Success Learning Systems
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Academic Educational Encyclopedia
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITY