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Two girls jumping on playground outside

When it comes to childcare, parents have several options to choose from. Whether parents are comfortable leaving their children to look after themselves, use a babysitter or nanny, coordinate with friends or use out-of-school time care, there are many things to consider. Parents must weigh the benefits and drawbacks of their child supervision options. An option parents can consistently rely on are before and after school programs, also known as out-of-school time (OST) programs.

An Overview of Before and After School Programs

Before and after school programs are supervised programs that take place when school is not in session. In 2021, it was reported that nearly 8 million children were enrolled in before and after school programs. These programs support young students by providing supervision, academic support, and socialization when parents can’t be around due to work or other time commitments that prevent them from being with their child before and/or after school.

Before and After School Provides Academic Support

There are several benefits of these programs for both parents and students. One of which is academic support. These programs promote learning and provide academic support outside of school hours in a comfortable setting. Students can reach out to their peers or staff for guidance. This takes the pressure off busy parents who may not have several hours to spare.

An Opportunity for Supervised Fun

Kids need time to decompress from school and to socialize with their peers. Out-of-school time programs provide quality supervision while allowing children to have fun. Kids get time to meet new people and to develop social skills that they would otherwise not get from other childcare options. By engaging in group games and activities, children learn how to interact and work with others. These are great opportunities for children to grow as individuals.

Exciting Physical Activities

Physical activities are a common focus of before and after school programs. There are several types of physical games and activities that promote exercise and let kids discover activities that interest them. From playing outside to a simple game of basketball, children get their heart rates up.

Giving Busy Parents Peace of Mind

Before and after school programs seek to provide parents with a sense of comfort and certainty regarding their child’s wellbeing. Program providers employ supervisors that are qualified and excited to work with kids. These programs also operate in convenient locations, whether they are directly at a child’s school or down the street at a church or recreational center. Parents will always know their children are surrounded by others and are getting the attention they need and deserve.

Out Before and After School in Your Community

Out-of-school time programs may be the right fit for you and your child if you’re a busy parent. Do your research and see if your child’s school provides a program before and/or after school hours. Hiring a babysitter or trusting your child to stay home alone aren’t your only options! Whatever your situation, this type of care could be extremely beneficial for you.

To learn more about out-of-school time programs that may be offered in your area, visit www.ayskids.org/locations today!