Can’t Pick Your Kid Up From School? No Worries! Try an After School Program!


Joining a fitness center

If you’re a working parent, you know how difficult it can be to juggle your careers and your child’s school hours. You don’t want your kids hanging out and just waiting for you to get out of work, nor might you feel safe leaving them home alone until you get off work. Luckily, many schools, sports centers, and other organizations sponsor after school activities or after school programs that your child can partake in. They’re supervised by adults and other volunteers, so it’s a safe environment for your child to be in. Sometimes after school program activities will provide snacks for your child as well. In addition, your child may learn fun new skills, engage with other children, and work on their fitness as well! After school program activities are a great way to keep your child engaged and active after school and to keep you worry-free!
Why Are After School Program Activities So Necessary?
Most parents probably shudder at the idea of their small child or teen home alone. For children, it’s the possibility that anything could go wrong, despite lessons of how to use a stove or to not answer the door for strangers. For teens, it’s more the idea of what they could get up to in their spare (unsupervised) time. Additionally, most parents want to see their child doing something active and productive with that after school time, and after school program activities are a great way to accomplish that. From sports to writing to art to simply socializing with other children, these types of programs offer structure and a variety of activities for your child or teen to partake in. They may even pick up a new hobby or interest!
What Benefits Do After School Programs Have for Children?
One “after school program” that perhaps not many parents think about is all the sports that schools offer. Being on a team that requires after school practice and games is an after school activity that many children and teens participate in. Given that only one in three children are physically active every single day and that only about one in five homes have parks or a fitness/recreation center within a half mile, getting that much needed exercise is vital for healthy bones and growth. Sports are also a great way to keep children away from a screen (like their phones, a TV, videogames, or a computer), as they spend over seven and a half hours daily in front of one, on average!
After school activities also usually involve other children, so your child can play with others, make friends, and learn important social skills during that time as well. Furthermore, these programs and activities are run by adults who supervise closely, so you can be sure that your child isn’t in danger or unsupervised while you’re at work. You also know exactly where they are and have a rough idea of what they’ll be doing during that time, so the peace of mind for you is enormous.
How Can I Find Out About After School Programs in My Area?
There are many different types of after school programs available, especially in an area with lots of schools. Most programs sponsored by schools are free — an extra bonus, in terms of childcare savings! You may have to pay for after school programs offered by a tutoring, fitness, or community center, although the rates are often fairly reasonable. Your child or teen may very well bring home flyers or brochures about programs the school is offering (or enroll him or herself in one if they’re old enough). Other parents may also have suggestions on where to look and public areas — such as libraries, grocery stores, community centers, gyms, etc., — may also have flyers or ads for after school programs.
It’s not hard to keep your child safe, out of trouble, and active if you just know the right places to look! Enrolling them in an after school program with structured activities can give you peace of mind and your child many advantages going forward. Ask around your community today!

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