Children spend approximately 25 percent of their waking hours in school, and everyone from daycare directors to educators and policymakers are often striving to provide more learning opportunities through before and after school programs.
Benefits of Before and After School Programs
Before and after school programs can support social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe and supportive environment for children and youth. As a main benefit of engaging the youth in their community early and encouraging development, these programs also help with social and emotional learning development, academic support, increased school participation, a greater sense of safety, physical activity, and work-based learning that teaches children good life-long learning habits.
Social And Emotional Learning (SEL)
Children need to be socialized and engaged to develop socially and emotionally. Spending time as a family is often not enough for a well-socialized and emotionally wise experience. With participation among their peers children develop social and emotional competencies, including prosocial behavior, intrinsic motivation, better concentration efforts, and a higher sense of self-worth.
SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions, making it an integral part in any before and after school program curriculum.
Supporting Working Families
Working families benefit from before and after school programs by ensuring a safe place for children to go while parents or their gardens are at work. Those who do not have access to childcare often miss valuable work time and therefore income every year, leading to other hardships down the line to both the emotional and financial wellbeing of the family unit.
Attending before and after school programs can improve students’ academic performance, with more than 40 percent of students attending these programs showing improved reading and math grades. Those who attended more regularly were more likely to make gains, providing a convincing argument for extracurricular academic support learning programs early on.
Thankfully, the Creative Learning Center of Easton offers a variety of programs for many age groups from Pre-K to helping school-age children with before and after school programs so they succeed not only in their youth but throughout their adult lives.