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Benefits of Afterschool Childcare Programs

June 09, 2015 By: Chad Category: General Education

after school

Once upon a time, children would come home from school and their parents would be there to help them with their homework. However, that doesn’t hold true in today’s world. Nevertheless,   families and children can turn to after school programs instead.  There are many benefits for both children and families that participate in after school programs, ranging from improvements in educational performance to improved health and public safety.  In fact, for many children these after school programs can be life-changing, giving them a safe place to go after regular school hours and preventing their participation in destructive behaviors. Overall, having after school programs is a financially sound way of creating stronger individuals, families, and communities.  Here’s a closer look at the benefits school aged children can take advantage of by participating in after school programs.

Increased Academic Performance & Achievement 
After school programs have a high success rate when it comes to improving the academic performance of their participants.  Students receive additional instruction and spend more time on academic and enriching experience rather than watching television or playing outside unsupervised.  Children also have the opportunity to expand their cultural awareness and take part in forms of non-traditional learning.  Spending more time on academics after school goes a long way in helping children retain lessons they learned during the day and expand on subjects that interest them.  The participants of after school programs also tend to improve their attendance record and lower their chances of dropping out.  In addition, an increase of both parent involvement in academics and family time are linked to after school programs.

Aids Public Safety and Health
While after school programs can be beneficial for nearly all school aged children, they are especially important for children living in inner-city and economically impoverished areas.  The programs provide the children an alternative to street activities, helping them avoid drugs and alcohol, which in turn reduces underage sex and pregnancy, and at the same time preventing juvenile crime.  Other benefits of after school programs related to health include improved nutrition, physical activity, and reduction in obesity.

Creates Stronger Individuals, Families, and Communities
Participating in after school programs allows children to build better social skills and create stronger relationships with their peers.  Many after school programs work to structure their environments so that children can gain a sense of independence while participating in stimulating activities.  Children also see a boost in their confidence and self-esteem, with them building bonds with their mentors and developing overall positive feelings about school and their educational experience.  These, in turn, help improve not just their own family life, but also provide the building blocks of a stronger community.

Closing the Socio-Economic Gaps
After school programs provide a space to go for youth in inner-city and struggling communities where school aged children and youth often times do not have access to safe parks, athletic teams/club, or any other enriching activities that children of middle-income and affluent communities do.  One of the best ways to close the achievement gap present for inner-city youth is providing them with after school programs that give them a more optimistic outlook on life and education.

Related Financial Benefits
The benefits that children, families, and communities gain from after school programs can be followed into wider economic and financial repercussions.  They range from a reduction in spending on crime and teen fertility to increased tax revenue and quality labor supply.  Individuals participating in after school programs are more likely to become contributing members of society and the return on investment for after school programs is calculated to be $3 for every $1 of investment, making them one of the best investments around.