Before-school and after-school programs are designed for children who need
only a few hours of care during weekdays. Typically, these children are in
primary grades (1 through 6) and need supervision before school starts or after
it is over. These programs may be in private homes, schools, youth centers such
as the YMCA, churches, or child care centers where younger children spend the
Some states license before-school and after-school programs. All staff of
these programs, such as child care providers, cooks, and housekeepers, are
usually required to have completed certain types of training.
Most after-school programs offer a wide variety of activities for
children of all ages and interests. Some programs offer special activities,
such as gymnastics. You can learn about what is offered in your area by talking
with other parents and contacting local
child-related organizations. Another good resource is Afterschool Alliance (www.afterschoolalliance.org.)
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