School-Aged-8The benefits of afterschool care can be quite significant academically, socially and emotionally—and quality programming also helps children to develop skills they will use throughout their lifetime. Here are some of the ways a quality afterschool program can benefit your child and position them for lifelong success.

Academic Benefits

According to a U.S. government website that focuses on creating and maintaining effective programs for youth, more than 40% of students who attend 21st Century Community Learning Center programs — such as those provided at Horizon Education Centers — improve their math and reading grades. Attend more regularly? Grades are more likely to go up!

Ways in which a quality afterschool child care program can help school-age children academically include how:

  • Youth can work on homework in a calmer environment, with help readily available.
  • Children can receive information about academic subjects — including reading, math, and science — in a way that boosts their ability to understand them.
  • They can learn in fun, engaging ways, from arts and crafts to computer learning and more — and when people of any age enjoy what they’re doing, they tend to be more successful.

Here’s another key factor: Attendees of afterschool programs are more likely to fully participate in school. In fact, one study showed that students in middle school who attended afterschool programs had 25% fewer absences. Plus, the more that children attended the program, the more their attendance improved.

Social and Emotional Benefits

According to the Ohio Afterschool Network, quality afterschool care “improves students’ social skills, gives them more confidence, [and] creates higher educational and career aspirations.” This can be achieved by providing youth with opportunities to experience and enjoy “music, art, sports, conflict resolution, cultural experiences, and other alternative ways of learning.” More than just a place for child care and homework help, a quality afterschool program can provide learning opportunities for school-age children outside of school time.

Leadership Benefits

When looking at teens who have participated in these types of programs during the school year, one study by the Boys and Girls Club shows that 82% of them have been taking on leadership roles, whether that’s by serving on student council or otherwise taking charge of activities.

Here is more information about the benefits of quality afterschool care.

Keeping Your Children Safe

We all know there are dangers and temptations out there so, if you can, avoid leaving your children at home alone every day after school. In addition, notes that “Home alone latch key children generally watch television, eat snacks, play with pets and fight with siblings.” These are not terrible activities, but your child could spend that time doing so much more to improve his or her academic and social life.

Working Parent Guilt

Are you a working parent who is concerned that all of the work you do to provide for your child gets in the way of spending time with him or her? If so, that’s understandable. Here are a couple of things that can help you to banish feelings of guilt.

First, a Harvard Business School study looked at adult children whose mothers had worked outside the home. How did this affect them? Well, these children actually did quite well in their own careers, earning at least 23% more than women who had moms who stayed at home. This isn’t being shared to say anything against mothers who stay home to care for their children. Instead, it’s to show that it’s OK to let go of that guilt.

Plus, when you can’t be home with your children as much as you’d like, it just makes sense to help ensure that they’re being watched over by caring and competent professionals, while also engaging in activities that can be a foundation for future success.

Horizon Education Centers’ Afterschool Care

Horizon Education Centers is a non-profit organization that has provided exceptional before and afterschool education programs for the families of Western Cuyahoga County and Lorain County since 1978.

Here are our primary communities, with conveniently located centers that provide a clean, safe educational setting for children to learn and develop in all aspects of their life. Horizon is committed to the development of well-rounded children. Reinforcing what is learned during the school day needs to be fun and entertaining for children, and Horizon uses our various programs to achieve this balance.

We invite you to consider Horizon for your fall afterschool program. Here is more information on our program to help you get started.