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After School Programs Essay

1666 words - 7 pages

This year more than 15 million children will participate in an after-school program if one is available in their community (Importance). After-school programs are open before and after school hours, children participate in the program for up to five hours a day while attending school (Afterschool). The after-school learning and safe neighborhood program was initiated by the legislature in 1998, which provides funds to establish local after-school education and enrichment programs. The program was then modified in 2002 and changed its name to After-school education and safety program  (NAEYC). After-school programs provide care for children before and/or after school. The programs are sponsored by schools, houses of worship, or child care centers. Children between the ages of five and ten most often attend after-school programs, students take part in finishing their homework, playing games, and taking part in other activities (Afterschool). After-school programs provide a secure and reliable way for parents to allow their children in a program that engages the children in education instead of leaving their children home alone without adult supervision (Education). After-school programs provide care and education to children before kindergarten entry and during out of school time and found in many settings. (NAEYC)
The most significant change in American family life has been a rapid increase in children’s participation in child care and after-school care programs (NAEYC).  There are many positives when it comes to placing a child in an after-school program. After-school programs can enhance children’s academic achievement, increase interest and ability in reading, develop new skills or interest, improve school attendance, increased engagement in school, and a reduced dropout rate ( Herr 450). High quality programs should support children’s social development and their relationships with adults and peers, promote better behavior in school,and help develop social skills and self-confidence for the students in the program ( Herr 452).
Accreditation is important when it comes to the running of after-school programs, and many parents require the program to have credentials before they place their children into an after-school program. Accreditation is extensively required in public education, higher education, and health care to assure consumers that service meet a professionally recognized level of quality(NAEYC). Policies promoting program accreditation should support and build on a strong regulatory system not seeking to replace regulation with accreditation (NAEYC).  Policies promoting program accreditation should seek to increase public awareness about the role of mandatory regulation and voluntary accreditation systems in supporting children’s healthy development and learning during the critical early years of childhood. (NAEYC) . Policies promoting program accreditation should identify the criteria that accrediting bodies must meet to ensure...

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