Importance of Afterschool Programs in Early Childhood Development

There are plenty of reasons that you can likely agree to that say schooling is vital for a child’s development. Would you agree that afterschool programs are just as beneficial for your child? If you haven’t thought about enrolling your child in an afterschool program, here are some reasons might make reconsider.

Improvement in the Classroom

One of the most substantial benefits of enrolling your child in an afterschool program is the improvement you can see translated into their classroom performance and behavior. Whether it’s a program with a physical component or daycare offered at your child’s school, you’re sure to see how useful it can be during regular school hours.

Having your child attend an afterschool daycare program can give your child a space to get their homework done before they come home for the evening. These adults can assist your child in further understanding concepts they learned in school, so homework scores stay high.

This extra help can also keep your child’s behavior in check. When children understand what they are learning, they behave better in the classroom and less likely to act out because they’re engaged rather than bored or frustrated.

On the flip side, this gives you time to run those last couple errands before picking up your child. Imagine family time actually being time spent with your family, not doing homework or stressing over what you couldn’t accomplish that day.

Extra Physical Activity

After sitting at a desk for hours, your child is probably pretty anxious to get moving. Extra activity can take place at an afterschool daycare program or by enrolling your child in a sports program after school. This will help to get any extra energy out before heading home and allow your child to sleep better at night, so they’re ready for school the next day.

More Social Practice

Sure, your child will get some social interaction during school hours, but the primary focus then is on academic learning. Giving your child a venue to be social outside the classroom environment helps them develop those skills even more. They’ll begin developing social awareness more because they’ll get “practice” picking up on social cues and concepts.

As your child continues to develop his/her social skills, this can lead to some wonderful and interesting conversations at home. You should encourage your child to communicate with you at home. There’s so much to learn socially outside the classroom that an afterschool program can bring forward.

Better Behavior Overall

You already read about the behavior benefits of afterschool programs when it comes to the classroom, and it doesn’t end there. If your child is excited about their afterschool program, their participation can be used as a reward for good behavior. After missing a few sessions of whatever program it is, they should quickly learn what behavior is appropriate and acceptable to be allowed to spend extra time with friends or play soccer, as examples.

This is another part of their social development too. It gives you an opportunity to communicate with them why they aren’t allowed to go, so they become more self-aware of the consequences of their decisions, even if mommy or daddy isn’t there.