Quality Care for School-Age Children

While many school-age children may not participate in organized before and after school programs, research has shown that children in this age group can benefit from before and after school activities that allow children to work on new skill areas, build self-esteem and social skills, and develop talents. School-age children can benefit from before and after school programs that allow them to learn from “hands on” activities, working and playing both individually and in small groups.

Quality programs may include available board games and educational computer games, sports, crafts, and tutoring assistance. Programs should regularly change the materials and activities to allow children to experience new challenges, and children should have the freedom to move around between projects during the day. A quality program will display examples of children’s work to show them they are valued.

Children at this age should be encouraged to engage in conversation and a good caregiver or teacher will ask children questions and engage in dialogue with them. Children are also developing social skills at this age and the caregiver acts as the facilitator for children to experience cooperation and negotiation with their peers. As with programs for all ages, the teacher should communicate with the family on a regular basis about the child’s progress and challenges.

When looking at adult-to-child ratios, keep in mind the requirements set by the state’s Community Care Licensing Division. Child care centers are required to have a 1:14 adult-to-child ratio with group size limited to 28 children (applies to children in kindergarten up to 14 years old). For a Small Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for, including children under age 10 who live in the home, is one of the following:

  • Four infants, or six children, no more than three of whom may be infants.
  • Six children, or up to eight children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school and no more than two infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner consent must be on file.

For a Large Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for when there is an assistant provider in the home, including children under age 10 who live in the home, and the assistant provider’s children under age 10, is either:

  • Twelve children, no more than four of whom may be infants, or
  • Up to 14 children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school, and no more than three infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner consent must be on file

Our trained referral counselors are available to help you find care for your school-age children and answer other questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us at 650 517-1460, or send us an email to info@sanmateo4Cs.org.