|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). Small licensed family child care homes can have no more than 8 children at one time, and large homes may have up to 14 children with an assistant present.
Further Links & Information
California School-Age Consortium (http://www.calsac.org)