According to this article at WebMD, “before-school and after-school programs are designed for children who need only a few hours of care during weekdays. Typically, these children are in primary grades (1 through 6) and need supervision before school starts or after it is over. These programs may be in private homes, schools, youth centers such as the YMCA, churches, or child care centers where younger children spend the entire day.”
Some states, including Texas, license before-school and after-school programs. All staff of these programs, such as child care providers, cooks, and housekeepers, are usually required to have completed certain types of training. All standards for the facilities have minimum standards.
Most after-school programs offer a wide variety of activities for children of all ages and interests. Some programs offer special activities, such as gymnastics. You can learn about what is offered in your area by talking with other parents and contacting local child-related organizations. Another good resource is Afterschool Alliance (www.afterschoolalliance.org.)
In addition to the abundance and flexibility of these before-school and after-school programs, another big plus is that your children won’t be a “latchkey” kid. Sometimes the situation is unavoidable, and according to Kidshealth.org, this interesting nickname got its start in the 1940s, during World War II. The men were away at war, so many women had to take jobs in factories to keep the country going. With both parents away, lots of kids went home to empty houses after school. Latchkey kids wore a house key around their necks and this key opened the front door or latch. “Today, it’s common for both parents to work or for kids to live with just one parent, so a new generation of kids is spending some time alone after school. Many schools now have after-school programs, but some don’t, and in some cases, families may not be able to afford the extra expense.” (http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/house/homealone.html) If ground rules are set for kids, including what is okay to fix as after-school snacks or an early dinner, things will often go more smoothly for both the child(ren) and the parent(s). Having a healthy child or children in a healthy home environment, especially when they are spending time alone, can only be a positive!
One great thing about living in a metropolis (or “metroplex” as we like to call it) like we have here in the Dallas area is the abundance of choices for these programs and for other needs for your children, such as a pediatric clinic. Unlike many clinics or healthcare facilities in the area, the Pediatric Clinic of Mesquite are 100% dedicated to pediatrics and adolescent care of all kinds – and are all about kids and convenience! Even if your child or children are involved in a before or after-school program, we still have choices! At our Mesquite location, the Night Clinic hours are weekdays from 5pm-10pm and on Saturdays from 8am-5pm. In addition, our locations in Garland and in Sunnyvale have Saturday hours of 9am-12pm. We know that keeping your kids healthy is one of your biggest priorities. That is the reason we make it our as well!
At all Pediatric Clinic locations, our staff works hard to meet the needs of every patient. From immunizations and flu shots to x-rays and ear infections, we commit to providing excellent healthcare services to all families. With many years of professional experience and the most innovative instruments and technology, all three Pediatric Clinic locations can deliver the best services to both well and sick children. Same-day appointments are available at all of our locations, Pediatric Clinic of Mesquite, Pediatric Clinic of Sunnyvale, and Pediatric Clinic of Garland.