If you are a parent who needs to place an older child in some sort of after-school program, you certainly aren't lacking for choice. However, placing your child in an activity-specific program can be difficult because if the child doesn't like the program, then you face months of protests and resistance. Sometimes a general child-care or day-care program is a better choice, but choosing one of these for an older child requires special attention.
Age Limits and Mixes
Some child-care companies limit the ages of the children that can be in a center, while others allow all ages (or maybe all ages starting with elementary-school children, since infants and toddlers have much different needs) to mingle. The advantage to having ages mixed together is that the older children can help the younger children with tasks, and the younger children can help the older children get better at patience and explaining things. The advantage to having limited mixes is that the children are more likely to get constant age-appropriate attention instead of having to sit through activities that are meant for other age groups.
You must also be aware of whether your child is going to be allowed to continue at the same care facility for a few years. Moving the child around from year to year because you keep hitting age limits can be just as disorienting for them as moving from school to school each year.
Activity Variety and Guidance
As kids get older, they're going to want to hang out with each other more rather than do guided activities. Still, you should ensure that their days aren't wasted. A child-care center that just lets kids watch TV for several hours after school may be better than nothing, but you may want to look for one that provides at least some structure. It's good to have free time, but it's also good to have time to work on homework, have a set snack time, and have additional activities like improv or sports.
Any child-care center should have enough emergency supplies to adequately care for all the children and staff if a disaster happens. For older children, though, that includes having enough food to keep them generally satisfied; their appetites are going to be way bigger than those of very young children. In other words, extra jars of baby food aren't going to cut it. If the staff at the center looks at you blankly when you ask, or if they say they have extra supplies for maybe a day or so, you need to find a different center. Be it an earthquake, a major blackout that disrupts an entire section of the country, a tornado, or a terrorist attack, one disaster could prevent people from getting to and from the center for days. You want to find a center that will be able to care for your child properly for a prolonged time if needed.
Bring your child along with you when you check out centers because the child may have questions that you haven't thought of. It will also put you and the child on the same page regarding the facilities you've seen so there will be less miscommunication when you decide on your final choice.
Go to websites of various child-care centers in your area to look at which ones you might be interested in.Share
10 October 2016
Hello, my name is Melony. Welcome. I am here to talk to you about child development. As a young adult, I studied child development in my elective courses. I wanted to learn about the factors that help kids grow into functional adults. I studied all of the different ways this process can go wrong. Although I cannot use this info for my career, I am glad I studied this topic in great detail while in school. I will use this site to help others learn all they can about healthy child development. Please feel free to visit my site anytime to learn more.