It’s back to school time again, and this can be a source of excitement and even freedom for some parents. However, for many working parents, children going to school can be a serious source of stress as they try and find an after school program where there children will be cared for.
The Child Care Gap
Most adults have to be at work between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning, which lines up with bus stop pick up and school drop off times for elementary and middle schools in Wake County. However, schools in the area, and nationwide, release between 3:00 and 3:45 in the after noon, while many parents work until 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, and only a fraction of Wake County schools offer after school programs. This isn’t a local issue, these school schedules are the same nationwide. This leaves parents in a difficult position as they try and arrange care for their children.
A National After School Program Shortage
Decades ago, the majority of women stayed home to care for children, but now, 75 percent of women with children in school are employed outside the home, and families are struggling. Because of this, the need for after school child care is more pressing than ever. Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization, did a study that found that “for every child in an after school program, two more children would be in a program if one were available to them.”
What does this mean for families both in Raleigh and nationwide? A lack of care leads to lower levels of full-time employment, especially for women. This reduces a family’s income and can be devastating. This also harms the economy – according to the Centers for American Progress, “misaligned school schedules cost the U.S. economy $55 billion in lost productivity annually…in lower levels of full time employment among women…”
For some parents who try to work without after school care, finding a babysitter can be cost prohibitive, while others rely on older siblings to watch younger children.
Safe, Quality, After School Child Care
Fortunately, parents in the area do have options beyond school-provided programs, so they don’t have to worry about leaving children unsupervised or with suboptimal care until they get home. Many child care centers, including Primary Beginnings, do offer after school programs for children up to age 12. Not only does this ensure your children are in a safe, supervised location, there are multiple added benefits to enrolling your child in a Raleigh after school program.
Improved School Performance
With qualified, professional caregivers on hand, your child will be exposed to exciting learning opportunities and activities that are both fun and beneficial.
After school programs provide children with outdoor recreation whenever possible, giving the children a way to get exercise while also burning off energy and stress from the school day. Additionally, child care programs provide healthy snacks to keep children fueled until dinner.
Improved Social Skills
During school, children are often kept so busy learning, that they don’t have as much time for socializing and playing with friends. After school care provides them with the opportunity to play with their friends in a safe, structured environment.
Contact Us to Learn About Our Raleigh After School Programs
If you are concerned about finding care for your child, we can help! Our five-star child care center has after school programs, and we even have summer camps available when school lets out! To learn more about our centers or schedule a tour, call our North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 or our Spring Forest location at 919-790-6888, or fill out our convenient contact form to get started!