After school programs offer a variety of benefits to children. From providing additional academic support to improving social skills and making learning more fun, offering an after school program can provide various opportunities for children in your community. It can also help attract more parents and families to your center.
Keep in mind that creating an after school program can also come with its own challenges, such as managing with limited funds and resources, and competing with other local aftercare centers. If you’re thinking about starting an after school program, here are eight tips that will help you achieve success in your endeavor.
Set clear goals for your after school program
Why do you want to start your after school program? What specific issues are you hoping to address or alleviate with your program? It’s important to answer these questions before taking any further steps toward creating your program. Once you have clearly defined why offering an after school program is essential for you and your school, then you can identify the specific goals you wish to address with your program.
Determine your after school program curriculum and activities
There are many types of curricula and activities available for schools that want to offer an after school program. Choose one that best suits your needs and budget. For example, you might opt for an academic enrichment program with small class sizes and a curriculum aligned with state standards. It’s also important to ensure that you employ trained instructors who will be able to effectively lead your after school classes.
Plan your after school program schedule
Once you have come up with a clear set of goals and opportunities for your program, now you can plan your schedule for your after school program. This should incorporate your instructors’ availability and your after school program’s hours.
Promote your after school program
Once your program is up and running, it’s important that you promote your program in your community. Invite parents to sign their kids up for your programs. Promote the benefits of after-school programs, and spread the word about your program through town gatherings or local businesses. You can also use flyers, emails, phone calls, and text messages to remind parents about the programs and activities you offer.
When it comes to promoting your program, don’t forget to utilize your website as well as other digital channels. Make use of your Facebook and other social media accounts to spread the word.
Recruit after school program instructors
Another vital component of creating a program is recruiting qualified instructors.
Make sure you hire after-school staff members who are passionate about teaching kids. They should be people who can make learning more fun through games, hands-on activities, and engaging lessons. It’s also important that your employees are trained professionals in their fields with relevant experience when it comes to teaching children.
Keep parents informed
It’s vital to keep lines of communication between parents and your after-school staff open. This is another essential component of a successful program. Parents should feel like they can always approach after-school teachers with any questions or concerns, and after-school staff needs to be approachable and willing to address parents’ concerns.
You can also ask your staff members to send updates and photos to parents each day. Whether they choose to share a story or a day-in-the-life post, make sure you impress upon your staff the importance of open communication between parents and your center. Additionally, teachers should always provide feedback to parents about their children’s progress at the end of each term.
Establish consistent policies and procedures
Clear and consistent guidelines and policies are the foundation of any successful after-school program. Be sure to create policies that address any potential issues, which will help prevent unnecessary problems. It’s also important to make sure all members of your staff are aware of these policies. Hold regular meetings, if possible, to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Offering quality and well-implemented after-school programs can provide a variety of benefits for children. You can ensure that your program is a success by following these key tips!
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