What do you do when the school day has finished, but your working day hasn't? How do you keep your child busy during the holidays? The answer for many working parents of school aged children is Out of School Hours Care (OSHC).
A good afterschool program can turn the aimless hours after school into productive learning time. That’s a big benefit, especially for kids who learn and think differently.
Here are the benefits of what a high-quality afterschool program can do for kids:
Create a sense of belonging.
Children can build on existing and new relationships, and can access support from peers and educators. Relationships are the key to feeling a sense of belonging.
Improve social skills.
Children can practice and enhance their social and emotional skills with other children. Children are given opportunities to enhance their imagination, conflict resolution, negotiation, and co-operation skills by sharing their emotions and feelings.
Provide academic support.
Children can complete homework in a safe and relaxed environment alongside peers and qualified educators. Studies show children who regularly participate in high-quality OSHC programs show improvements in behaviours, attitudes and peer relations and achievement.
Play is learning.
OSHC provides greater opportunities for choice in play and leisure based experiences than home environments. Play-based learning environments in OSHC enable children to experiment, explore and investigate as they immerse themselves in a range of experiences.
Provide safety and supervision.
Children often will relax if provided with a safe, secure, and well-supervised learning environment. Children thrive developmentally if they feel safe, nurtured, and cared for, opposed to children left unsupervised after school, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety.
Educators can encourage children to try new things and participate in a variety of new, fun and challenging experiences. Educators can guide children to be ‘risk takers’ in learning as they try the unfamiliar and participate in new tasks with optimism.
Increases in physical activity.
After children spend a large portion of their school day in a sedentary classroom, physical activity is a vital component of OSHC programs. Educators play an important role in teaching and demonstrating physical activity skills. Children who develop these skills correctly will have more confidence in participating in sports at an early age, which in turn will lead to healthy lifestyle practices and reduce health risks later in adolescence and adulthood.
What will my child do at OSH Care?
Out of School Hours care emphasises play, social interaction, and recreation. Activities are organised in age appropriate, small and large groups, or children may choose quiet time by themselves (e.g. to read).
Some typical activities include:
Art and craft
At Skippy’s we ensure that exciting, educational, and engaging excursions are also an integral part of our program during holidays. We also offer extra-curricular activities including swimming lessons.
Understood. 6 Benefits of Afterschool programs. Kate Kelly. https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/tutors/afterschool-programs/benefits-afterschool-programs-kids-with-learning-thinking-differences
Care For Kids. An overview of OOSH & Vacation care. https://www.careforkids.com.au/child-care-articles/article/52/an-overview-of-out-of-school-hours-oosh-and-vacation-care
Big fat smile. Uncovering the value of out-of-school hours learning programs. https://bigfatsmile.com.au/blog/child-development/uncovering-the-value-of-out-of-school-hours-learning-programs/