A well thought out daycare curriculum is essential when structuring after school activities for children of all age ranges. It is impossible to ignore the growing popularity of these after school programs which cater for more than 10 million kids in the US and receive millions in funding. The safety of children whilst parents are at work is a given but the importance of educating and developing new skills shouldn’t be overlooked.
Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults. Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them.
Professionally managed, after-school daycare curriculums run by people who are experienced and passionate about their area of expertise will fire up the imagination and enthusiasm of the children in their care. Simply being in contact with this passion and knowledge will produce positive learning results. Generally, these after school approaches fall into three categories: educational, recreational and society oriented. The final category generally applies when kids are older and have opinions on specific interests.
Educational activities aim at furthering the knowledge of the child. His general awareness, his understanding and his memory are targeted and he is given various techniques that will help him improve one or all of these. Programs such as intensive memory training and speed mathematics are educational after school activities. There are academic programs that will go over the child’s homework and class work and help the child gain more in-depth knowledge in the various subjects. Thus academic programs have a definite edge over the fun and games, especially if parents feel that their child has a lot of catching up to do.
Fine arts, sports, physical games, board games etc and painting are included in recreational activities. The main thrust here is to have fun. Inevitably a competitive element will appear as children become more proficient. Many sport events, competitions, stage performances etc are held to encourage the child.
Recreational programs often appear to offer more in terms of a holistic approach to the child’s development. Children need to be excited and curious about something in order to learn effectively and enjoy that learning process. A lack of flexibility in academic activity based programs can be a problem. These courses tend to be very well structured and rich in content. However, a child who has already spent a day at school may have issues with concentration. Frustration may occur when faced with further study. Overexposing a child to educational activities may cause him to switch off.
Recreational programs provide a welcome break from the monotony of learning and studies. Physical activity and being outdoors in the fresh air energizes children and instills in them a wonderful sense of well-being. Group activity teaches him social skills, discipline and patience. Children who take part in such activities tend to get good results at school and are better all rounders. Sometimes closing the textbooks and playing a game may be the best way to handle your studies.
Whatever program you choose for your day care, regular evaluation is the key to success. You will have to measure the children’s progress. If progress is unsatisfactory, you may need to modify your daycare curriculum. The child should also have the freedom to reject an activity if and when he feels bored with it. Generally, an after-school daycare curriculum that combines the educational with the recreational is best suited especially for younger children. This way, children can have fun while they learn.
Recommended Articles on Starting a Daycare Business:
- The Demand for Daycare Centers
- Starting Your Daycare Business
- Shoestring Strategies
- Operating a Daycare Center
- Caring for the Children
- Income Potential
- Managing Your Business
- Complementary Businesses for Additional Income
- Marketing Your Business
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Alabama to Louisiana
- Licensing Requirements of Starting a Daycare: Maine to Wyoming
Recommended Books on Starting a Daycare Business:
- The Business of Child Care: Management and Financial Strategies
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Child Care Service: With Companion CD-ROM
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 6th (Home-Based Business Series)
- Family Child Care Record-Keeping Guide, Eighth Edition (Redleaf Business Series)
- How to Start a Home-Based Day-Care Business, 5th (Home-Based Business Series)