5 Safety Benefits of Extended Care

If you are in need of childcare while you are working, you may be considering the safety benefits of extended care programs. Naturally, your child’s safety is important to you. You should be able to trust that your child is in good hands whenever you are not with them. Extended care programs are designed to ensure children have somewhere to go before or after regular school hours. These programs are created for children whose parents work and aren’t able to be home before or after school, and also for parents looking for more opportunities for their children to socialize, get homework help, or spend time with other kids and responsible educators.

There are many benefits to enrolling your child in an extended care program, such as providing a positive outlet for creativity, boosting academic performance, supporting and improving behavioral and emotional issues, and more. Another main benefit is that these programs are a safe place for children to play and learn. Here are the top five safety benefits of extended care programs.

1. Supervised Activities and Play

Parents can rest assured knowing their children are being watched, cared for, and supported during their time at an extended care program. Instead of a child leaving school to an unsupervised home, they stay with trained, vetted, experienced adults and other children and participate in fun, engaging, and educational activities.

Staff can serve as mentors who the children can trust. This impacts the lives of the children and those around them in a positive way. Building trusting relationships with adults who are qualified to handle any situation teaches kids important social and interpersonal skills. They can also provide support that helps children feel safe, respected, and confident. Parents can trust in the knowledge that their kids are under the supervision of people who are well prepared for any potential unsafe scenario.

2. Structure and Routine

Extended care programs have structured, daily activities planned for children to look forward to and participate in. This helps children create a routine before and after their school day, which makes them feel safe and deal with stressful situations more effectively.

Plus, being enrolled in an extended care program gives children something to look forward to, helps build healthy coping skills, and keeps kids out of trouble and away from juvenile crime, including violence.

3. Positive Environment for Building Social and Emotional Skills

In these programs, children can learn to work well with others, communicate effectively, understand how to deal with challenging or difficult situations productively, and make sound, thoughtful decisions.

Social and emotional learning are key parts of a child’s development. These skills can help improve relationships with other children, reduce bullying, and create positive interactions with others. Kids carry these critical skills into adulthood, so any chance to develop them outside of school hours is a good thing. These programs not only give kids time to work on these skills, but also structured, supervised activities and play allows them to learn and have fun at the same time.

4. Decrease in Criminal Activity and Risky Behaviors

One of the most important safety benefits of extended care is adult supervision while parents are busy. Research shows 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. is the “prime time” for juvenile crime in the U.S. However, other studies also indicate that students who participate in extended care programs are less likely to take part in criminal activities and other risky behaviors compared to students not in those programs

Activities and socialization can help improve critical thinking and support making positive, healthy life decisions. Through these activities, children are more aware of dangers of risky behaviors and have a more productive outlet for their energy. Staff are also able to monitor kids and intervene should any unsafe behavior occur.

5. Care in a Controlled Environment

Most extended care programs take place at the child’s school or another safe, supervised environment. Equipped with toys, games, arts and crafts, homework supplies, and other learning and play opportunities, staff can ensure students are occupied while learning or having fun.

Most care programs have restricted access. Staff members know who should be where and when. Parents can feel confident knowing their child won’t be somewhere or with someone they shouldn’t be. Staff is also trained to know safety procedures such as for weather-related incidents, fires, or other safety incidents.

Contact Us

There are many safety benefits of extended care for children. At HotSpots, we pride ourselves on providing enriching, nurturing, educational, and fun before and after-school extended care programs in Maryland. Parents can rest assured knowing their children are developing in a safe, positive environment, while also learning and having fun.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in one of our programs, contact us today for more information.