How aftercare can benefit your child’s development

Daleen Koch shows how she keeps some of the younger learners in her aftercare class entertained and stimulated. Photo: Supplied

POLOKWANE – Liana Burger and Daleen Koch are two women who head their own aftercare facilities at schools in the city and shared some of the benefits aftercare holds for children.
Create a sense of belonging:
Children can get to know different kids who they don’t see at school which means they don’t have to deal with the same cliques and social issues. There’s generally more adult supervision at aftercare than on the school playground as well.
Improve social skills:
A good programme promotes cooperation, support and respect. This can help children feel more secure about joining a game or starting a conversation.
Provide academic support:
Many after school programmes offer structured homework help. Homework can often cause friction between kids with learning and attention issues and their parents.
Make learning more fun:
Some after school programmes offer classes in areas like science or computers. In these sessions, there aren’t tests and children may work together in groups.
Provide safety and supervision:
Sadly, kids with learning and attention issues are more likely to be victimised or to engage in risky behavior. Research shows the hours between 15:00 and 18:00 are when kids are most likely to commit crimes, drink or use drugs or become the victims of crime. Keeping kids busy, however, can prevent them from engaging in risky behavior.
Build confidence:
For kids with learning and attention issues, an after school programme may feel more forgiving than school does. As a result, they may be more willing to try new things and take more risks. This, in turn, can lead to higher self-esteem.
Both Liana and Daleen propose parents do their homework when looking into an aftercare facility and to make sure the people they use are registered and offer their children the best in aftercare, doing good and not harm.
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Riana Joubert

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