When you’re considering an afterschool program, it’s important to look for a place where your child can relax and have fun. That’s true whether it’s a program that your child’s school offers or a private one. Maybe you’d like your child to get homework done there, too.
Check out the list of questions below. They’ll help you when you meet with the director of any program you’re considering.
- What’s the staff-to-student ratio? (The ideal is at least one adult for every 15 students.)
- How many kids in the program are the same age as my child? What’s the age range for the entire program?
- Does your staff have a background in education? Does that include child development or kids who learn and think differently?
- How do you handle discipline? How are kids encouraged to resolve conflicts?
- If the program is school-based: Does the schedule include transition time between school and after school? Do the kids get time for socializing and physical activity?
- Is there a gym or playground, and will kids be supervised at all times?
- Does the program offer both academic and social activities?
- Do the activities change often enough that the routine doesn’t get boring for kids?
- How are kids encouraged to try new activities and build new skills? Will my child be learning something new every day?
- Are there quiet places set aside for when a child needs to do homework or just needs to be away from the larger group?
- Is there someone there who will help kids with their homework?
- If my child uses or , will they be available during homework time?
- Is there computer/internet access if kids need it for homework?
- If it’s a school-based program: Does the program connect with the school’s teachers or line up with what my child is learning in class? If so, how does this work?
- If necessary, could the staff talk to my child’s teachers, or will I need to be the go-between?
- How will staff provide feedback on my child’s development? How often?
- What are the hours of the program? What happens if I’m delayed at work?
- Is there a nurse or another adult certified in CPR and first aid?
- Will food and snacks be provided? If so, what kind?
An afterschool program with a good homework policy can make a big difference for kids who struggle in school. Learn more about how to assess an afterschool program’s approach to homework.
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About the author
About the author
Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.
Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.