Back to school for Generation Z! The school assigned your child’s teacher, the local newspaper published the bus schedule and your child awaits his or her first homework assignment. While you may not be able to help your child at school, you can assist with enrolling your child in the best extracurricular program.
After you speak with your children to hear their extracurricular interests (click here for suggestions), we recommend you consider the following questions when choosing the “best” afterschool program for your children and your family.
Questions To Consider
Cost: What is the estimated budget for afterschool activities this year? The average family pays $2,400 per year per child! Enrollment fees may be minimal, but there are unforeseen costs related to each activity. For example, registration for a tackle football league may be low, but cleats, pads, and tournaments are added costs. Maybe there is a more affordable flag football league in the neighboring town?
Transportation: Does the afterschool program provide bus pickup from school or is there a carpool program with parents? Families often overlook challenges related to drop-off and pick-up.
Safety: Who are the staff at the afterschool program, are they CPR certified and what is the staff-student ratio? Do not hesitate to ask for a director’s resume or references from parents whose children are currently enrolled. Your child’s safety should be your number one priority and the number one priority for the extracurricular provider.
My Child: Does the afterschool program accommodate children that are talented and gifted, have allergies or diagnosed with a medical condition? Knowing that extracurricular programs have expertise with the unique characteristics of your child can provide you with assurance his or her extracurricular experience will be positive.
As parents of the next great generation, be smart, be deliberate and be informed. Your children’s afterschool activities are essential to their development. The more you learn about available extracurricular opportunities, the better afterschool experience your child will have.