Our before and after school programs at Community Education Research Groups is semi-structured child care offered to children kindergarten-aged to 12 years old. This program is unconventional in that transportation to school is provided before school — before school program — and from school — the after school program. If you’re a parent or caregiver with inflexible work hours or are unavailable during normal school hours, this program also accommodates early closure days, no school days, and school vacations breaks in DCPS.  

A normal day in our before and after school child care, allows for homework time, board games, card games, puzzles, outdoor activities, and art projects.

The need for after school programs

Before and after school child care is convenient and — arguably absolutely needed — for working parents and caregivers, but after school programs often fall off the radar in the dialogue of improving education. But, after school programs can do just that — improve education. Not only are kids in an after school program less likely to join a gang, perpetuate or fall victim to violence, become teen parents, or partake in illegal substances such as drugs and alcohol, they’re exposed to many kinds of learning. These after school programs are not only securing kid’s safety, it’s promoting education and healthy psychosocial development. The challenge lies in a program that kids want to go to, and one that parents want to enroll their kids in. In creating a semi-structured curriculum, that doesn’t mimic a common school day, where kids keep coming back, is the ideal scenario for improved educational value.

By engaging kids in after school child care that embodies flexibility, creativity, and individualized learning, we set them up with an increased foundation and success rate in their traditional classrooms. Kids are more likely to participate and seek tutors and mentors, which gives individual help and attention.

Or, if kids just need social time, they can do that too! In either outline, the child is learning knowledge for school, or emotionally for life.