Parents rely on after-school programs for childcare, but options are becoming limited. Rachel Cohen covers domestic social policy for Vox, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the crisis working parents face as they try to bridge the gap between the end of the school day and the end of the workday. Her article is “It’s hard finding after-school care for your kids.”
Blog Post: Why after-school care helps kids of all ages and how to find the right option
— By Brianna Flores, Think Intern
Adults with jobs and children have a lot going on. And after-school care for their kids can be greatly beneficial—and hard to find.
“Research shows that [after-school care] helps with all sorts of things,” says our guest, Rachel Cohen. “It… provides academic support. Kids can get tutoring and mentoring opportunities. You can get physical education and nutritional background.”
For children falling behind in school, after-school care is one of the simplest ways to get them extra tutoring time or homework help. Beyond academic learning, it’s also a place for social learning and bonding. It provides a structure to build positive relationships with people and technology.
“It really helps with the big crisis of loneliness a lot of kids have, especially with the isolation from social media on their phones all day,” Cohen says. “It’s a really good kind of reprieve from some of those daily pressures.”
Despite the great benefits for kids, there is still a lack of options for after-school care. Cohen says that parents often must combine different non-profit programs and organizations outside of school districts to find the right care for their kids.
“Those places have waitlists and limited capacity and are dealing with their own staffing challenges,” Cohen says. “Oftentimes, one parent has to reduce their hours or quit their job. Some people rely on family or neighbors or friends.”
Places like YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are nonprofit organizations that help fill the void when school districts are lacking in resources. These programs include outdoor activities, career readiness, arts and crafts and more.
Cohen hopes she can bring awareness to the rising issue of finding after-school care in order to provide a better care system for families with young and growing minds.
To learn more about the after-school care crisis and how parents can find care for their kids, listen to the podcast above.