After-school clubs were once few and far between. They were primarily somewhere for a child to stay for a couple of hours until a parent could pick them up after finishing their working day. Now, a whole range of schools, both community and private schools, provide after-school clubs with a whole lot to offer.
So what should you look for in an after-school club to know it will be good for your child? These tips and suggestions aim to help.
Where is the club?
This isn’t just for your convenience, such as the club being a good distance from your work, but to benefit your child too. For instance, if it’s local, the club will probably be attended by some of their friends from school or other children they know. A club out of town, on the other hand, might have access to fields, rivers and forests, where they can enjoy some exciting activities – see below.
After-school clubs, both near and far from your home, bring different benefits. Deciding what’s best depends on your child and what kind of experience you want to give them. For instance, a club close to home might be best if your child is shy, while one further afield could be the right choice if they’re confident and like the outdoors.
What activities will your child be doing?
After-school clubs are commonly known as places for children to play games and have fun. While having fun is important, it’s wise to check that they will be learning too. You should look for activities that will allow your child to learn new skills, as well as build up their social skills and confidence, and help them stay active.
Activities can include things like arts and crafts, sports, cookery, and learning about nature. Clubs should have a plan of different activities they’ll cover from season to season. So it’s a good idea to find out what your child will be doing, not just day-to-day, but throughout the year too.
What is the quality of facilities?
It’s important that the club provides facilities of a high standard in a clean and safe environment. All indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment should be well maintained, child-friendly and safe to use.
It’s also worth checking to see that there are a range of club facilities, which will allow your child to do different things, in addition to the group activities on offer. This could include a sizeable play area and a quiet space for them to draw, read a book, or do their school homework.
There can be a lot to take into consideration when finding a good after-school club. So it’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about a club, attend an open day, or try and arrange a visit, before making a decision. But, with these suggestions and tips in mind, you should be able to find a club that brings out the very best in your child.