Course 28: Commitment to Quality in School-Age Programs

Certificate Course
Price: FREE      CEUs: 0.2

(

What is a CEU?

)

Clock Hours: 2Hr
(approximate amount of time it will take to finish this course)

School-age child care programs were prevalent during World War II. Many mothers worked outside the home to support the war effort and needed care for their children. When the war ended, school-age child care programs disappeared almost overnight as mother chose to stay at home. School-age programs emerged again in the late 1960’s in response to the vast numbers of mothers across the nation who were re-entering the workforce. National surveys in the 1970’s indicated that at least two-thirds of mothers with school-age children were again employed outside the home. The divorce rate was increasing as well as the number of households headed by a single parent. As a result, many elementary school children spent hours alone from 3:00 to 6:00 when school was out. Clearly, there was a growing need for out-of-school support services for school-age children.

In the 1970’s programs were commonly known as school-age child care or extended day programs. Those establishing programs gave their attention to increasing the availability and affordability of after school services for working parents. By the mid 1970’s, child care advocates also emphasized the importance of providing quality programs. Child care advocates, parents, educators, public policy experts, and representatives from a wide variety of child care and community organizations began a national dialogue to explore and identify the components of quality school-age child care services. Today, national, state, and local organizations are working to educate the public about quality school-age child care services and assist school-age child care professionals achieve quality programming in their communities.

It is essential for OST professionals to be aware of the national and state organizations, research, and practices that focus on the development of quality school-age child care programs. This makes it possible for OST professionals around the country to learn about the dimensions of quality OST/SACC programs and participate in the important process of continuous improvement of their own programs.