Sending your children to school can be both nerve-wrecking and exciting. Though watching your little one grow up is never easy, observing your child confidently pack his backpack, or step onto the school bus, or work on her homework, can be an exciting (and proud) moment for a parent. School-age children are beginning to think creatively, gain independence, and increase their understanding. This is a time to focus on your child’s personal, social, and mental development.
School-age children begin to communicate differently, as well. According to PBS Parents, children this age begin to question and doubt their parents. As they grow, they develop a more “sophisticated sense of humor” and ask much more challenging and complex questions. As they develop a stronger interest in learning, it’s important to encourage creative thinking and dedicate time outside of school hours for engaging and fun learning.
With so many demands on today’s families, parents need all the help they can get. School-Age Child Care is a wonderful way for children to engage with peers and expand their learning environment. Children will have the opportunity to develop social skills as they meet new friends that they do not otherwise attend school with. According to WebMD, “When children enter school, they leave the security of home and family. They become players on the larger stage of school and friends. Here, they learn some crucial skills-including how to make friends-that they can use for the rest of their lives.”
Building friendships during this age is a crucial part of a child’s development. The friendships that children make during these years can influence and shape their character. Children begin to find their sense of belonging in others besides their parents, which is why it’s important for your children to be surrounded by individuals who encourage their growth.
The School-Age Child Care program at the YMCA is designed to focus on character development values which help children grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Programs ensure that your child’s time is spent creatively and constructively after grade-school so that each child can have fun and keep his/her mind active!
The YMCA provides a nurturing and helpful environment for growing youth. With a focus on healthy living and youth development, you can find encouragement knowing that your children are being taught our core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. There’s a reason the YMCA is America’s largest nonprofit child care provider!
The Harrisburg Area YMCA provides School Age Child Care at our East Shore, Northern Dauphin County, and West Shore YMCA branches. Registration is currently closed for the 2017-2018 school year, and will re-open for the following year in the spring of 2018. Learn more about how the YMCA creates a Child Safe Environment and our participating school districts on our website.
–Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator